Category Archives: Interviews
Check out our interview section, where we get up close and personal with Artistes,fashion designers, celebrities and iconic individuals within the Afro-community.
Interview with Malaysian R&B singer Dasha Logan
Meeting Dasha Logan, you get that instant impression of a soft-spoken, next-door-neighbour, almost shy-looking young lady. However, once she starts singing, you realise that there is so much energy packed behind her voice, as well as passion! Meet 26 year old Dasha Logan who has caught our attention at Afrocentricity Unleashed and has completely mesmerized us with her almost hypnotic voice(more like sirens beckoning to sailors lost at sea).
Dasha`s musical style can be described as eclectic since it amalgamates genres like Soul, RnB, Neosoul, and Jazz to create a very mature and passionate blend of music. Trust me guys, you want to listen to Dasha while lounging at the end of a hard day`s work, running through the park, walking your dog…EVERYTIME ACTUALLY!
Please enjoy our interview as we get up close and personal with the incredible Soul and RnB singer, Dasha Logan.
Afrocentricity unleashed: We would like to say a big thank you for honouring our invitation to this interview session Dasha.
Dasha Logan: My pleasure! Thank you for having me!
Afrocentricity unleashed: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Dasha Logan: Well, HI! I’m Dasha and I’m a singer/song writer
Afrocentricity unleashed: Where did you grow up and what was it like?
Dasha Logan: I grew up in a little island in Malaysia called Penang. It was a blast growing up by the sea!
Afrocentricity unleashed: You grew up in a musical family since your grandmother was a singer, and your dad as well as your Uncle David were members of the late 70s/early 80s group called The Alleycats. How did these influences affect your resolve to go into singing professionally?
Dasha Logan: My father was always performing around and outside Malaysia and we (my mother, brother and I) always watched him when we could. This made music a very big part of my life. Watching my father practice and perform was always my favourite thing to do. This made me want to sing as well from a very young age and I always knew that I wanted to be a singer.
Afrocentricity unleashed: When would you say your professional musical career finally started and what signified the beginning of this realisation?
Dasha Logan: I pin-point the beginning of my professional musical career when I could charge for my profession, that happened when I was 18 and sang at my very first wedding as a wedding singer.
Afrocentricity unleashed: Did you experience stage fright at the early stages of your career?
Dasha Logan: Yes very much so.
Afrocentricity unleashed: Could you give us a scenario where you experienced stage fright, how it felt for you, and how you overcame it?
Dasha Logan: When I was 14 I took part in a singing competition in a shopping mall. Just as I got up on stage and began to sing, I looked up and saw hundreds of people looking down, watching me sing. Even though I managed to finish the song, I got off stage shaking and telling my family that I didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t do it! And I didn’t want to do it anymore. I was overwhelmed with the fear of embarrassing myself. I had decided to quit singing.
2 years later, it was my mother who helped me start singing again. We were at another shopping mall that was coincidentally holding a talent competition. She secretly signed me up and when the time came, I heard my name being called to stage. Nervous, but not wanting to embarrass myself by avoiding the call, I walked up on stage and sang “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera. It was exhilarating being on stage and have everyone (which included some friends from school who were in the crowd) cheer for me. I won, but it was not the prize that got me singing again. It was how happy it made me to sing out loud, to a crowd of people.
Afrocentricity unleashed: How would you describe your musical style?
Dasha Logan: it’s quite a mix of everything, as I have been influenced by many kinds of music. But mostly I like writing songs with an RnB feel, some soul and a little jazz when I can.
Afrocentricity unleashed: Who are your musical inspirations and influences?
Dasha Logan: My music influences are the likes of Esperanza Spalding, Bruno Mars, Amy Winehouse, John Legend and my father, Loga.
Afrocentricity unleashed: How would you say the journey has been leading up to now?
Dasha Logan: There have been lots of up’s and down’s. Some think that being in the musical business is just about performing, but it’s not. There’s so much work and passion and emotion put into it. It is not easy, but it’s worth it.
Afrocentricity unleashed: Have you released any singles or albums so far?
Dasha Logan: Yup!
Afrocentricity unleashed: I believe your fantastic single “Cleverly” produced by Triple O Productions( Twitter : @osmoojak) was released on the 12th of October. What does this single mean to you and how do you feel about it?
Dasha Logan: Cleverly is the first single from the forthcoming album and it feels exactly like I thought it would. I am over the moon, cant-believe-it’s-happened excited! And more than anything, it inspires me to write and sing and compose more for more albums to come.
Afrocentiricy unleashed: I am sure some of your fans, our readers and prospective fans would absolutely love to know where and how to purchase your music online. Can you advise anyone interested on where to go and download Dasha Logan`s music?
Dasha Logan: You can find the tunes on iTunes via this link https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/cleverly-feat.-paul-johnson/id924014418
Afrocentricity unleashed: Do you have any gigs, shows or performances in the U.K or elsewhere anytime soon that your fans, our readers and prospective fans can look out for?
Dasha Logan: I have some shows in Malaysia coming soon. Best way to follow me while my web site is being built is to visit my blog: www.dashalogan.blogspot.com
Afrocentricity unleashed: I am sure some of our readers will like to connect with you on social media i.e. facebook, twitter and the like. Can you provide your fans, our readers and prospective fans with your facebook fan page, twitter handle and other ways they can connect with you online?
Dasha Logan: Here you go!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dasha-Logan/60022910933
Twitter :Follow @dashalogan
Afrocentricity unleashed: Dasha, we at Afrocentricity unleashed are grateful to you for honouring our invite to this interview, and squeezing us into your already tight schedule. We are in no doubt that you have a successful career ahead of you, and we wish you the very best of luck.
Dasha Logan: Thank you so much for having me! Always a pleasure!
Enjoy the video of Dasha`s latest single “Cleverly” featuring Paul Johnson
Click the play button on the soundcloud page below to enjoy Dasha Logan`s single “Cleverly”…a definite chart-buster! Enjoy and share!
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Interview With Award-Wining African Fashion Designer Zekaryas Solomon
Zekaryas Solomon is an Eritrean-born fashion designer. Having studied Architecture, Design and Art, he spent a few years working within his discipline whilst developing a strong passion for fashion design. This passion led to him studying at the London College of Fashion. Zekaryas Solomon draws his inspiration from his Eritrean heritage; hence the modification of traditional attires into more modern and trendy styles.
We consider Zekaryas Solomon`s designs as highly conceptual, futuristical and artistically-sartorial fashion lines made up of individually tailored, Prêt-a-Porte garments for men and women. Every piece of garment is characterized by simplicity, originality, and above all, VERSATILITY.
Afrocentricity unleashed caught up with Zekaryas Solomon.Enjoy the interview 🙂
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Firstly, I would like to say it is a great pleasure to have you here and thanks for squeezing us into your already busy schedule.
Zekaryas Solomon: Thank you so much for your interest, and affording me the chance to explain about myself.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Could you please tell our readers who Zekaryas Solomon is?
Zekaryas Solomon: I am a guy who was born in Eritrea and spent most of my formative years growing up in Germany. I have a very strong perfectionist professional side, tempered with a very soft fun-loving humorous nature which stands me in good stead for the demands of my chosen profession.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: What was growing up like?
Zekaryas Solomon:To be honest, it was quite tough growing up in Germany, coming from Eritrea.The culture and language were so different that it was quite a challenge; then again I was really lucky to be given the chance to have an excellent education, and to study architecture in a country known for its excellence in this field.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: How did you get into the fashion industry considering your background was in architecture?
Zekaryas Solomon: It certainly wasn’t the normal route that most aspiring designers would have taken. I had always had a love for fashion and so I decided to take a short course in menswear pattern cutting, just to make sure that if I applied for the degree course, it was going to be the route I wanted to follow.
I enjoyed it so much that I applied at the London College of Fashion with mainly my architecture portfolio and some fashion sketches. One of the questions in the interview was: “Mr Solomon, you are an architect, why do you want to study fashion since there are so many fashion designers out there?” My answer was “Yes I am an architect with a passion for fashion; I want to bring both backgrounds (i.e. architectural & traditional backgrounds) together to create modern and futuristic garments”. I believe I explained my concepts and vision so well that they understood, given my limited experience with pattern cutting and garment technology.
Afrocentricity Unleashed:: How has the road been from then leading up to now?
Zekaryas Solomon:It’s been a whirlwind…fast! A bit like driving a Ferrari in pole position(Laughs). After graduating in 2010, I have produced three bespoke collections and am working on my fourth, with a ready to wear collection as well.
Afrocentricity Unleashed:: Your designs are very unique and I have to say I absolutely love the baggy-styled pants. What inspires these (and other) designs?
Zekaryas Solomon: My designs, especially the baggy trousers are a marriage of my traditional and professional backgrounds. The design is similar to traditional Eritrean wedding attire, which I have re-constructed with a modern architectural cut and details like military style buttons.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: We recently met at the Beffta 2012 awards where you bagged the Best Male Designer of the year award for the second year running. How did that feel for you?
Zekaryas Solomon: It was certainly an honour to be nominated and win twice as it showed me that people are aware of what I am doing, which is not easy in the very competitive world of fashion. When they announced that I was the ‘winner’ at the just concluded Beffta awards 2012, my knees were so weak and shaky that I had to call on the strong side of me to get up and graciously receive the award. Once up on stage, when I saw how many people there were, it really hit home and I genuinely felt fabulous.I could not have imagined being selected as one of Africa’s Top 10 designers, then winning two best menswear designers awards within two weeks. These honours have certainly inspired me and helped with me realising my future plans.
Afrocentricity Unleashed:: So there was a second award, right?
Zekaryas Solomon: Yes just two weeks after winning the BEFFTA award, I was nominated for Menswear Designer of the Year 2012 for Fashion Finest. I really couldn’t believe it when I won again. I am really so grateful to my family, friend, clients and fans for believing in me and for all their support. And last but most definitely not least to God for his guiding hand.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Where can our readers view your range of designs?
Zekaryas Solomon: For now everyone can find my designs
We are working on the new website to be launched in 2013, which will incorporate an online shop, and some new exciting sections. You can keep up to date in the meantime with my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/zekaryas.solomon
Afrocentricity Unleashed: What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Zekaryas Solomon: The only thing I would love to say is believe in yourself have passion, and be prepared for all kinds of challenges.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Do you have anything to say to our readers, your fans and clients out there?
Zekaryas Solomon: Oh yes, I want to say again and again THANK YOU for believing in me and giving me the strength to succeed with my everyday challenges. I would not be here where I am today without everyone’s support. God bless you all.
Afrocentricity Unleashed : Zekaryas Solomon, Afrocentricity Unleashed is very grateful to you for honouring this interview. We wish you the very best in your endeavours, and look forward to having you back here in the future
Zekaryas Solomon: Likewise I feel honoured to be asked for an interview and delighted that you wanted to share a little about me with your readers.
LOOK OUT FOR ZEKARYAS SOLOMON’S 2012/13 FASHION COLLECTION UNDER OUR REVIEW CENTRE VERY SOON!
Interview with Afrobeats Artiste Radical 77
Radical 77 is a conscious Afrobeats artiste who has a unique style of Afro-rap. He has been on the scene for a few years and even though he is not as popular as a lot of other afrobeats artistes, his message of unity, fair society and cooperation are quite clearly stamped on his style of music. This is quite unique within a genre fast loosing what it orginally stood for, as dictated by the icon of Afrobeats, the great Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Afrocentricity unleashd caught up with Radical 77 to get up, close and personal. Enjoy 🙂
AU: Can i start by saying thanks for honoring our invitation to this interview session at Afrocentricity Unleashed.
Radical 77:Thanks for hosting me.
AU: For the benefit of our readers, who is Radical 77 and how did you get that name?
Radical 77 : Okay, I’m Radical77 not a typical one aka Olaonipekun Olabode Osoba,and the Radical came from my mum due to my way of seeing things differently and standing my ground, from my childhood.
AU: Tell us what growing up was like?
Radical 77: Growing up wasn’t that easy in Lagos and the UK as my family experienced some unsettled life,but life is really beautiful and it entails a lot of ups and downs which really shaped me into who i am today; my lyrics potrays that.
AU: When did you start your musical career?
Radical 77: That’s a bit hard to explain. I started out as a poet performing before fellow school mates. I later performed at different events both in Nigeria and here in the UK.About 4yrs ago,
a professor at my unversity encouraged me to try rap, as my style suits can be likened to more consious-styled rap.
AU: So how has the journey been so far?
Radical 77: I really thank God since my journey has been awesome, and i consider myself blessed.i can’t deny the effect of God and my Fans on my career since I started making it in the industry approximately 2 years ago.
AU: Your style of Afrobeats is very unique since it includes a blend of the Yoruba language. How would you describe your style to our readers?
Radical 77: My style is Afro Hiphop and straight hip hop. I sing for the people; it’s mostly about the lyrics ,the catchy hooks and the message i intend to deliver
AU Your shows have been known to be well attended, and it also cuts across a lot of social barriers.What is the secret behind this?
Radical 77:It’s always By God’s Grace and i always get to know the fans i’m performing for before going on stage; that then determines the tracks i perform. For instance, before my western fans i would perform more of my western Oriented work and would do more of my afro beat before my afro fans.
AU:You performed at the last “crack ya ribs” comedy show in Glasgow which was a huge success with the social media going riot. How was that for you?
Radical 77: That was a great achievement i have to admit. The crowd was huge and i made my fans go wild.
AU:Do you have any albums or demos in the offing at the moment which our readers can check out or buy?
Radical 77: Yes I’ve released 5 Singles which can be accessed via,www.hulkshare.com/Radical77, www.soundcloud.com/Radical77 and www.reverbnation.com/Radical77.
AU: And do you have Social media links i.e Facebook, twitter and the like?
Radicall 77: My Artiste page www.facebook.com/Lyricalradical77 and follow me on Twitter @radica77 andTwitter @Bygracerecords
AU: Radica 77 it has been a pleasure to have you on our couch.We do wish you very best in your music career.
Radicall 77:Really appreciate!Iit’s been really good fun lounging and chatting with you. Thanks a lot.
Interview with Yejide Kilanko, Author of Daughters Who Walk This Path
Daughters Who Walk This Path depicts the dramatic coming of age of Morayo, a spirited and intelligent girl growing up in 1980s Ibadan who is thrust into a web of oppressive silence woven by the adults around her. It’s a legacy of silence many women in Morayo’s family share. Only Aunty Morenike—once protected by her own mother—provides Morayo with a safe home, and a sense of female community which sustains Morayo as she grows into a young woman in bustling, politically charged, often violent Nigeria (http://penguin.ca) Afrocentricity Unleashed caught up with Yejide Kilanko, the author of Daughters who walk this path. Enjoy!
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Can I start by asking (for the benefit of our readers), who is Yejide Kilanko?
Yejide Kilanko: I’m a poet, short story writer, novelist and Social Worker in children’s mental health. I currently live in Ontario, Canada with my family. My debut novel, Daughters Who Walk This Path, was published by Penguin Canada in April 2012.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: What was growing up like?
Yejide Kilanko: I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria as the first of five children. My father, a retired university professor, shared with us his love of books and scrabble. So, I fell in love with words at a very early age. I subsequently spent six years at boarding school in Onitsha, a city located in the eastern part of the country. I’m very thankful for that experience and the friends I made.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: When did you develop your passion for writing?
Yejide Kilanko: I started writing poetry at the age of 12. It was the best way I dealt with the angst of growing up in very uncertain times. As a Political Science undergraduate at the University of Ibadan, I wrote for two student press organizations.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Were there any authors or books you particularly liked while growing up?
Yejide Kilanko: A lot of the books I read came from the African Writer’s Series and from these, the works of Buchi Emecheta, Cyprian Ekwensi and Ama Ata Aidoo, really made me think about issues relating to gender roles and societal expectations. I also read a lot of the books from Macmillian’s Pacesetters Series. In my teenage years, I started watching and reading plays. Zulu Sofola’s Wedlock of The Gods and Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Bansi is Dead are favourites.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Your new book “Daughters Who Walk This Path” has received a lot of positive and some negative reviews locally and internationally with regards to the portrayal of ills of the Nigerian society. What do you have to say about this?
Yejide Kilanko: I’ll like to say that I’m delighted that people are reading Daughters. It’s every writer’s dream. One thing all Nigerians, can all agree, is that there’s lots of room for improvement in our society. For that change to happen, we need to have ongoing, meaningful conversations. That I can be a little part of making these conversations happen, is an honour.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Would you say the issue of child abuse and the abuse of women is still a prevalent issue in Nigeria in the 21st century, or could we play safe and stick to a more comfortable fictional explanation?
Yejide Kilanko: I definitely think that women and child abuse is still a big problem in Nigerian society. I know many people who have been affected and I’m not alone. While Daughters is a work of fiction, it does present an accurate picture of current events.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Would you say male chauvinism is highly prevalent in the African and Afro Carribean society?
Yejide Kilanko:I do think that male chauvinism is highly prevalent in African and Afro Caribbean societies
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Why would you say this?
Yejide Kilanko: From what I know, African and Afro Caribbean societies are mostly patriarchal in nature. In my opinion, this only supports environments where male chauvinistic beliefs thrive.
Afrocentricity Unleashed:In your opinion, what do you think the government, Non-governmental organizations or Charity bodies can do to rehabilitate children or women who are or have been subject to abuse?
Yejide Kilanko: To me, the use of the word rehabilitation, suggests that children and women who have experienced physical or sexual abuse are somewhat responsible for their situation. I don’t think that’s the case. What they need is unflinching support from their families. Relevant services from NGOs working with that population. It’s also important that law enforcement personnel and judiciary, protect and provide opportunities for to seek redress.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: So besides writing potential bestsellers, what are Yejide`s pastimes?
Yejide Kilanko: I love to sing and usually listen to music while I write. I also like to cook. I find the whole process of chopping and stirring, very relaxing.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: What food do you like preparing the most?
Yejide Kilanko: My favourite dish to cook is spicy jollof rice. My kids who love to eat it, call it red rice. They’ve told me to open a restaurant.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Is there any book in the pipeline which your ardent readers can possibly look forward to?
Yejide Kilanko: My second novel is all written and due for publication in 2014. I’m currently researching a third.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: What is your best advice for aspiring writers like yours sincerely? (Yejide laughs at this point)
Yejide Kilanko: Read, read, read. Read books across different genres. You’ll learn a lot. A writer is someone who writes so don’t be afraid to put something down even if it doesn’t sound right. You can worry about fixing the sentences later. Don’t give up on yourself before you even begin. Seek feedback about your work. Don’t let it crush you. Practice does make better. Keep writing even when you want to give up. Remember to enjoy the process. Remind yourself daily why the heartache of writing and seeking publication is all worth it.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Can your readers connect with you on any of the social Medias i.e facebook, twitter and the like?
Yejide Kilanko: I have a website http://www.yejidekilanko.com/ You can find me on facebook as https://www.facebook.com/YejideKilanko.
I’m also on (Twitter @YejideKilano)
Afrocentricity Unleashed: On a final note, is there anything you would like to say to your readers out there?
Yejide Kilanko: Thanks for your support. It really makes all the difference.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: Yejide, Afrocentricity Unleashed would like to wish you best of luck in your career and earnestly look forward to another opportunity to discuss with you when your new book is published.
Yejide Kilanko: Thank you for having me and I look forward to coming back in the future.
Afrocentricity Unleashed: We look forward to having you back. Thanks again.
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