Afora | Remix Community (2020)

Reimagining the voices and journeys of trauma survivors

A4A (Artists for Artists) Records & Publishing is home for recordings and projects that are changing the world – one voice at a time – by representing marginalized artists. In partnership with Warner Music Canada, songs are distributed globally, available for streaming and download on all major digital platforms.

A4A Records’ current roster features artists from the NGO Make Music Matter’s Healing in Harmony group therapy program for trauma survivors, with powerful songs of resilience and solidarity.

We wanted to re-utilize, re-imagine, re-mix this great music in order to attract more awareness.

So, we asked a team of professional mixing and mastering engineers worldwide to partake in the project; to create a new artist conglomerate and remix the music from marginalized artists from places like DR Congo, Africa and Gaziantep, Turkey.

Afora – a new conglomerate – to reimagine and remix

The result became Afora – which is a play on the A4A (Artists 4 Artists) name – a new conglomerate of artists from A4A’s global Community of Mixing and Mastering Engineers who have come together to stand up to injustice and amplify marginalized voices – starting by releasing their first EP.

Members of Afora include world-class Grammy & Juno award-winning engineers: Emily Lazar (The Lodge, NYC), Liin, Noise FloorR Grunwald (Donovan Woods, David Myles), Moreira Studios, Kevin Doyle, James Bunton (Donovan Woods, David Myles), Verny Scholtz, Dan Harden, Nick Page, Nino D. Celella, Howard “Merlin” Wulkan, Ronan Chris Murphy (Gwar, King Crimson), and more…

Afora is part of the A4A Records family, an innovative and progressive label dedicated to showcasing the work of marginalized artists. A4A’s groundbreaking model makes it possible to collect royalties for artists living in extreme poverty and conflict zones, with 100% of royalties sent back to the artists.

A4A Music co-founder producer David Bottrill (Smashing Pumpkins, Tool) describes the collaboration as the realization of years of developing the Healing in Harmony program and a celebration of the advocacy of the artists.

Afora are helping to amplify the voices of our marginalized artists as they speak out for their rights in the face of adversity

 David Bottrill
Afora artist ‘avatar’ for Spotify and Apple Music
(Artwork by Marc Leardi, NULL & VøID Design, Toronto, ON, Canada)

Afora’s Remix Vol. 1 was first imagined by A4A Music Publishing Manager Heine Nielsen. He introduced the concept in part as a way to thank A4A’s contributors, explaining “we want to credit our loyal Community of Mixing and Mastering Engineers featuring some of the biggest engineers in the music industry – all donating their skills and time for post-production of our artists’ music making sure it sounds stellar when it’s released.

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Releasing Afora – Healing in Harmony: Remix Vol. 1

‘Healing in Harmony: Remix Vol. 1’ reimagines original tracks from A4A’s roster of artists from Make Music Matter’s Healing in Harmony music therapy program for trauma survivors. This debut release includes tracks from artists and engineers from Canada, USA, UK, Portugal, France, DR Congo, and South Africa.

Mastered by Grammy award-winning producer Emily Lazar (The Lodge, NYC), the project brings together remixers from around the world, reimagining original songs by A4A’s roster of artists who have emerged from the Healing in Harmony program for trauma survivors.

Album cover Afora – Healing in Harmony Remix Vol. 1
(Artwork by Marc Leardi, NULL & VøID Design, Toronto, ON, Canada)

By transforming the voices of marginalized artists to inhabit new musical genres, we have created a truly collaborative musical process with global impact, all with the aim to put the community, the cohort feeling on the agenda.

The remixers have transformed the original sounds into something completely different – whether it be cool hard rock, summer reggae, country, or Nordic vibes. What’s consistent is that all remixes feature stellar productions, while maintaining respect for the underlying story and original musical voice of the artist.

Heine Nielsen
Publishing Manager, A4A Music
Pre-release video teaser
(Video Credit: Blake Bottrill, Toronto, ON, Canada)

A Community of Professional Mixing and Mastering Engineers

The Afora conglomerate of remixers is part of a broader global community of professional mixing and mastering engineers – from Vancouver, Los Angeles, Bogota, New York, London, Johannesburg, Mumbai an many other places, these engineers are volunteering their skills in order to prepare A4A’s music releases from its marginalized artists.

Darcy Ataman & David Bottrill, Founders A4A Music, about the global professional Community of Mixing and Mastering Engineers
(Video Credit: Blake Bottrill, Toronto, ON, Canada)

A4A (Artists for Artists) – presenting marginalized artists and communities – whilst paying them

What is indeed unique and innovative about A4A is that it, In partnership with SOCAN, has built an innovative and groundbreaking publishing model which allows A4A to act in place of the artist, making it possible to collect royalties and send back up to 100% to those who may not otherwise have access to traditional publishing systems.

The problem we encountered is 99% of our artists don’t have bank accounts or legal identification that we would recognize, which excludes them from ownership of their publishing rights as songwriters.

Darcy Ataman
(Co-Founder, A4A Music)

Artists that do not have legal identification, bank accounts, or addresses by typical western standards can now be recognized for their contributions and get paid for it. This model opens up for micro-financing opportunities for millions of unrecognized musicians worldwide.

Media Coverage for Afora