Liberia’s Culture Ambassador Juli Endee has embarked on a campaign to unite musicians here, urging unity among them if they want to excel in their career. She stressed that only through togetherness and self-confidence musicians can move Liberian music to a higher level.
Ambassador Endee challenged Liberian musicians to strive for creativity to actualize their real potentials instead of imitating foreign artists. She spoke Saturday night at the Royal Grand Hotel during an acquaintance dinner hosted for young Liberian artists, who started their career from 1990 to present.
The Culture Ambassador cautioned the local artists to respect the Liberian Culture, saying, “respect our Liberian culture in your music, and take your destiny in your own hand; keep doing what is right for you and for your country, Liberia.”
Madam Endee urged local musical artists to pursue their dreams and think big, while seeking out their mentors, who will help them in their endeavor.
She encouraged them to not give up despite the difficulties being faced by the music industry here, adding, “I say to you tonight, all of the situations you are going through as musicians, don’t give up; keep up your good works for the Liberian people.” Endee noted that the artistic industry in Liberia is important, next to the energy sector here, yet the industry is poor.
According to her, poverty is around Liberian musicians, but not in the artists themselves. “You can still be whatever, whoever you want to be; there is poverty around us but not in us; we are rich inside and we can build Liberia together when we all work hard together,” she challenged.
The dinner was attended key stakeholders in the music industry here, including the President of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), D. Maxwell Kamaya, Ambassador David Daniels; the CEO of Julnest International, Mr. Ernest Omaboe, and the head of UNESCO in Liberia Stevenson Seidi as well as the Ministry of Information, among others.
Musicians at the event expressed their misfortunes in the industry here, pointing to piracy as a giant killer hunting down young talents. The artists also blamed the lack of support and Liberians lack of interest in their own music as among setbacks in the industry, noting that some DJs in the country demand money from artists to play their songs on the radio stations, but the DJs denied.
The Musicians also called on Ambassador Endee to use her contacts as Culture Ambassador to initiate training programs that will enlighten local musicians about the industry.
Meanwhile, the President of the Liberia Business Association, D. Maxwell Kemaya has expressed willingness to promote the work of Liberian artists. Making remarks at the dinner, Kemaya said Liberians, including artists need economic revolution to reclaim the economy for the benefit of every Liberian.
The LIBA President said he sees richness in Liberian artists because of their talents and potentials, but artists should see themselves as success stories, urging them to be original, not to duplicate foreign styles, saying “I believe in your talents and your need support; I promise you LIBA will support your efforts in the music industry. You can be the change that you want to be with the public support.”
He said musicians can become strong when they come together and partner with the LIBA, stressing that, when musicians are together, there will be strength among them.
The dinner was intended to bring musical artists together and unit them to move the industry forward and present the Liberian culture to the outside world through music. It was also aimed at marketing Liberian music and adding value to the local talents.