“Music has the power to move us and to change us. Yet today’s music mostly does not seem to have the same earth-moving, society-shaping effects as that of the past. Much rarer are the antiwar sentiments of composers like Bob Dylan of the USA. The anti-apartheid and government-challenging lyrics of musicians like South Africa’s Miriam Makeba and Nigeria’s Fela Kuti have largely been exchanged for party-hard, live-the-rich-life lyrics.” – according to United Nations
In today’s digitised world, music has become an even more integral part of our lives: we listen to it on our drive to work, when we go to parties, while we study, when we exercise, and in so many other settings. Yet in the most critical times, when the need arises for activism to bring down much needed societal change, we see fewer taking to the streets with picket signs which bear profound lyrics from the songs of the day. In a generation of musicians focused on feel good and party music, Stonebwoy towers above his peers. The Afro-dancehall, Afrobeats, Afro-pop and reggae superstar is well known for his inspirational songs, focusing on good governance, poverty eradication, and spreading good cheer through positive messages with even more delightful melodies.
If ever there was a time when the world needed musicians like Stonebwoy, that time is now. 2020 has proven itself to be one of the most bizarre and tragic years in recent history, with tragedy and grief sweeping across the globe and its continents unendingly. From the truly horrific COVID-19 pandemic which forced countries to shut borders and order lockdowns, to protests against police brutality in the USA and Nigeria, among many other sufferings, the atmosphere has never been more prime for messages of hope and positivity.
His most recent studio album- Anloga Junction, which was released during COVID time, was warmly received by a severely ravaged world with messages from songs such as “Strength and Hope” – a vibrant prayer which reminds listeners to keep faith and not despair even in the midst of adversity when all seems lost. Indeed, the message from this song resonated so well that Stonebwoy was called upon to perform it for the COVID time virtual concerts organised by global powerhouses such as Billboard, the African Day Benefit Concert hosted by Idris Elba, “Bathroom Sessions” organised by Clash Magazine to help Water Aid UK in their fight against the gobal pandemic.
Columnist: Gerrard Israel
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