An icon of Belarusian rock music, Lavon Volski, is the winner of the 2016 Freemuse Award. His songs are anthems of those who dream of a democratic and free Belarus. Thus Volski since many years has been on the regime’s infamous ‘black list’ of artists never played on national radio and banned from performing.
Volski will receive the Freemuse Award in Stockholm on Sunday 8 May at 5pm on the main stage in Kungsträdgården. During a ‘Song for freedom’ concert, Volski will join former Freemuse Award winner, Ramy Essam.
Lavon Volski continues a long tradition of singers, who address important social and political issues, have become symbols of civil rights movements and through their music express frustrations and hope. In 1994 Belarus experienced a political backlash with the election of Alyaksandr Lukashenka as the first president of the Republic of Belarus. ‘I knew that something bad was about to happen in my country,’ Lavon tells in an interview with Freemuse. He founded a new band balled N.R.M. that became the most influential band of contemporary Belarus.
Tiken Jah Fakoly, Pete Seeger, Mahsa Vahdat, Ferhat Tunc, Ramy Essam and now Lavon Volski. The list of Freemuse Award winners is impressive. They combine high quality music with a struggle for freedom of musical expression. You can now listen to a selection of songs by Freemuse Award winners on Spotify.
Freemuse has been invited to discuss and talk about artistic freedom at several international and national events in May. Freemuse Executive Director Ole Reitov will be going to Helsinki, Stockholm, Berlin and Bruxelles to speak at the following events: