The Make Sierra Leone Famous podcast “How Drizilik Made It From The Academy To The Mainstage of Sierra Leone Music” is out now. Host Vickie Remoe chats with award-winning rapper and afrobeats artist Drizilik whose birth name is Benjamin Menilik George.
In this conversation, Drizilik talks about discovering music in his teens.
“I grew up on Wellington Street. There were a lot of boys and we all loved hip hop. If I start rapping today, a friend would do the same, then another would pick up the next day. Music started like a flu and it spread all around the community.”
After that holiday of discovery, a chance encounter with a music director at a local amateur night gave him entrance to the Balanta Academy of Music. It was at the academy that he honed his craft and met the instrumentalists and vocalists with whom he would later form Freetown Uncut.
Drizilik says his upcoming album Ashobi is an eclectic mix of hip hop and afrobeats.
“I worked with artists, producers, and writers from francophone and anglophone West Africa—this album is a West African’s perspective of the world.”
A radio broadcast with Makeda Cole on #MakeSierraLeoneFamous goes out on Wednesday at 11:00 GMT on Radio Democracy 98.1. Online the podcast is available on Itunes, Spotify, Audiomack, Anchor, and Google Podcast.
Last week’s show featured Makeda Cole, a British Sierra Leonean arts curator. Next week Remoe chats with Haja Myers.
The podcast is made possible thanks to support from brand partners like the US-based air freight company DotBleu which ships packages to Sierra Leone from Washington DC; the DollHouse Boutique a household name for American fashion with stores in Baltimore and Los Angeles, and the Asmaa James Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports girls and women to improve their livelihoods.