WOMEX drew to a close for its 22nd edition with the Award ceremony Sunday, 23 October. Delegates gathered in Santiago de Compostela’s Auditorio Abanca to celebrate the careers and achievements in artistry and professionalism by three key world music players.
Calypso legend Calypso Rose (Trinidad & Tobago) was presented with the WOMEX 16 Artist Award; Colombian hip-hop school 4Elementos Skuela received the Professional Excellence Award (represented at WOMEX by founder Henry Arteaga); and the Label Award went to Glitterbeat Records for the third year running.
Henry Arteaga delivered his acceptance speech in part via a capella rap, and also stated the importance and symbolism of the WOMEX Award: “Our neighbourhood and our school are more alive and happier than ever and it is them who really deserve the applause. I am ashamed that in my country thousands of people think more can be achieved through war instead of through peace. Music on the other hand, born from the soul, is made to connect one another. The WOMEX Award ancient goddess figurine represents a mother – and we may have forgotten it, but this signifies something very special – love. This Award thus for me is a symbol of what we need now for rescuing my country and its future.”
Receiving her award, Calypso Rose told the WOMEX delegates “I would especially like to thank WOMEX, the World Music Expo…but now I want to keep you on your feet by dancing!”
The ceremony itself then ended with a bang: a special performance saw Calypso Rose joined on stage by the all-star ‘Calypso Sound System’ featuring Drew Gonsalves and other members of Kobo Town, and left the audience dancing in the aisles.