Generation Wave speak about freedom of expression in Burma/Myanmar

5 November 2010
Click to hear audio file with interview


Freemuse interview with four members of Generation Wave — a group which is part of an underground political network both inside and outside Burma. 21 members of the group are presently held as political prisoners in Burma.


Generation Wave use hip-hop music as an integrated part of their communication strategy in order to reach young audiences. They secretly records and distributes anti-government albums across Bruma, dropping them at the tea shops that are the social hubs for Burma’s underground political network.

They have written songs such as ‘Wake Up’, a call for young people to join the pro-democracy movement, and ‘Khwin Pyu Dot May’ (Please Excuse Me), the story of a young man asking his mother’s permission to join the struggle. Most of its members keep their identities a secret, after high-profile member, Zayar Thaw, was convicted with six years imprisonment for forming an illegal organisation.

In this interview four members of Generation Wave speak about their experiences with censorship of music in Burma/Myanmar.

Generation Wave’s official website:

Generation Wave’s profile on Facebook:

Press photo in high resolution

The audio recording is produced by Freemuse.
It was recorded on 5 November 2010 in Copenhagen,
Denmark, by Mik Aidt.

  Click to listen to the interview 

Interview – edited for radio broadcast
4:34 minutes

Read about Music Freedom Day 2011

Click to read more about Zayar Thaw on
 Zayar Thaw

Click to read more about music censorship in Burma
 Burma /

Click to listen to the interview

The full audio recording, unedited, in low resolution (56K). Duration: 14:57 minutes

Hip-hop: hard to control
Unlike Burmese music and lyrics, which have to be approved by government censors before broadcast, the fluidity, dynamism and underground nature of hip-hop is proving hard to control.

A number of Burmese bands are utilising the growth in new technologies to share uncensored music.

According to the British newspaper The Guardian, the concerts of rap artist Thxa Soe are policed by security uniformed and plain-clothed officers, attempting to monitor growing crowds that are using hip-hop to express issues in Burma.


Generation Wave & WhoMadeWho – ‘Left Hand of the Boxer’ – Listen on
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