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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Kojo4eva
Monday, March 28, 2011

Being notoriously early for shows can oftentimes be a detriment. I find myself trying to create interesting ways to pass the time. Every once in a while, however, being early pays off. This was the case a couple of months ago when I was early for a Bondfire event and decided to get a bite to eat at the place next door. That’s where I met Kojo4eva, who was also early, and planned on performing that night. Kojo4eva is multi-genre artist who is part reggae, part R&B, part hip-hop, and comes to the stage with his acoustic guitar in hand (or I guess technically over his shoulder). His music is really beautiful, and meaningful, making it the perfect antidote for a bad day, or simply the perfect way to keep a good day moving. I kept in touch with Kojo4eva and this week I caught up with him to find out more about his music, his connection to the many topics he sings about, and the reason why he isn’t clicking the “like” button on Facebook.

Adam Bernard: Start me off with a little bit of your personal history. Where are you from and how did you come to be a musician?
Kojo4eva: I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. I grew up around music because my entire, and I mean entire, family is musically inclined, but I didn't like doing music when I was a kid. When I got a little older and heard Bob Marley, I was like, I want to do that. So I got a guitar, began teaching myself how to play, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Adam Bernard: It interesting you mention Bob Marley because your music has hints of reggae and R&B in it. Who, or what, have been some of your biggest musical influences, and how would you define your music?
Kojo4eva: I love reggae. The R&B, I think, comes with me being a black person from the south. {laughs} Bob Marley and Wyclef are definitely my biggest influences. I love their music, especially Bob Marley. I think I've heard every song he ever did. It's hard for me to answer the second part of your question because I don't really like genres. Not to try to sound deep or anything, it's just that, I don't know any musician who likes to do solely one type of music all the time.

Adam Bernard: I think one artist people might compare you with is Wyclef. How would you feel about that comparison? In what ways do you feel your work is similar to his, and in what ways do you feel it differs?
Kojo4eva: {laughs} I guess I might have listened to Clef a little to much.  Of course I am/would be honored by it. He's great already. I guess people should ask him because he's the great one, I'm working to get to his status. I just hope if he hears my stuff he doesn't think I'm trying to bite him. Of course he has influenced me, but I still want to add my flavor to music, even though nothing is original. I think it's similar by the eclectisity - even though that's not a word - of it, meaning our voices aren't amazing conventional voices like Stevie Wonder or Musiq, nonetheless we still are good at what we do. I think it differs slightly because of our backgrounds, with him being from Haiti and and growing up in Jersey and me being from down south. Plus, he's a way better guitar player than me. {laughs} I hope people don't see it as a competition. You can love us both!

Adam Bernard: Where might people have heard your music and what are you working on right now?
Kojo4eva: Well, my video, “Rebel,” has been on VH1, C.I.N. channel 73 for Time Warner, Tempo TV, HDnet, NYmusic on channel 25, Mevio.com, TV J and CVM in Jamaica, etc. My new video, “Power of Blow,” will be on the same ones and I'm talking to the program directors at BET and Centric to get it played on those networks, as well. If anybody knows the program directors at MTV and Fuse, get at me! {laughs} My music plays on the radio all over the world, not like Lil’ Wayne and his crew, but hopefully soon. Plus I do shows all over the country and I'm going to London and South Africa this year to perform.

Adam Bernard: That’s exciting! The music you create is very topic driven, and I really like some of the subject you choose to sing about. What about you as a person can people glean from your lyrics?
Kojo4eva: Thanks. I'm all about equality, justice, unity and women {laughs}. If people treated each other fairly the world could really be Shangri-La, or Utopia, or whatever. It could be great and peaceful is my point. And women, do I really need to elaborate on them? Goodness gracious, there is nothing like seeing a gorgeous Black woman with confidence walking down the street on a sunny day, the sun reflecting off her skin. As a Jamaican would say, Lawd av mercy!

Adam Bernard: Where do you hope to take music and where do you hope music takes you?
Kojo4eva: I like this question. I hope to take music to a place it's been before, meaning I hope when people hear my music they are taken to a memory that is very enjoyable to them, or a thought that is serene and fun. I want people to dance when they hear my music and I want people to hear my songs and think/say, “this is the greatest music I've ever heard” and not want to stop playing it. I want music to take me ALL over the world. I hope with music I will have the opportunity to go to every country in the world and to space if there are beings out there. {laughs} I want to spread understanding, peace and love to the world. That's my message and I hope it's conveyed well, received, and practiced by everyone, to everyone.
Adam Bernard: Finally, speaking of love, why are you getting any from Facebook? I hear Facebook trying to shut you down. Why are they hating on you?
Kojo4eva: MAN, I HAVE NO IDEA! It's crazy. I used to have a page with 5,000 friends, which took me some time to get, and I was in the process of setting stuff up to get my music to all of them. Then one day, I tried to login to Facebook and I kept getting a message saying my login and password doesn't work. Of course, I tried to contact Facebook and they ignored me for like three months. Then I got a response one day saying I was soliciting to many people regarding my music and my page has been permanently disabled and there is no changing that decision. So I created a new page and now they won't let me friend or message anyone unless they are my friend. So if you want me to be your friend on Facebook you have to friend me. Facebook is lucky I need them right now. {laughs} Oh yeah, before I forget, I do this this thing called Kojo4eva on the Road, which is a video chronicle of when I travel to different performances around the country and the world because people who like my music said they like it and it makes them feel like they are traveling with me. So everyone check it out on my YouTube and Facebook page and if you want me to shout you out in one of my chronicles just hit me up and I got you. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to be informed and entertained by this interview, I really appreciate it. Peace.

Related Links

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Kojo4eva
Facebook: facebook.com/Kojo4evaa
YouTube: youtube.com/user/AFRICAMOTHERLAND
Contact: Kojo4evaa@gmail.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:26 AM  
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