by Damilola Jagun
Conscious reggae artsite, African China, says he might have no choice than join his peers on the bandwagon of ‘champagne music’, owing to the fact that his musical style, which talks about societal issues, doesn’t seem to sell any more.
In a recent interview with SUN, he lamented the fact that majority of present day Nigeria music listeners no longer appreciate the kind of conscious music he does; a situation he says has forced him to embrace the new sounds which the public identify more with.
He said, “You know when I dropped Anuboko, someone was like ‘haba! We are tired of this killing thing. Just give us something like sip champagne and drink Moet. I didn’t reply him but unluckily for him, one of my fans did by telling him that he should shut his mouth because Anuboko is talking about issues that are happening today in our country so why is he asking for champagne and Moet. Initially the song was entitled Boko Haram but we had issues with the title so we have to change it to Anuboko because the promo was not working out. However, the lyrics remain the same. I am just going to be doing some experimental on my new singles like the new stuff you call new school; I mean what the youth are used to now which is champagne and Moet. However you will still get that raw African China feel of old.”
Furthermore, African China stated that he ventured into conscious music as a result of his rough upbringing and the challenges he faced while growing up. According to him, the need to send a message to others living in the same conditions is what spurs him to do his kind of music.
“I have to be honest with you, life was very rough and tough for my family. I didn’t grow up like a normal kid. I am not one of those who can proudly say that he went to school. In fact, I have never been in a private school. I was a pupil in schools like elementary or Akara School. Then we carried something like a piece of flat wood called slate and played all day. I am not proud of the fact that I never went to a proper school,” China said.
He added, “However, on the flip side that has contributed in making me who I am today; it has made me a stronger person. The reason why I am saying I am not proud of it is because I need to send a message to others leaving in the same conditions today. I want them to know that they need to hustle and get out of that life by getting an education. That is what I mean when I say I am not really proud of my past life. However I am proud of who I am today and what life has thought me.”