A2VT (a.k.a. Africa To Vermont) is a group of young African refugees who came to the United States from several war-torn nations. The group’s lyrics interweave weave English with their native languages including Swahili, French, and Mai-Mai (a dialect many Somali Bantu use). The sound is energetic and optimistic, underpinned by a pulsing Afrobeat that invites audiences to get up and dance.

Their latest single “Ghetto” laments the plight of refugees worldwide, who leave behind the turmoil of their homeland for a better life in the West, only to find the grass not necessarily greener there, while at the same time being grateful for the hospitality. “Born in a ghetto, raised in a ghetto, come to America, still feeling ghetto,” sings Jilib, one of the group’s lead singers. “That’s a common experience we have. We leave behind our poverty-stricken country in Africa, only to also find great poverty when we arrive here. It’s a shocking surprise compared to what we were taught about life in America.”

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