It’s been a long time coming. Finally, it is almost here(12.12.16). For a year, fans of rapper Blitz The Ambassador have patiently waited for the release of his fourth studio album, Diasporadical. And on Friday, 4th November at the Space Station (Brazil House), Blitz and AccradotAlt organized an album listening session for fans.
The well attended session opened with Blitz screening his Trilogia short films- Juju Girl, Shine and Running, which tapped into the theme of magic realism. For over three hours, fans interacted with Blitz, watched the short film screening and listened to the 13 track album which Blitz described as the ‘climax of ideas from many years’.
Diasporadical is heavy on the musical elements associated with Blitz-big horns, afro-conscious and political commentaries and a blend classic Hip-hop and Highlife beats. For Blitz, creating the sound for this album was not as difficult as the one for Native Sun- an album whose beats were inspired by the works of Reggie Rockstone and DJ Rab years ago. He attributed his ability to create such sounds for his music to the artistic freedom he enjoys as an indie and also having a band (The Embassy MVMT) that understand what he is about -the band was formed 7 years ago.
The album features artists such as Somi (whom he shared a TEDx stage with), Patrice, Tumi, Akua Naru, Kamau and M.anifest (a childhood friend). For Blitz, having M.anifest on the album is the right thing to do at this time since fans have been clamouring for such collaboration.
Blitz doesn’t force or chase artists for features ‘because they are popular’. He creates music that is ‘organic and leaves a permanent impression on this listener(s)’ whiles underscoring the fact that the current music is important since there must be ‘music for every state of mind.’
The human spirit, benevolence and cultural inter-relationships were points Blitz emphasized on. He cited how with no budget, the residents of Bahia in Brazil extended help to him towards the shooting of his video/film ‘Running’, adding how a lady who owns a restaurant fed the crew for free. Also, the two twins in the video have a Ghanaian heritage via their late father called Ayitey.
Visual representation is very important to Blitz The Ambassador. According to him, the release of this album delayed for a year because he ‘didn’t find the right representation (artwork)’. He also believes the key to sharing and spreading (the) African stories with the rest of the world is through visual representation. As a visual artist and a filmmaker, Blitz considers it prime for Africans to showcase their traditions, cultures and stories to the rest of the world since the synthesis of these ideas could help create a better world.
Diasporadical Trilogia explores the theme of water. He describes the album as ‘fluid’ and offered a philosophical interpretation for that choice: our ancestors were taken (as slaves) over the water and over this water their grand-kids would return ‘home’.
And when asked if this would be his last album so as to concentrate on film-making as he was reported to have said, Blitz pointed out that he will continue to make music if he feels inspired.
My favourite part must have been before the event formally started; Blitz’ son called-in trying to send a video message on Skype. Cute fella.
by: @Swayekidd, @Mannyfbc