Up close with Ms. Jarita Freydank!
We are sometimes privileged to be close to very extraordinary and special types of people, which usually results in us overlooking their rare talents, significance and the role they play in our global society. I am one of the fortunate woman to be up close with a remarkable and talented African woman especially as my soul sister in Berlin. My Wings! selected Ms. Jarita Freydank as our powerful, irregular and gifted artist of January 2017. She decribes herself as a female musician and an artist. She lives teaches, and perform the drum.
Jarita calls herself "Afro-German" because that's really what she is, she was born in Germany, her mother is a German and her father is an African or African-American but he doesn't prefer to be called African-American because he is still trying to find out his African origin. Jarita indicated that when people see her on the streets amongst white people she is always "Afro."
She said; "I am not really German and I am not white." Jarita identifies herself as an African and she always wears African attire or garment. She describes her family as a musical and artistic family. Her mother is an artist and the father is a drummer. He studied African dance, worked as an artist world wide. Jarita has taken our minds backwards by narrating how her family used to live. They had drums at home. She was always dancing and singing with her sister in most occasions. She firstly wanted to be a singer and learned to play a bit of guitar. Jarita played the piano too, but the drums was somehow of great value to her. She said; "drums are my companion." She finds them interesting and says it doesn't bore her even if she plays them for hours. According to her she never learnt a traditional way of playing Djembe. Her father showed her how to drum one rhythm and she was always drumming that same rhythm.
From her family drumming lessons she found a teacher when she was only 17, however her teacher was more interested in percussions, he taught her different types of drums and he plays 6 8 African Cuban beats on the drum set, which is Jaraita's favourite beat. Her passion for art is evident, as she would recite the drum beats during the interview, it is truly interesting and amazing. Jarita never thought that she can make a living with drumming or music. She wants to combine teaching and drumming because teaching was her first passionate career. I was touched by her expressions when she take us to her memory lane of their trip to visit Africa for the very first time. Her watery eyes have a passionate force that connects her to the mother land. Jarita felt deeply in their arrival to Africa that is her mother land when she viewed the landscape appearing in the darkness and when the sun rises. She was travelling with her father and their first destination was in Morocco. It was more an Arabic country than a real African country for her. They drove further to south at the western coast. The people were getting darker and she told herself that they are getting to Africa. Jarita spent few days in Bamako, the capital city of Mali with her father in the cultural center where people were dancing, singing and drumming. She said; " it was so profound to hear the drumming sound because you don't hear that often in Berlin." Jarita realized that she missed that so much. "drumming is my roots" that's how she explains her connection to her friend (drums).
They travelled to Morocco, West Sahara, Mali and they wanted to pass through Senegal but they had problems with VISA. Jarita is working with different bands such as Judith Holofernes, Astrid North of which of are famous German artists. According to her Judith Holofernes band was her first musical tour as a percussionist in 2014. Her great achievement was when she begun to work with Astrid North, she says the experience was special as Astrid is an Afro-German queen . Jarita signed a contract with a very famous company known as Ludwig Drums Germany to test their new drums, she explains it as an awesome achievement for her since she is the first female to be endorser at the company. Recently, she is working on her album. She is a composer and a producer. She looks forward to featuring and involving a lot of African musicians. The challenges she is faced with in the drumming industry are that of the male domination and critics of how her gender is an advantage and reason for her post of being a drummer. Jarita's next step is to learn more about traditional drumming and singing because everything that she plays on the drum set comes from Africa. She is looking forward to her journey to Ghana to complete her drumming learning process. Interviewing Jarita was a mavelous experience as I felt most of her words coming from within, she is a lovely person who embraces her Africanism. She expressed her feelings for travelling with different bands that it give her an opportunity to travel the world. Her motivational words to young women out there especially in Africa is that they should follow their dreams and work a lot on their own. Motivating yourself and finding the right people to work with is the best you can do for yourself to achieve better results. For more information and bookings: www.jaritafreydank.com