THE YAMEN BACKSTORY
The story of Drummr Africa’s collective music project, Yamen Yamen , began in October 2021 when Drummr Africa’s Creative Director, John Eni-ibukun (“June Sometimes…) met with Nigerian-French music producer and music artiste, Sir Bastien for the first time in the Nigerian ancient city of Ibadan. The duo took a short car ride through the city, and eventually ended up in a small bar within its university campus. Both June and Sir Bastien dreamily shared ideas about art and the music business.
Sir Bastien then told June about a music project he had worked on with a friend, Bash the Piper. He said the project was still quite undone, and that he wasn’t so sure about releasing it as a project because the songs on it were “too alternative”. He shared a soundcloud link of the project with June. It was titled Yamen Yamen, and contained five songs. Sir Bastien then suggested that perhaps June could release the project though Drummr Africa. June listened, and of a truth, they were very alternative songs – the kind of songs Drummr would love to “carry on her head”.
Roll the clock forward a bit to December the same year. “June, Sometimes…” had been having music business conversations with a young Nigerian music business practioner whose name is Sampson Malachy. Sampson is co-founder of a Distribution company named Maxtreme Inc, and he wanted his Distro to partner with Drummr Africa to create and distribute a music project organically. June remembered Yamen Yamen and it was a case of the universe aligning!
To make the project more expansive, “June, Sometimes…” began to reach out to other promising emerging artistes from within the African continent and its diaspora whom he had met and was very conversant of their arts and sure of their personalities; they also were artistes who had goals that align with that of Drummr, and who have in one way or the other built a solid relationship with the brand. He was asking them to submit songs “for a music and art collective project”. Most of the artistes cosigned. At the end of the curatorial process, 15 songs were picked for the music project, with fourteen artistes representing eighth African countries and four from the diaspora being a part of it.
YAMEN YAMEN – A COLLECTIVE MUSIC AND ART DIGITAL PROJECT
“Yamen Yamen” is Drummr Africa’s Collective Music and Art project. The Music project features artistes from across the African continent and is curated, created and driven by young African visual artists, music executives and music journos. Through the music side of the project, artistes sing songs of love, lust, heartbreak, rest, relaxation, loneliness, and growth… stories told in vulnerability.
The project in itself creates a space for young Africans to explore these themes and how they resonate in their own personal life. With infusions of sounds that create the illusion of a breezy, natural environment where waves overlap one another in liquid state and where birds chirp intermittently, listeners are taken to a spot where relaxation is necessary, and where the lyrical experience must be enjoyed with a calm, restful and optimistic mind. Interestingly, this project was built without the creatives meeting one another physically till its completion. All of the processes were carried out digitally, over the internet.
As a whole, Yamen Yamen is an expansive music and arts digital project that continues to grow organically. Its aim is to serve as a digital media for cultural exchange, youth expression, and as a space for escapism.
THE ARTISTES LINEUP
Yamen Yamen features artistes from various parts of the African continent and artistes who are Africans in diaspora. The list includes:
Sir Bastien – Nigerian/French Origins, Liege (Belgium) based.
Bash the Piper – Nigerian Origin, Lagos (Nigeria) Based.
Kibra – Eritrean Origins, Toronto (Canada) based.
Garey Godson – Nigerian Origins, Berlin (Germany) based.
Malaika Khadijaa – Ugandan/Carribean Origins, Toronto (Canada) based.
Tofa Jaxx & Freeman Kamili – Tanzanian Origins, Dar es Salam (Tanzanian) Based.
Shime Ahua – Nigerian Origins, Abuja/Makurdi (Nigerian) based.
Mau from Nowhere – Kenyan Origins, Nairobi (Kenyan) based.
Essilfie – Ghanaian Origins, Accra (Ghanaian) based.
Naya Akanji – Nigerian Origins, Lagos (Nigerian) based.
ThelastLetter – Zimbabwe Origins, Johannesburg (South African) based.
Seo – Nigerian Origins, Lagos (Nigerian) based.
June Sometimes… – Nigerian Origins, Lagos based.
ABOUT DRUMMR AFRICA
Drummr Africa has been in the business of discovering and promoting emerging African artists for over five years now. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, the digital press channel has been a self-sustaining network and community-driven brand which is widely respected for its approach towards curating and documenting the early stages of creatives’ journeys and representing it in the grander scheme of things in relation to cultural and social periods, in the most organic ways possible.
Find us @drummrafrica on Instagram and Twitter.