If you got bored and suddenly decided to take a trip to Namib Desert, you might get to hear Toto’s Africa while walking on the sand dunes. That is if you come across the speakers installed in the vast world of sand.
In tribute to the soft rock classic, Namibian artist Max Siedentopf installed a sound system in the coastal Namib Desert, which plays the song, Africa, in a loop forever—Well, maybe until the device wears down or becomes buried in a sand storm.
Africa can be considered a timeless hit from the ’80s. It was composed by the American rock band, Toto, with lyrics written by band members, David Paich, and Jeff Porcano.
The song was recorded in 1981 and released in 1982 for the band’s fourth studio album. It portrays of a man’s love for Africa with repeating lines of “I bless the rains down in Africa.”
Paich said the initial idea of the song came after he watched a documentary about the terrible suffering and death in Africa. He was appalled and moved about the documentary that he cannot get the images out of his mind.
The track was very popular, it climbed the top of US Billboards in 1983 and received quadruple platinum. The almost five-minute song has still retained its popularity throughout the 21st century. It was used in popular television shows such as Stranger Things and South Park and was reference to various internet memes. It also became the most streamed song in 2017 with more than 440 million views and YouTube.
In an interview with the BBC, Siedentopf said he wanted “to keep Toto going for all eternity.” He added the move was to “pay the song the ultimate homage and physically exhibit ‘Africa’ in Africa,”
The 27-year-old artist chose a spot in the Namib Desert to set up six speakers. The speakers were attached individually on six white pillars forming a circle while in the middle is another pillar with an MP3 player holding the song.
The Namib Desert may be considered the oldest desert in the world. It stretches over 2,000 kilometers and has endured arid to semi-arid conditions for about 55-88 million years. The desert contains some of the driest areas in the world.
The installation is geared to survive the extreme climate in the area It is also powered by solar energy to ensure the song would play for eternity.
“Most parts of the installation were chosen to be as durable as possible, but I’m sure the harsh environment of the desert will devour the installation eventually,”Siedentopf