The job of artistes often goes deeper than ‘just making melodies’ and having the world dance. Most good artistes have to look beyond the surface, as well as stake a lot including the possibility of rejection from fans and society.
When Belgian sensation, Stromae did the song ‘Fils de joie’, his eyes were closed to what people would say and what the critical reception would be. He was more preoccupied with telling the story from the perspective of the son of a sex worker.
Hozier struck similar chord when he disregarded what you and I would think of him, and went in hard on ‘Take me to church’.
Jovi did same with ‘no peace’. On release, the song was not immediately appreciated by the immediate Anglophone community. But Vizu had his eyes set on wider goals. He was taking the longshot.
Askia too took that path on ‘let’s talk’ and recently, ‘Ngarma’. Those are songs that don’t run out of ‘use’ given the message they pass across.
It is not for no reason that Mr leo suddenly looked back and then dived into the bush. He realised he had been following a track. Not like it was a bad thing, he just believed he would be more fulfilled if he left a trail. Check out ‘Time’, ‘Shalala’, Njong’ and others.
Works like these that span over generations and continue to shape the discourses that regulate or influence decision making processes. More music content we get to consume depicts the society we live in and the realities we encounter.
It would be great to see more music artists change the narrative by painting a picture of the future which they would like to live.
Yet, the fear of rejection or antagonism from those that once hailed the art continues to keep many music artists in their cocoons, understandably so.
Mr Leo was victim. Many called him names but today his prowess hardly has any match.
But you don’t need the Kanye or Dave Chappelle-level boldness to kick out of line. A subtle start often does the trick. Start small, grow big.
– Giyo Ndzi
Cover photo credit: Kruiz Tchouankam, #nofianga