The Power of Change
“1989 is the number, another summer” screamed Chuck D on Public Enemy’s seismic track “Fight the Power”. I remember the energy of that track, and the excitement and energy of the people in the video. The lyrics yelling for change; the words that were challenging the status quo and the frenetic pace of the beat that left you feeling exhilarated.
Right then, I knew music had the power of change. I mean, Public Enemy was talking about the situation in America but it connected with a skinny Black British boy thousands of miles away in London, UK.
Maybe it’s because I’ve always had a sense of standing up to injustice. Where this comes from, truthfully I don’t know. But I do know growing up, I would always defend the kids that got picked on (although I use to do a fair bit of teasing myself). Maybe it was losing my mother at an early age that made me see the injustice of life – who knows?
But I do know reading the autobiography of Malcolm X and also reading about Marcus Garvey helped shape me to know that you can be empowered to make changes for yourself and for your community. You don’t need to wait for anybody else to decide to do it, you can make changes yourself.
Probably that’s why my first rap aged 12 went something like this:
I’m political radical with something to say
Life and worth it if you have to pay
By the colour of your skin and the place you live in
Like South Africa, that country a shame
Coz the Black people don’t have a name
Living in poverty what an audacity
It’s their own country yet they have no say
Loool, you probably can tell how much Public Enemy influence me, right? But the ability to change your circumstance is something I hold dear even back then aged 12. And it is something I’ve carried throughout my life through my music and workshops.
Which is what my music and workshops are about – to inspire personal, social and spiritual change. Whether it’s challenging mind-sets of youth offenders, self-empowerment workshops in schools or making uplifting songs. I’m always bringing through messages of love, empowerment and inspiration.
Like when I put on an arts festival to celebrate the contributions of African and Caribbean migrants to British society. The highlight was a musical of my first album project, “Black Britanyaa – Windrush Vol 2”. What was pleasing was, we bought families together so we had grandma, mum and grandkids all in the same space. The eldest member of the audience was 84 years old and the youngest member was 4 years old – oh and an Olympic champion in the audience as well! But no, seriously, that’s what it is about for me bringing people together and letting them leave feeling entertained and inspired.
Speaking of being inspired, my latest track, Django Untold (what did you think by the way?) was inspired by the Tarantino film, Django Unchained. Now I know there was a lot of furore about the film but I was stirred to write a song on some of the real life Djangoes. Behind the film and the fiction, I researched to uncover the real life stories of Black men and women who resisted enslavement and fought for freedom, and emancipation.
And that’s why I do music, to create songs that make YOU the listener feel something. To feel touched, to feel good music or maybe even empowered to do something.
So much love for connecting with me and coming along this journey. I’m going to continue to make good music from the soul to connect you the listener.
If you’d like to hear the latest piece of my journey, click below to listen to my recent works, “Griots Brew”.
Thanks for listening and making my dream become a reality
Love is Love