I feel like kids that grew up in New York City or in L.A. were exposed to all these subcultures and subgenres, whereas I was only exposed to the poppiest of pop music so I never had this negative connotation towards pop music. That's not South African music having an effect on me, but just how international music was filtered through South Africa affected me. It gave me a not-negative connotation towards pop music growing up.
People called rock & roll 'African music.' They called it 'voodoo music.' They said that it would drive the kids insane. They said that it was just a flash in the pan - the same thing that they always used to say about hip-hop.
As far as being an African artist, my inspiration has been the fact that I'm a part of the generation that will put Nigerian African music on a global scale. It's been a long road for us, but I believe we're finally at that point where we can showcase our music to the world and get international recognition.
Symmetria by the Uccello Project is a gorgeous, instrumental and largely unclassifiable record. Best thought of as 'cinematic', each of the tracks conjures up a range of emotions and images, taking the listener on a beautiful journey. The layers of basses, guitars and percussion ebb and flow, drawing on jazz, folk, blues and African music, blending all the elements into one lovely album. Recommended.
Trying to be really dark and alienating just felt exhausting to me, so I started going back to the music that I grew up with, whether it was African music or pop music. It took me away from being overly self-conscious about what I was doing.
As players of instruments, it is our duty to reach out and give light to those in the dark in whatever way that we can. All my actions are a fulfilment of all the African music genres - I'm only trying to maintain the culture and the tradition. I am a musician.
I didn't want to try and borrow kudos from Indonesian culture. I was trying to get a fresh perspective on these instruments. I'm not doing a Paul Simon Gracelands and stealing all this African music and not give anyone any credit.