Exclusive Interview with Afrococoa Band
How did you come by your band name?
I came to Belarus almost 8 years ago. I was trying to write a song to show the people where I am from that Africa is not only made of what people usually think the stereotype of Africa that it’s about the jungle, poverty, etc I wanted to show that Africa is a strong continent that has riches has diamonds croups, etc everything that people need in their life.
So I was trying to choose a name for my band that will be connected to something strong I was choosing from different variants so I decided to make a connection with African cocoa because Nigeria.
The places from where I am they love coco they love coffee so I wanted to make sure that people will know that cocoa coffee etc is also from Africa, same as music, same as beat, same as everything that moves the world because the world starts from Africa that’s what I Believe. So like that it became Afrococoa (African Cocoa)
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I discovered it at a very young age. From 9 or 10 years old I remember my parents were playing a lot of traditional Highlife music, mostly Victor Uwaifo. It was one of his songs – Joromi- that really touched my heart.
One day my dad gave me a gift – a CD with Fela Kuti’s music – and that’s what made me start think about music very seriously. When he gave me this gift I went to my room, closed the door and was listening to his music days and nights.
That really touched me that thorough his songs he said the truth about what is happening now, what happened in the past and what is gonna happen in the future.
So it inspired me a lot and it gave me power and I realized that I can do the same thing and I feel the same way and I feel that’s my job as an African son being alive to also preach using my talent and using my abilities as a human being to show my fellow human beings that this is the truth and that’s what is gonna be the truth.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
As u know charity begins at home. Same as my style started from my family from where I was born, my Holy Trinity my Mom and my Dad my sisters my siblings everyone of them.
And when I grew up and could choose to follow what I want as a human being I chose what fits me better and what I feel better – so I decided to create my own environment which is Afrococoa – this is my code and my rule my style and my everything.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
On the First of August, we released our second album – OCJ – Ojea’s Continental Joint. So the concept of it as I mentioned before was taken from my roots.
I was inspired by ACJ – Akute Continental Joint – my mom’s first restaurant that she had when I was a small boy which was located at the front of my house. So I grew up in music, full funhouse, African cultural local settings, I grew up with all these African waves.
This year 2020 with everything that was happening around the world and in Belarus too made me dig dip into my heart, after not being my family for more than 8 years, I decided to go back to my childhood and find this sounds, this memories and bring them to light because I don’t want to forget where I am from
So like this ACJ gave me inspiration to create an album which will preserve all traditions and bring my listener to the environment where I grew up and I mixed the old school traditional African sound(such as highlife, afrobeat) with nowadays popular sound (dancehall, reggae, latino, mombathon etc)
So I called my second album OCJ to commemorate all this and I dedicated it to my family and to my father who clocked 70 years old this year
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
My greatest challenges are my challenges with are literally me, always want to be the best version of myself and always do better than yesterday and make sure my tomorrow will be better than today.
My greatest attribute when it comes to my work ethic is my awareness of the love and passion I have for music that I can work 24/7 leaving the pleasures of life and everything else and doing what I really love just to make sure that people really get this message and me too.
I get this message, my inner Okukus (the world that was created by my dad and means all non-material pleasure and happiness that we create by ourselves for ourselves ) to preach to people that we can really have unity and love.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
Its simple. I am Afrococoa, I do Afrococoa and I am the best in what I do!
What are your plans for the near future?
2020 is the lesson to all we humans that future is faith is hope and now the present its what we control, the past is what we learn from. So I control my present and I learn from my past.
I have faith in my future and I know that I should move bigger every day (there is a frame in Bible “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”)
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
First of all, I would like to thank me for not giving up On me and for always keep pushing and doing everything I believe in. I would like to thank my elders, my family with is not only my blood family, my musical family too, to thank everyone who supports Afrococoa.
How can fans find you?
Afrococoa is on every social media and can find our music is on every streaming platform, Just tap @afrococoa and u will find us and our music.
For those who don’t have internet we spiritually can relate in this life because we don’t need all this internet and telephone to speak and preach the same language and share the same values that we sing about in our songs and which we spreading in our philosophy.
What suggestions do you have for other artist like yourself?
Find your inner happiness, your inner Okukus, never give up always keep and grinding 24/7 even when u partying make sure u working even if u sleeping makes sure u working. If our ancestors could make it, we will make it for sure!