Media release: Scotland and Malawi – Michael Pedersen, Be Charlotte and Kobi Onyame set to perform at Lake of Stars

Michael Pedersen, Be Charlotte, Kobi Onyame KatGollock (low res)

MINISTER for International Development, Ben Macpherson, will be joining some of Scotland’s finest musicians and poets in Africa at Lake of Stars Malawi Arts Festival, taking place from Friday 28 – 30 Sunday September 2018.

Mr Macpherson will be attending the festival, as part of a wider trip to Africa, where poet Michael Pedersen of Neu! Reekie!, rising pop star Be Charlotte and Scottish Album of the Year Award nominee, Kobi Onyame, will be performing, alongside rising local stars such as George Kalukusha and poet, musician and actor, Lily Banda.

In celebration of their 15th anniversary Lake of Stars are expanding their partnership of more than five years between Scottish and Malawian through a residency programme and showcase of Scottish artists. Supported by Creative Scotland the exchange will connect vibrant artists from the Scottish music and poetry scenes with some of the most talented artists from Malawi, allowing them to develop, record and perform new material together, leading to new creative works and new exposure for artists from both countries.

Minister for International Development, Ben Macpherson, said: “Live music and music events are not just important culturally but also provide a significant boost to the country’s economy. That is as important for Malawi as it is for Scotland.

“Scotland’s festivals are world leading and to be able to share and develop talent is a huge opportunity. To build creative collaborations as well as diplomatic relationships, create new friendships and use music to build a bridge between Scotland and Malawi in this way.

“Culture must be at the very heart of Scotland’s development and engagement with the world and these artists and musicians now have a unique opportunity to build lasting partnerships that can inspire others in Malawi and in Scotland.”

Alan Morrison, head of Music at Creative Scotland, commented: “Lake of Stars is one of Africa’s most respected arts festivals, attracting performers and visitors from across the globe. Our support enables Scottish artists not only to showcase but also to collaborate with artists from the African continent.

“Following up on online exchange with the Malawian artists, Michael Pedersen and Be Charlotte will rehearse and record while at the festival, culminating in the release of new work, and exposing each artist to new audiences and industry professionals.

“We’re pleased to support this cultural exchange through our Open Project Fund, while Kobi Onyame’s performance in the Lake of Stars programme is supported through Creative Scotland’s partnership with PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund.”

Michael Pedersen, of Neu! Reekie!, said: “Lake of Stars is a fertile breeding ground for fast flowing ideas and collaborations without even trying. To be dropped into built for purpose environment, on site in Malawi, that is rich with momentum and creative support, alongside such a wide variety of skillsets, proffers limitless leaps forward for us all. Let the Malawian / Scottish creative romance begins.”


About Lake of Stars

Lake of Stars was established in 2003 to encourage international tourism to Malawi, taking inspiration from events like WOMAD and Glastonbury. The project uses cultural tourism to generate revenue and exposure for Malawi. The project was born from a desire to raise money for a developing economy, help promote Malawi as a tourist destination and expose Malawian artists to an international audience.

Lake of Stars takes place in Malawi – known as ‘the warm heart of Africa’ – and celebrates a particular cultural exchange between Malawi and Scotland. Young Fathers, Stanley Odd and Michael Pedersen are among the Scottish acts who have performed at the festival to date.

The collaboration builds on the legacy of the Lake of Stars Glasgow festival in March 2018 which featured performances from Scott Hutchison (Frightened Rabbit), Glasgow’s Auntie Flo and Michael Pedersen (Neu! Reekie!) alongside M.anifest (Ghana), Faith Mussa (Malawi), Bongeziwe Mabandla (South Africa), Wezi Heartsound (Zambia), Zathu (Malawi).

About Michael Pedersen (Neu! Reekie!)

Michael Pedersen is a Robert Louis Stevenson Award winner, a John Mathers Trust Rising Star of Literature, a Canongate Future 40 and a Callum McDonald Memorial Award finalist. He has two chapbooks under his belt and two collections, published by Polygon books – his most recent illustrated by Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit. In 2010, Michael co-founded the prize-winning literary collective Neu! Reekie!, which, has produced many shows (in Scotland and internationally) and birthed a burgeoning publishing house and micro record label.  Find out more:, twitter and Facebook

About Be Charlotte

Dundonian singer-songwriter, Charlotte Brimner, also known as Be Charlotte, recently signed a major deal with Columbia/ Sony music. Be Charlotte recently performed at Dundee’s 3D Festival in celebration of the opening of V&A Dundee. Charlotte is widely regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in Scottish contemporary music. Her song writing prowess and impeccable vocals have led to international tours of the US and South East Asia. The bands pop melodies, inventive use of instruments and digital composition combine to create a unique and captivating sound that has seen Be Charlotte pick up various awards. Find out more:, twitter: and Facebook

About Kobi Onyame

Glasgow based hip hop artist Kobi Onyame has independently released three albums, including GOLD which saw him nominated for 2018 Scottish Album of the Year Award. The album also picked up the Best Album award in the inaugural Infinitime Music Awards in Glasgow.

Onyame has performed at various festivals including Glastonbury, T in the Park, RockNess and has received support from the likes of BBC Radio 1, 6 Music, 1Xtra and BBC Radio Scotland. Onyame was awarded the regional MOBO Award Unsung winner in 2012 and shortlisted amongst MTV New Artists to Watch in the same year. Since then he has gone on to be listed amongst artists to watch by BBC Radio Scotland DJ Vic Galloway, Jim Gellatly, youth online platform SB.TV, The List. He has opened for artists including Kanye West, Nas, De La Soul and Wu Tang Clan. Find out more:, twitter and Facebook

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

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