20 Jun A word with Elzo Jamdong; Senegal on the rise.
New to the Africori family and building up to the release of his mix-tape ‘MACINA‘ on pre-order from Friday the 22nd of June, it seemed only right that we all get a little familiar with the Senegalese-born, France-based talent; Elzo Jamdong.
Responding to a few questions posed by Titilope Adesanya, Elzo lets us in on his ambitious goals, love for JLo, the music scene in Senegal and self drive to greatness!
A little peak…
T.A: Tell us about growing up in Senegal and the influence the environment might have had on your music now.
E.J: Senegal is a country where music wasn’t always taken seriously. We have great artists such as Youssou Ndour, Coumba Gawlo etc but the hip hop scene used to always be underrated. Discovering L.A and N.Y rap music as a kid helped me build my personality and learn a lot about Black culture in general. When I first heard Wolof rap it was magic ! I could relate to the lyrics and it made me want to express myself the same way. As I was growing up, Senegalese rap scene was getting more and more influential towards the country youth, especially the militant rappers such as Rap’Adio, and their commitment still influences my current direction.
T.A: The Jamdong group. How was that? (I am wondering if one can assume that helped you adjust easily with you moving to France?)
EJ: We founded the crew while we were geographically separated. That means a strong desire to gather our forces and we managed to make mixtapes and even videos without never being all together ! I think that helped me be able to work with a lot people living far from my position.
T.A: Your 2 cents on the music scene in Senegal?
EJ: The people who have the responsibility to create jobs and make artists get their deserved royalties are not doing the right things that can to change the situation.
T.A: Favourite instrument?
EJ: The Keyboard
T.A: Something about you we would not likely guess
EJ: I’m a Jennifer Lopez die-hard-fan haha !
On the project – MACINA…
T.A: Let’s start simple; what does MACINA mean?
EJ: Macina is the nickname of my grandfather whom I’ve been named after.
T.A: What big dreams do you have for this mixtape?
EJ: Reaching some millions views, some hundreds of thousands streams and filling at least 5 stadiums in Senegal and couple of smaller showcases in Europe, the U.S and America. Actually it’s more a goal than a dream!
T.A: One experience while making this project that you are not likely to forget?
EJ: I lost my telephone with many freshly written lyrics and I really felt broken. Then I thought it’s a sign I have more to share than those lost notes. And I’m proud I got over it !!!
T.A: Break the project down for your English fans.
EJ: In the project I share my most sincere thoughts about my career and my personal life. I could call it “war with myself”. My favorite song of my favorite artist Michael Jackson is Man in the mirror and I think I kind of looked at myself in front of the mirror and say to the guy in front of me: hey, you’re your first friend and enemy. You can’t find excuses if you don’t achieve your goals and you can’t blame the system, the devil etc for putting you out of your chosen road. Take a look at your inner self and do what you have to do!
Talk about some self-motivation! The mix-tape is out on Pre-Order on the 22nd off June and out on full release on the 29th of June. In the meantime, listen to some of his current works
Reading this somewhere in Paris? or got a friend in the area, Elzo’s got a release party on Friday the 29th of June. Certainly something you want to check out.
Find Elzo on all social media platforms below