The Groovy Colours band of the Ballanta Academy of Music and Performing Arts have won First Prize in the International Music Talent Video Competition of the Chinese Bridge Global Music Programme hosted by the Center for Language Education and Cooperation and the Central Conservatory of Music of the People’s Republic of China.
This international competition was held in October 2020 by submitting a song lasting no more than five minutes. The song had to have some connection with Chinese elements. It was judged by a committee of professional music schools in China. The song the group sang was a Chinese song called ‘The Moon Represents my Heart’, sung in Chinese, and indeed their rendition captured the hearts of the judges.
Groovy Colours was first formed in 2009 by Mrs Annick Langlotz, a volunteer from Switzerland. The name is because the band had a mixture of black and white persons and they would play groovy music. The band has six members, most of the staff. They play a selection of afro-pop, reggae, jazz and contemporary popular music. Their leader is David S. Koroma, who sings and plays the keyboard too. He has been a student of the Confucius Institute of the University of Sierra Leone and passed the first level in the Chinese language. He enjoys learning Chinese. He has also composed four songs (Mama Loving, Take my Hand, Gumbe Dance and Stay Safe) which are available on YouTube.
The other members of the band are Leslie Cummings-Wray on bass, Musa Ganda on trombone (also the sound engineer for the band), Michael Kamara on drums, Christopher James and Jocelyn Kobba on keyboards. The band also enjoys composing original compositions with a Sierra Leonean flavour. Their original compositions are Wanshilin Rope, Falamakata, Finally, Sweet Bubu, Alafia, and Baby.
They serve the community at private functions, national functions like beauty contests, government functions (like the opening of special facilities like the Sierra Leone Ports Authority New Extension), country celebrations (like that of the Spring Festival by the Chinese Embassy and the EU Day celebrations), performing on radio and television programmes, and on YouTube.
In the video of the Chinese song, “The Moon Represents my Heart” they have played their own arrangement merging the Chinese with an African flavour.