Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys

Joy Keys chats with Hip Hop Artist Blitz The Ambassador

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Samuel Bazawule AKA Blitz the Ambassador

Hip-hop was the soundtrack for Samuel Bazawule growing up in Accra, Ghana; later, it gave him his own voice; today, performing as Blitz the Ambassador, he is using hip-hop to “give others a voice.”

Blitz began his music theory “training” by memorizing raps and studying the masters Chuck D. (front man for Public Enemy), Rakim, and KRS-One.

He immigrated, in 2001, and earned degrees, in business management and marketing.

Blitz has released two full-length albums, Stereotype (2009) and Native Sun (2011); as visual accompaniment to the latter, he wrote and co-directed a short film of the same name, which he calls “a true representation of who I am.” Filmed in Ghana and scored with music from the album, it follows the wanderings of an orphan boy as he learns to be the master of his fate. 

His musical collaborations include those with Grammy Award-nominated duo Les Nubians, JUNO Award-winning Shad, and Chuck D.. His proudest achievement, though, was the homecoming concert he performed with his full band in Accra in 2011, ten years after he left.

Blitz has been hailed by Rolling Stone as “the future of African music.”

WEBSITE: http://blitz.mvmt.com/

He is the recipient of a 2013 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Contemporary Music

The Vilcek Foundation aims to raise public awareness of the contributions of immigrants to the sciences, arts, and culture in the United States. The Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. http://www.vilcek.org

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