Alongside cities like New York, Los Angeles and Houston, the D.C, Maryland and Virginia (DMW) area remains one of the biggest hubs for Africans in the US. It’s one of the reasons the cities feature on any African artist of note’s tours, sometimes even commanding multiple dates. As Burna Boy preaches pan-Africanism, a group of DMV based African artists hailing from Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone have united under the moniker ‘Dafidi The Music Company’ to share an EP tagged Cure.
The artists included in the collective are Laik, Lelo, Ayotemi, Lotus, Wallz, Tobby Drillz, DJ 30-04 and Na’jaii. The project features Bunie, Bobby Cleave, and Lelo as producers, and Santaa shines as a guitarist.
We spoke to one of the artists on each of the tracks to highlight the significance of each of the six tracks to the greater project.
On Too Fine, the vulnerable introduction to the project, Sierra Leonean artist Laik says the record represents the healing process. He said “the Cure explores a way of healing through venturing into deep connections with diverse people through the art of music. Too Fine explores the physical connection stimulated by meeting a woman that inspires you. We know that love heals all.”
Wallz when speaking on Tonight recalls how the song came to be and reminds us to always slow down and take each day as it comes. He says “I remember watching Breaking Bad with Lelo and hearing the lyrics of a 1940’s song. He started singing it over and over, Bunie overheard him and before you know it I heard a crazy beat and started to create this inspired by the magic one moment can bring. Even during such a daunting time, taking life one moment at a time can help ease the struggle.”
Speaking about All I Want, the project’s executive producer Lelo tells the story of the track’s creation saying “Before the pandemic, I made this beat on some Airbnb vibes with Teni. As the team and I were going through a listening session during the pandemic, I reminisced on how this beat was created. Drillz was inspired by the beat but also wanted to balance that and capture enjoying and escaping a desperate situation and a return to when things were normal.”
Uniting as a collective, an approach that was taken by Abuja based artists PsychoYP, Zilla Oaks, Marv OTM and more under Apex Village, has definitely helped the artists leverage off one another’s attention and hopefully for Dafidi The Music Company, it is a similar result.
Listen to the project below.