Audio

Audio: Junior Freeman's "Dumyarea" is Hipco from Liberia


Our friends over at Africa Is a Country have hipped us to the stirring sounds of Liberia's musical renaissance. A generation of young urbanites is creating new forms of dynamic music including a hip-hop infused genre called "Hipco." One of these new musical pioneers is Junior Freeman, who has taken the oft heard phrase "Dumyarea" and made it the basis for a rollicking populist dance anthem. The term itself is used by sellers in markets to stake their claim on a certain area. Of course the phrase has migrated into everyday use among Liberians. It has become so popular that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf used it to help launch her (yes, Liberia's Prez is a woman!) re-election campaign.

Freeman's song is done in the Gbema style, which is basically like taking some traditional Liberian music and putting it through a digital sieve. While the song has a political tone, don't expect anything to serious or somber. This is a catchy up-beat track that will leave you with a sunny disposition and the urge to turn anything in your immediate area into a drum.  Listen below.


Dumyarea by LiBeat

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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