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Connecting cultures through melodies

2023-08-25  Staff Reporter

Connecting cultures through melodies

IN THE heart of Namibia, an artist with a passion for preserving the rich and diverse culture of the country is making waves through music. 

Levos Ekandjo, commonly known by his stage name Kledo Blaq is a talented musician on a mission to bridge cultural gaps, evoke emotions, and tell stories through art.

“Throughout my artistic journey over the years, my main aim has been to preserve the rich and diverse culture of Namibia through music,” Ekandjo said passionately. “As an artist, I have always believed in the power of music to connect people, evoke emotions, and tell stories. My music challenges societal norms and expectations.”

He describes his music as not just tunes but an identity and representation and also says he uses his art to restore hope, faith, and confidence, especially among Namibian youth.

A musical odyssey with collaborations

Ekandjo’s journey has been punctuated by collaboration and connection as he has had the privilege of working with notable figures in the industry, including Dj Kboz and Dj Chronic. 

He’s not just a solo act; he values collaboration with other emerging artists like EddyMore, Ben Blaq, and King Gucci. 

These collaborations amplify his message and showcase the unity that music can foster. 

“I’ve met and worked with a lot of music industry professionals, and each collaboration brings a unique flavour to the mix.”


The mixtape that left a mark

In 2019, Ekandjo released his debut six-track mixtape, titled ‘State of Mind’ that resonated with listeners, and he said the mixtape received positive reviews. 

It was  testament to Ekandjo’s ability to create music that strikes a chord with his audience. 

However, he shifted his focus to releasing singles and collaborating with upcoming artists due to the challenges of financing his artistic pursuits. 

“The type of music I make requires professional studio sessions, and funds have been a challenge for me,” he acknowledges.


Preserving culture through live performances

Ekandjo’s dedication to preserving Namibian culture extends beyond the studio. 

He has been actively involved in promoting Namibian heritage through live performances at various festivals and concerts.

“These performances, not only allowed me to showcase my music but also provided a platform to educate audiences about the rich cultural heritage of Namibia.” 

His music doesn’t just entertain; it educates and celebrates the essence of the nation he believes.


Dual facets of an “upcoming artist”

Although he has been in the industry for over five years, he said he has been called an upcoming artist due to a lack of recognition. Being referred to as an ‘upcoming artist’ he said carries both motivations and challenges.

 Ekandjo reflects on this label with wisdom, “On one hand, it recognises the potential and talent that I hold. It motivates me to push boundaries and strive for excellence. On the other hand, it comes with limitations, making it harder to secure gigs or gain recognition.” 

He adds “It’s essential to remember that every artist’s journey is unique, and the term ‘upcoming artist’ doesn’t define my full potential.”


A vision for the future

Asked what is in the pipeline in terms of music, Ekandjo announced the release of his upcoming album titled ‘Full Tank Forever’.

He said it encapsulates a sense of abundance and longevity and it is a musical endeavour aimed at fuelling and sustaining Namibia’s cultural identity.

“The music within this project will feed the cultural soul of Namibia indefinitely.” 

The album is a dedication to preserving Namibian culture through music, reflecting Ekandjo’s unwavering commitment to this cause.

Despite his eagerness to release the project, the artist said he is facing financial challenges to pull it off, saying the project will cost about N$100,000.

“Making quality music often requires professional studio equipment, studio space, marketing, and production costs. Without proper funding or sponsorship, I am finding it difficult to invest in my craft and reach a wider audience. This is hindering my ability to gain recognition and establish a sustainable career in the music industry,” he explained.

Like many other artists, Ekandjo’s challenges include limited opportunities to showcase his work and gain recognition, lack of financial support, limited exposure, and cultural barriers which he’s determined to overcome. 

He acknowledges that collaborations, financial support, and access to education and training are pivotal to turning his artistic dreams into reality.

Ekandjo can be reached on his social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook under the handle Kledo Blaq Musiq.

2023-08-25  Staff Reporter

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