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Belgian band open to Ugandan sound

Belgian Week: Intergalactic Lovers is a Belgian indie rock band consisting of Lara Chedraoui, Brendan Corbey, Maarten Huygens and Raf De Mey. They performed at Design Hub alongside Kaz Kasozi courtesy of the Belgian Embassy in Uganda.

First time in Uganda?
Yes, and it is a lovely country.

Has it met your expectations?
I (Lara) lived in Togo when I was a child so Africa is not new to me. We left Togo for Belgium when it started getting insecure. We came in on Monday evening and we are looking forward to a positive vibe in Uganda.

Give us a brief background about the Intergalactic Lovers Band.
The group was founded 12 years ago and a couple of its members participated in the Humos’ Rock Rally under the name Free Zamunda, without success so the band was restructured to Intergalactic Lovers. It has evolved a lot over the years. When you play together for 10 years you start to experiment more, you start seeing your mistakes and every record that we make is becoming more and more experimental. We are not there yet but we are working towards getting where we would like to be.

What have you guys been hearing about Uganda?
We heard that it is a lovely country with open minded people towards culture, that it is a very nice place to hike, the nature is great and the people are so friendly, but what really excited us is the food.

What food excited you most?
We heard that the rolex is really good. When we arrived, we could literally see food by the roadside. We hope to experience it before we leave.

When did you guys meet to form this band?
We met 25 years ago. We had the same friends and with the same dream in music, so we decided to form this band.

What experience are you bringing to Uganda?
The good crazy experience of Belgium music. We are looking forward to knowing about the Ugandan culture and we would like Ugandans to embrace our kind of music.

How different is your kind of music?
The music we play is very atmospherical. When you are feeling bad, it will cheer you up. That is what African music is also about. There is no way you can listen to the rhythm and not dance or shake your head.

Do you have any plans of working with some local bands or musicians to get an African sound?
We would like to work with Ugandan artistes but we do not know any. We would like our next record to have African vibes to it as that would influence our music more.
Any success stories?
We have been playing around the world in countries such as Germany, Japan, America, now Uganda.
For us it is not about the money because we are not Taylor Swift or Kanye West, so our band is not the most lucrative but being able to travel and take our music to different audiences is what matters.

How then has the group been able to survive for all these years?
Every one of us has another job. Brandan is a drummer and architect, Raf works in the mining company, while Lara is a waitress, so if it is not music, we are all occupied.

How do you balance work and music?
That is difficult because you need to have colleagues at work who understand that you do what you have to do, but it all comes down to planning.

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