Conscious music, especially with relations to Africa, has always been a mainstay in the music industry. More and more new artistes are springing up, drawing attention to the problems ravaging the continent, offering hope, political education and pushing for organising through their songs. Introducing UK-based Nigerian singer Crówn, (born David Adekiyesi), who is pushing this message in his newly released single Africa Unite.
Produced by CallieMajik, the single is off his forthcoming debut EP Humanity out in the summer, a bubbly soca Afrobeat tune that begins with an energising speech from Nigeria’s former Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Frustrated about the lack of unity amongst African nations was the inspiration behind making the song.
”People may not want to hear this but Africa is still a divided nation and some percentage of that is not our fault, but the fault of those who oppressed us.” Crówn says, ”this was the way I could express this frustration.”
From Nigerian Christian home, Crówn joined the choir as his mother was also a member, which helped him shape his interest in music, teaching himself how to play drums, piano and the talking drum (gangan). Influenced by the liberation sounds of Majek Fashek, Fela Kuti and masked singer Lagbaja, Crówn’s songwriting did not start until 2018 when he wrote his debut song Fe’ Olosho, ”Ever since then I couldn’t see myself doing something else so seriously other than music.” Crówn tells.
Other singles include She Be Bae and Go Down Low released in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Africa Unite is only a precursor to Crówn’s upcoming 5-track Humanity EP, which will explore inequality, corruption, sexism, police brutality, pride, racism and division. With this body of work, Crówn appears to be shifting away from the party dance tracks that marked his early foray into music, going for weightier political themes.
Against the backdrop of so much civil unrest in Africa (#ENDSARS, protests in Uganda, Congo, Senegal etc), Crówn is reawakening our consciousness as we fight for liberation.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.