HILLARY SARGEANT DEFYING ALL BOUNDARIES WITH FANGA
trinidad-born Hillary Sargeant and her FANGA Band based in Israel define themselves as an inspirational movement with one consistent message, "People have the power to overcome." Sargeant and the FANGA Band can be described as Martin Luther King on Soul Train. The message is never lost but the rhythms are so enchanting that you just can't stop moving.
Are you a fan of Curtis Mayfield, Sade, Fela Kuti, Nina Simone or Salif Ketia? If so, then you will surely enjoy FANGA rhythms by Hillary Sargeant and the Fanga Band. They create and perform a rich mixture of R&B, soul, African rhythms and rap all delivered by one voice, Sargeant. The group defies all boundaries inviting listeners to soar to new heights even while dancing all night.
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Sargeant migrated to Israel in the mid 1980's having been invited to perform alongside her uncle, the legendary Vin Cardinal. Eventually, Sargeant became an independent vocalist touring Europe with bands such as Common Bond and jazz enthusiast, Leonardo Pathaska. In 2007 she released the first single, "Fanga," which was remixed by Chicago's well-known DJ, Abicah Soul, selling over 20,000 copies.
Fanga, translated from the African Mandingo language means power. Hence you can find power transcended through all of Sargeant's songs lyrically and rhythmically.
Through hard work and dedication Sargeant was one of the five artists chosen from Israel to perform during a special showcase at Berlin Music Week this September. She then goes on to perform at the world-renowned Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg, Germany, one week later.
"It's a dream come true to be on the stage with other great indie artists equally talented in their own right," says Sargeant. "This has been in the making for a long time and has not been an easy road as financially there isn't a lot of funding for Indie artists in Trinidad or any other place as a matter of fact. So basically it's been through hard work and a lot of personal investment as well as support of good friends and family that I'm able to follow my dream," Sargeant said.
So what does Sargeant have in plan for the future? "Well in the meantime I continue to work on my first album, Hillary Sargeant Fanga, as well as I'm compiling a book of 'Fanga Quotes' to give people a quick picker-upper when faced with personal strife. I also Blog from time to time about my FANGA life experiences. Yes, I never thought I would turn out to be such a writer but lately it's been my therapy in overcoming some of life's obstacles."
Sargeant is a survivor of breast cancer, which is now in remission after having experienced a difficult year in 2010. Mind you this did not stop her from headlining her own show in Tel Aviv, Israel, in December 2010 catering to over 450 clamouring fans.
Prior to this show she released an EP (Extended Play) titled, The Trilogy of Fanga for sampling by eager fans. All songs featured on the EP were written and arranged by Sargeant and produced by world-renowned Emmy award-winner/producer/arranger Loris Holland popular for his work with Mary J Blige, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Anita Baker and Lauryn Hill to name a few. Holland, as can be imagined, is well sought after and therefore it's difficult getting him on board any project but as he explained, "There are singers whose vocal dexterity boggles the mind, singers with the ability to extend their range to unexplainable heights, then comes a sweet passionate voice that penetrates the soul with a soothing balm of precise magic. Hillary's voice is that special. She is a wonderful, uniquely gifted singer/ songwriter."
True to form Sargeant has scouted the world for the best talent and has put together a dynamic nine piece band titled of course, Hillary Sargeant & Fanga Band. Its members are the crème-de-la-crème of Israel and USA in the likes of Shai Bachar (Music Director/Keyboards, Arranger), Jamale Hopkins (USA drummer), Tomer Cohen (Alto/Tenor/Soprano/Baritones Sax/arranger), Amos Hoffman (Oud), Mark Kakon & Gabriel Pollak (guitar) and Roni Irwyn (Percussion).
Randy Gilmore, saxophonist and father of world-renowned drummer Marcus Gilmore of New York, best summarises what one can expect when listening to Sargeant, "…Hillary Sargeant is a passionate dynamic vocalist whose voice has an edge that cuts like a knife straight through to the heart. She defies categorising as she blows you away with power in one instant and then comes back at you soft and purring like a kitten, oozing with sexual tension…" So if you have never before seen your favourite acts all on one stage then be sure to check out Hillary Sargeant & FANGA Band at www.fanga-music.com or on YouTube.