Introducing Diamond City, a collective of artists proudly representing Sierra Leone.
The collective released their debut EP ‘ Diamond Day’ in April for Sierra Leone Independence Day, to mark a year since the day their debut single, #DiamondTiti was released and trended on Twitter.
IndustryMe caught up with Diamond city to find out more about the collective.
IM: How did you all meet?
DC: Funnily enough it was through social media; a Whatsapp group was created for young Sierra Leoneans and all of us starting interacting with each other and were bantering about making a song.
That banter turned into action when Selenks and Rhe Perrier actually met up and wrote the lyrics to Diamond Titi. We needed a soulful voice on the track so in came J.Lavaly, then whilst in the studio with us, we found Riley Shasheng’s vibe suited something else we were working on.
That something else was Lajila, our first video as a collective. Proof that social media has its positives (and negatives)!
IM:Why do you think its important that collectives like yours exist?
DC: As much as each of us are already individual artists’, forming a collective fuses our individual sounds together to create one sound that represents all of our influences and most of all our country, Sierra Leone. Collectives like ours help to bring out the best in each artist but also create something fresh. Our love for music and Salone (Sierra Leone) and the lack of such representation in the UK brought us together to meet a demand in our community.
As a result, more artists, established and upcoming talents, are coming out of the wood works as Sierra Leonean and proud!
IM: What sets you apart from the other groups out there?
DC: We believe we are the first collective to pioneer the Krio-UK sound that is not restricted to the Salone (Sierra Leone) audience alone; we are creating a global sound that invites other countries into our language and culture.
We are pushing a cultural movement to encourage more Sierra Leonean creatives, young and old, to use our native tongue, Krio, to express themselves.
Even parents are thanking us for making ‘Krio’ an accessible topic at home, whereby their children are asking to be taught the language. That alone makes our collective relevant and necessary.
IM: What do you hope to achieve in 2017?
DC: We want to kick down the doors of UK Afrobeats and get a seat at the table for SL music. We want more people to become accustomed to our ‘Aminata’ ‘Jeneba’ or ‘Kadi’ rather than just ‘Funke’ ‘Anabel’ or Adjua.
Our aim is simple – we want to hear more UK and global Sierra Leonean artists’ in our generation and beyond allow our culture and language to be celebrated through good music. Other countries have infiltrated the market doing so (namely Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania) but we are still lacking.
IM: How do you make sure each person has a chance to shine?
DC: As a collective, each artist has the freedom to create their own music whilst also thinking about ideas etc that would be more suited to our collective sound. Every member has the responsibility to listen out for instrumentals or write lyrics, continually so should an instrumental drop that is suitable for the collective, everyone can put their contributions towards the track. We highly respect each other and give creative license for each artist to express themselves on a track.
To keep up to date with all the latest from Diamond City follow them on all their socials @diamond_cityent