NIGERIA: Second Coming of Liberian Voice, Kanvee

By Chuks Nwanne |ww.wguardian.ng |

The event was the official launch of Daar Music Global, which also witnessed the formal unveiling of Liberia’s Kanvee Adams as the first artiste on the label. However, with the presence of the founder of Daar Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dopkesi and other top managers of AIT and Raypower, it became obvious that this is a serious business.

Some notable friends of the broadcasting company such as sportscaster Mitchel Obi, ID Ogungbe and Kenny Ogunbge of Kennis Music also witnessed the ceremony that will open a new page in the life of the organisation.

In fact, Kenny, who anchored the session, recalled the role Daar Communication played in the early stages of the Nigerian entertainment industry, specifically highlighting its contribution to the promotion of local music and artistes through it’s media platform. From what transpired at the event, it seems the organisation is poised to tap from its rich history with Daar Music Global.

In his remarks, the Group Managing Director Daar Communications Plc, Tony Akiotu observed that the song writing skills in Nigeria has degenerated to a questionable dimension, adding, “We as a people must take the bull by the horn and address the slide not because of today, but because of tomorrow.

The Daar Music Global is our own pact with history in addressing today for the betterment of tomorrow. We have indeed resolved, just like we did in 1994 through the years now, to once again stand up and be counted as one of the most patriotically concerned media outfit that is poised in reversing and addressing some ugly developments in our society for a greater tomorrow.”

Speaking at the event, Managing Director of AIT Dr. Mrs Tosin Dokpesi informed that the organisation has been nurturing the concept of a music company since the 90s.

“Having successfully institutionalised the Nigerian music industry as an international brand with the experimentation with local talents, having been successful with The Remedies, Tuface, Benita Okogie, other artistes and several other musical concerts, we have now decided to move a notch higher into the real business of music through the establishment of Daar Music Global Limited.”

She added, “We have expressed our concerns over the quality of the lyrics that are now on our public space and moral consciousness considering their quality in terms of values, ethics, human dignity and societal value systems. While growing up as a child in the 70s, 80s and 90s, our musical works were valued based and ethically driven to the extent that some songs serve as moral compass for attitudinal change, responsible behaviours, good conduct and an impetus for progress.”

Dokpesi said the evergreen songs of Fela, king Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Sonny Okosun, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, Lagbaja and others pricked our conscience as a people and as a nation, unlike what is obtainable these days.

“With the greatest respect to the new generation of musicians, they are quite creative, innovative and good, but what we are collectively saying is that they can do better with the lyrics. It is this pact with posterity that has led us to discover yet another Christy Essien-Igbokwe in Liberia, our dear sister Kanvee G. Adams, a gospel artiste.”

All through the speeches, Kanvee Adams was calm, as she sat with other dignitaries on the high table beaming with smiles. Patiently, she waited for her turn to express her joy over the new deal. And when it was time for her to speak, emotions ran high.

“I’m still trying to process everything that is happening here today; I’m trying to digest it,” she said.

Recalling her first visit to Nigeria some 16 years ago during the Liberian war, Kanvee said, “There was fight in my country and I was advised to come to Nigeria that there would be a good place to get out my ministry and market my songs; that was the time I released my first song Be Like Job. That title came as a result of a long, rough and tough life I had experienced right from childhood up to that point.”

On her first visit to Nigeria, she was accompanied by a friend, who eventually had to return back to Liberia to take care of her children, leaving the talented singer to find her footing on the streets of Lagos.

“I was left alone here and it didn’t take long before life became so unfair to me; I didn’t have a place to stay, I didn’t have a place to sleep. I had to sleep in a church building that was still under construction and with time, I was told to leave the church building.”

To survive, Kanvee had to sleep in odd places with the hope of having a breakthrough someday.

“I had to sleep in a place where they used to keep fuel containers, generators, spare parts and others stuff; it didn’t even have a door. I would put drums to the door with tyres on top of them so that, if someone wants to come and harm me at night, they would fall and I will hear the noise and shout. There were many things I went through; I couldn’t even afford the means to go back home,” she narrated.

Luckily, a kindhearted Nigeria raised some money for Kanvee to return to Liberia and start a new life.

“I wandered about in Lagos until a friend of mine, whom I’m still looking for today, surprisingly bought me a ticket to go back home. How I survived here was a miracle,” she declared.

Back in Liberia, Kanvee picked up her life and started a new journey, struggling through her music ministry and making different efforts to achieve success. It was at this point that her path crossed with Chief Raymond Dokpesi, who resolved to make her the first signing on Daar Music Global.

“Again, I believe it was not yet God’s time then. Today, I’m so grateful to High Chief Raymond Dokpesi; I’m too grateful, I’m looking for the word to express myself. I believe that this all came together in time for me; my song Thank God For Mama did the magic,” she noted.

An inspirational gospel singer, award-winning Kanvee has over the years proven herself vocally as well as in performance; she has perfected her craft to the fullest. In all, she has 16 albums to her credit.

A former National Coordinator, Liberia Association of Gospel Musical Artists (LAGMA), Kanvee has won the hearts of many through her songs and in doing so, she has also won several awards in recognition of her talent and hard work.

She was nominated at the 2016 KORA Awards for Best Spiritual Music in Africa and was later conferred with KORA Awards Goodwill Ambassador to Liberia on the fight against Ebola.

In 2014, at the Africa Gospel Music Awards (AGMA), Kanvee was given a Special Award for the Promotion of Gospel Music of the year. Through the years, she has bagged several other awards from the Liberia Association Of Gospel Music Artists in Liberia and USA. Some of them include Artiste of the year, Best Song of the year, LAGMA Female Artiste of the Year, LAGMA Best Inspirational Artiste of the Year and LAGMA Best Gospel Artiste of the Year.

Kanvee’s desire is to use her music ministry to win souls for the Lord’s Kingdom, bless and motivate people to remain faithful to God Almighty.

Since signing for Daar Music Global, Kanvee has released two new singles titled Thank God For Mama and Daily Prayer, both produced by Masterkraft, with acoustic guitar by talented guitarist Fiokee. The songs come with videos directed by ace Director, Paul Gambit of Kurlevra Productions.

“Everyone around the world knows that when you surface on the Nigerian platform, you are going to do well; that has been the dream of every artiste. Even those in America are coming down here to team up with Nigerian artistes; it’s a known fact. For that opportunity to come to me with ease, everything within a month and we are at this point, I’m still baffled; I’m truly grateful. It’s my prayer that this process will be successful.”

Though her unveiling, Kanvee see her new deal as an opportunity for other talented artistes from across Africa, who are seeking to be heard.

“I want to say that this is also the unveiling of all the talents that we have in Liberia and other African countries,” she noted.

To her husband Emmanuel Adams, she said, “I also want to be grateful today you. Through all the tough times, he has always been there supporting me; his efforts brought us to where we are now. I’m grateful to Daar Global Team, I’m so honoured and I bless God for you finding me. I didn’t come looking for you, you found me; I’m sure that this relationship will be fruitful.”

And to Nigerians, she said, “Many Nigerian artistes have been celebrated in Liberia; they’ve visited our country and we’ve embraced them. Your music are everywhere in Liberia; we sing them in our churches; we sing them in our clubs. Today, here’s one from Liberia coming to you, I want you to embrace me as one of your own; we are one Africa,” she said.

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About Cholo Brooks 10859 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.