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Thursday, June 6, 2013

BOSSCHIQUE(ISM): Introducing Ms. Adama Heyden Sierra Leonean Musician

This month's Bosschique(ism) feature is dedicated to one of my favorite Sierra Leonean female artists, Ms. Adama Heyden. What I appreciate about this woman is that she is young, vibrant and truly changing the Sierra Leone r and b music scene and for that she should be commended. My first encounter with her goes a few years back when I heard some of her music her first single "fit e gbet" and automatically was hooked! the beats, her voice, and the words of her songs (she loves to sing about love), her music can be heard on Sierra Leone radio and at parties in Sierra Leone and in the diaspora. With so much ambition, creativity, passion and grace she is truly a Bosschique and must be celebrated! Ladies and Gentlemen I hope you enjoy reading and listening to her  music! 

Adama the woman

Q: Who is Adama in one word?


Q: So you are Sierra Leonean? Where are you currently based and tell us when you started singing? How long have you been a musician? Walk us through that moment when you decided you wanted to be a musician?
A: Yeah, I’m 100% Sierra Leonean. I’m based in Seattle Washington.
I am currently in Sierra Leone working on releasing my first official album which we’d already titled You and I. But I live in Seattle Washington.  I’ve been into music since I was like 10 years old. But the first time I ever performed was in Seattle at a local idol competition when I was in high school. At that time I was writing songs and uploading them on Myspace. I took fourth in the competition and since that experience I’d only wanted to do music. I went to the studio for the first time in 2011. That was when I recorded my first single Fit en gbet To golden music studios. He and I grew up together and he was actually the one that pushed me to start singing professionally in Sierra Leone. The moment I decided to be a musician was a sort of an awakening for me. I know I loved music but I never went beyond singing in the shower. I am actually adopted and my adopted mother’s sister adopted triplets from Sierra Leone as well. When they got to Seattle our families are so close that we became brothers and sisters right then. And they loved music. When I say they love music I mean like they used to wake me up at 6 in the morning to go to the studio. In 2011 august 28th I lost one of them to cancer. And they’d just graduated from high school like 2 months before he pasted away.  At his memorial service in Gig Harbor, Washington all his schoolmates told about how dedicated he was to music. How much he loved performing. And he always went for it, performing at school assemblies, coffee shops anywhere they would let the 3bfa (That was there group name. 3 Boys From Africa) perform you will see them there. That was what inspired me.  That was when I decided that music was something I wanted to do. Not only for the love I have for music. But also for my brother who didn’t live long enough to share his talent with the world. Something awoke inside of me. I realized that our lives in this world is so unpredictable. That’s when I asked myself, whats the one thing that I want to do the most? The first answer that came to my mind was music, singing, writing.  At that moment I decided I was going to be a singer. We brought my brother’s body Back to Sierra Leone for his burial because that was his wish. That was when I decided I wanted to be a singer!

Q: So you recently released your first album titled Nobody(actually a very popular single in Sierra Leone during the holidays) Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your music?
A: NOBODY’s actually a single. I haven’t officially released any album yet. But I will this April my first album will be release which will be titled YOU AND I.
I am a bit on the shy side when you meet me first. But don’t be fooled I am not once you get to know me.  I believe that dreaming is for lazy people. If there is something you want to do instead of dreaming about it, go do it. I was adopted like I’d said before.

Q: Please share with us what a typical day looks like for you in your work and tell us the many hats you wear as a woman?
A: Oh wow. Since I am working on my album release right now my days are crazy! Most days I sleep in the studio! Because right now I am not under management. When I get time to sleep at all, I wake up at 7 am or 8 am. Head to the  studio. I will be there for over 12 hours without even thinking of food! And right now im recording and shooting videos and dance practice, and recently I am  promoting my new single Baala in the radio. No sleep no time for me right now. And I am starring in This TV show called The African Love which will be out soon.

Q: What is one thing you enjoy about your work? One thing you enjoy doing how do you take time for yourself?
A:  I love meeting my fans. They are so much fun. Around them I don’t feel shy really. They make me do what I do. They make me want to keep singing and coming out with new things. Once recording is finished I have all the time in the world to do whatever. Most times I travel. I love to travel. Seeing new things is so exciting to me. When I am in Sierra Leone and I can't leave I spend most my free time at the beach. I love the water. I think I am a mermaid or something (smiles). Whatever chance I get I am at the beach.

Q: Please describe some challenges you face in the music industry as a professional and personally as a woman and explain to us what you learned from  them?
A:  Music piracy In Sierra Leone is ridiculous!
Though there is the law no one listens to it. And not only that, the artists take their music to the the people that pirate the music! They call it promoting! 

On Music and Entrepreneurship

Q: You have a very large following which continues to grow! How would you describe your fans and what do you like singing about?
A:My Fans are so great! They appreciate what I do and I couldn’t ask for more. I Sing about love. I love love, love makes the world go around! Lol. But really I think for my country we need more people to sing about love. Loving yourself, loving the people around you. You know my country went through a brutal war that left many broken, hurt and sad to say, left plenty with so much hate in their hearts. And the only way to get past all that is by loving. Loving heals. And  till my dying day I will not stop singing about love.

Q:  What would you say sets you apart from others as a musician?
A: I like different sounds. I don’t have one style really. I am on reggae, house, techno, rnb, pop. I love all those sounds so I make sure they come out in my music.

Q: Any plans of a concert in Sierra Leone in the upcoming months?
A:  No but I am doing a show in seattle with Iyanye of Nigeria. I am super excited about it! Hope to get a feature with him because he is an amazing artist. And watch out for a TV show I am working on here in seattle call The African love.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to go into the music industry in Sierra Leone?
A: I’d say work on your own. To say I want to get signed by this label, in Sierra Leone I would not advise that. Because ive never witness something good coming out of it. And You need to keep your head up.

Q: Can you tell us the top 3 things every woman needs to be successful in your industry that you currently work in?
A:   confidence
        Patience (Trust me you ned plenty of that!)
       And heart.  If you  don’t have the heart for it you will not make it here. Because right now this industry doesn’t have money. No one is sponsoring our music.  
Q: 10 years from now where do you want the Adama Heyden brand to be and where do you see yourself?
A: I would love to see myself in the big mix of Africa’s music. I want to hear my music in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, All over Africa really!  I want my name to be mentioned when you talk about P square or 2face or tiwa savage or Becca.

On African Women

Q: You have been involved in various platforms for change. For example  I saw your music video you did with a bunch of other Sierra Leonean artists during elections calling for a peaceful elections.? I think music was a key way to engage the youth to practice peace during the Sierra Leonean elections? What Impact do you think you are making on African women and girls through your work?
A:  Oh ya. I don’t want to see anything more then I want to see my beautiful country moving forward. And during that election the current president actually used my single “Nobody” For his campaign. I was so honored.
Well I hope I am passing the message to young women that they can be successful as well as any man or women in this  world. And that whatever they want they should go out and get it and not depend on someone else to get it for them.

Q: Are you involved in any charities in Sierra Leone?
A: A friend and  I are working on starting  on one. Heyden Foundation which will be targeting younger girls. I want to build a community center in freetown which will be open to mainly girls. We will have activities and volunteers from all over the world to teach them how to do different things.

Q: If you were to invite 3 African female musicians you look up to, to perform at your concert who would it be  and why?
A: 1. Tiwa Savage
2. Nneka (I’ve seen her live in Seattle, I was in love!)
3. Becca

Q: Finish the sentence  “Women Change Africa because…..?”
A: Women are determined and caring 

**Please note this interview was conducted a month ago therefore various events mentioned by the artist may have come to pass already**

1 comment:

  1. Davida Sharpe-HaygoodJune 11, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    I am proud of you baby girl. Keep fighting and pushing forward. Remember to keep God first. Love you. You are doing amazing things.


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