In this interview with Ugo Aliogo, with Mcdonald Emiantor popularly known as Traidmarc, talks about his new single, forthcoming album and the EndSARS protests and other issues. Excerpt.
As a Nigerian living diaspora, how have you been able to lend your voice to the current situation in Nigeria?
The year 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone with the current COVID-19 situation and the #EndSARS protests in different States. I was made aware of the protest in Nigeria by my fans on Instagram last week. Upon checking the situation I quickly realised that this was something that needed global attention. Frankly speaking, it is shocking to see that in the 21st century protesters can be shot dead in cold blood simply for standing up for their rights. I am saddened by this. I have reached out to my community to try and Bring awareness to this horrible situation, and I have been supporting my fans as well as my brothers and sisters in Nigeria through my social media platforms.
I have written and released a few songs regarding the situation in hope to bring light and awareness to what’s happening in Nigeria currently. I have personally reached out to the founders of Black Lives Matter movement Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, and Patrisse Cullors to use their platform to help raise awareness for the situation in Nigeria. I call on the United Nations, and Amnesty International to look into the crimes committed against humanity and violation of human rights in Nigeria, especially the recent killings and massacre of unarmed innocent civilians in Lagos.
If you were to advise the President on actions to take before the Lekki massacre, what advice will he give?
If I was to offer a word of advice to President Muhammadu Buhari prior to the Lekki toll gate fatalities, I will urge him to listen to the youths. Democracy is all about paying attention to the wishes of the people. I don’t believe that the youths have been given the needed attention.
Why do You Feel the Need to Release a “End SARS” song?
As an artist music is my weapon of choice. Music is a powerful tool when used correctly, so to record and release End SARS right now I think is a great way to reach out to my fans in Nigeria as well as others faced with this incredible challenge of overcoming injustice, police brutality, corruption, and everything else in between, to let them know that they are not alone.
I want my brothers and sisters in Nigeria to know that I stand with them 100% in this struggle for a better Nigeria. Being an underdog what’s upon a time myself, I know the pain and agony they must be feeling right now.
The killing of innocent harmless civilians in Lagos State has only added salt to their wounds and this is unacceptable. People are suffering and crying for help, the worst way possible to deal with their call to end injustice and police brutality is to carry out more brutality on them. End SARS is a record that shows my solidarity for all those in this struggle for freedom.
Apart from Lending your Talent, How have you been able to reach out?
I am constantly supporting my friends in Nigeria both financially and otherwise. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been organising giveaways on my Instagram profile to help support my fans with financial assistance. I know times are hard, and people have been doing it tough in Nigeria out for a long time now. SARS couldn’t have been introduced at a worse time and this has made life a living hell for all my fans in Nigeria. So I am offering more financial support and moral encouragement to help them get through this difficult time. I will be making a few big announcements soon on my Instagram page.
In your forthcoming project Epilog, are there other songs that relates to the current situation happening in Nigeria?
The epilogue itself as a body of work was inspired by a lot of challenges and struggles that I personally went through in my life as a result of injustice, and oppression in society. The album title itself is predicated upon injustice, racism, oppression, inequality, discrimination and police brutality in society. These amongst other things are the issues The Epilog seeks to address. The Epilog talks about significant events in history such as the killing of Emmett Til, the dehumanisation of blacks in diaspora, the privatisation of American prison system and Jim Crow laws; all of which aren’t a far cry from what Nigerian are facing right now.
How many songs should we expect in the album?
There are 24 tracks in The Epilog album. Each track is either a story, personal experience or an exemplification of my current lifestyle popularly known as “Bosslife”.
How long did it take to put this work together?
The Epilog is a decade worth of material. Therefore, the entire album took me 10 years to write. It’s a body of work that I’m incredibly proud of, so I wanted to take my time to finesse it.
Which Nigerian act do you look forward to working with (artiste / producer) and Why?
The Nigerian music industry has grown immensely over the past decade. There are a few artists that I really like and enjoy their music, and working with them would be a delight. The Nigerian artists that I would like to work with are Davido, Runtown, Willie XO, Wizkid, Simi, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Larry Gaga just to name a few. Shut out to every artist doing their thing right now in Nigeria. Just because I haven’t mentioned you doesn’t mean I don’t dig you. It just means that when the Sulstons prophecy comes true and the stars align I’m sure there’s something we can do together.