Founder of Drum Network Africa CEO: Solomon Elijah.
Back in the day, I used to love watching music concerts on TV but something always put me off while watching those shows; the fake mimes and lip syncing from the artistes. I would always ask myself why they didn’t just do live performances in the real sense of it. After all, people paid money to come watch them ‘perform’ and not lip sync. I mean, we’ve heard the studio version of your song that’s been padded with so much fine tuning and digital accompaniments that made it sound beautiful. How about giving us some real tunes “straight outta you”. Thoughts like these were usually made up for when I listened to the music maestro, Fela and his Egypt 80′ band. His, is what I referred to as real music for the soul. But still, I believed that something could still be done to remedy this situation.
Then last year, I had a talk with Solomon Elijah; popularly known as Soulman Eli, a Mechanical Engineer and Mathematician, who found his passion in making soul fetching music as an Instrumentalist on the drums.
I asked him the reason artistes do not employ the services of instrumentalists on stage instead of lip syncing and he explained, that these instrumentalists end up being short payed and exploited. He sighted an instance where, an artiste could be paid about 5 million Naira for a show but when he/she wants to pay an instrumentalist for performing along side, the pay could range between #30,000 to #80,000. For him; the fact was, artistes do not provide good patronage to these musicians. At the end of the day, it looks like only the artiste makes the music while the core music makers are side lined. This was part of the reason he had started the organisation he called, Drum Network Africa. I was intrigued by the amazing details of this journey he had embarked on since 2011.
In the course of our conversation, I went further to ask him about the objectives of his organisation and he had this to say;
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