Groovy Interview : Blitz The Ambassador.
Au mois d’octobre, Blitz The Ambassador était sur Paris pour un concert explosif à la Flèche d’Or ! J’ai eu la chance de pouvoir l’interviewer juste avant son arrivée sur Paris ! Découvrez son interview ci-dessous !
GB: This summer you’ve dropped out a mixtape « The Warm Up » with Nneka, Ty, 20Syl, Sarkodie….which is the precursor of your upcoming album « Afropolitan Dreams ». Are there also great collaborations in this album?
BTA: For the «The Warm Up» mixtape, I try as much as possible to expand the number of people I usually collaborate with, because it was an opportunity for me to try different styles before this album.
«Afropolitan Dreams» is not that heavy, because it is more a personal story and so I am using just very few guests who only work within a story. For example I have a song with Angelique Kidjo, it is a very significant song where I am calling my son and my mother…and Angelique is the perfect feature, she is the voice over the song. In this album I tried my very best to collaborate not just to collaborate because the album is more personal.
GB: For those who doesn’t know, what does it mean to be an Afropolitan today?
BTA: Well…What is beautiful today is that everybody has a definition about the concept. The concept is new and it is just taking shape, it’s an evolving ideal. The definition means, young people of African descendants, who are global; and they are using these global experience when they return home to build a better home….In my opinion this is the essence of being an Afropolitan today. It has a lot to do with styles, fashion, music…arts in general, to create a new African identity.
GB: There’s many more African influences in fashion or music, what do you think about the impact of the African diaspora in the 21st century?
BTA: The African esthetic is becoming popular in general, it only make sense because it has been capped out of pop culture for a long, I mean popular culture even though we have always our style, fashion…It has never crossover into this new modern world, but like anything I believe in what goes around comes around, and now we start to see that the African culture is becoming global and the global style of the world, like the New York or Paris fashion week, but also in literature, fine arts, cinema…there is a new African esthetic.
GB: Do you see yourself as visionary? I mean you collaborate with many artists, you push the movement and give voices to others (« You are a real Ambassador ») and according to Rolling Stones (Germany) your music “Sounds like the future of African Music… ». How do you feel about it?
BTA: Well, you know…I don’t think that you can’t be African and want Africa to gain the prominence that we know it has without being a visionary because it doesn’t exist right now. So, you have to be able to foresee it, to anticipate it and the only people who are able to do that are visionaries.
I always try to remind people or the press or whatever that it is not just me! I alone, I have no power to transform or to bring a new African identity. It is a collection or a collective of artists, musicians, of filmmakers, fashion designers…that are all working to push the movement…and this is how the world will be pay attention.
That’s why they say « a rising tide lifts all boats » and I am one of the boat that is in the water that is on its wave up! I just say i don’t see myself as a visionary but I’m part of many visionaries.
GB: What advice can you give to young afropolitan artists, to live their dreams and push the movement higher?
BTA: I think that you must think of what you are doing art, because it is a big challenge, there is many disappointment and strives. If you know why you are doing it will always keep you aware.
When I started to make music, I knew my goal, since this time my goal has never changed. My goal has to make sure that the African excellence is recognized globally. I can never take a day off! If you know why you do it, nobody will ever stop you and you will never stop yourself either because you will always have this goal in mind.
GB: I heard a lot of time many people saying «Africa is The Future», how do you see the future of Africa in general?
BTW: I’ve heard that phrase a lot…but I would like to rephrase it differently.
I got this song in my album with this phrase which is «Africa’s future is now» because when you talk about «Africa is The Future», you take away the focus of what is happening now …and I want to remind that we are Africa’s future.
What we do now determinates what Africa’s future is going to be. We have to put a lot of work and energy, and not necessarily in what is coming but in something that is happening now! We need to participate actively !
GB: Last questions, if you have to choose between two cities, would it be New York or Accra?
BTW: Of course Accra! I was born there, it is my homeland.
I love New York, New York supplied me in what I am today, it help me to build my sound and my identity but for me it has all began in Accra.
Without Accra, New York would have not been able to do what it did to me. I am always excited about going back to Ghana, and my long term goal is to return home and live there.
Merci Blitz ! Afropolitan Dreams sortie prévue au printemps 2014. On y retrouvera entre autres Angélique Kidjo, Seun Kuti, Nneka, MarceloD2, Oxmo Puccino, Just A Band, Sarkodie, Oum et Amma Whatt.