2019 National Entertainment Award winner, Benjamin George is popularly known as DRIZILIK, has been featured in a CNN African Voices Change Maker program.
The choice for the four-time award-winning musician cannot be unconnected to his role played in the Sierra Leone music industry. As one of the pioneers in keeping the industry alive, he is determined to give Salone Music international recognition. He was featured in the music video with the aim of bringing back on stage the lost voices of the industry.
In that seven-minute shot, DRIZILIK condemned the dominance of foreign music and culture; fighting to take over Sierra Leone’s music industry. “It’s time to prove it wrong; to say enough of it that we can no longer allow foreign music and culture to dominate the scene. Am bringing Sierra Leone music back!”
He said when everything went digital, it was all foreign music and that our musicians were not able to break that connection. “Too many musics from around the wide flooded the Sierra Leone Music space and the gap continues to get wider every day.” He said it was then that he realised that his music had to change because he had a story to tell. He said his mission was not to brag about himself but was to represent Sierra Leone at home and abroad. “In my music, I combine lyrics together with traditional instruments so that people can have a sense of ownership of the tracks.”
Speaking on his debut album ‘Shuku Blay,’ he said it was a way of taking Sierra Leoneans back to our culture in the way we talk, dress and even move. According to him, Shuku Blay is a form of a globe, and that to him, holding the shuku blay means ‘he is holding the world.’
By Ishmael Daddys Banguraby