On the evening of October 12, 2015, at Takun J’s 146 Block, excitement broke out as artists and their managers yelled in honor and satisfaction when Lady Emotionz of Hot FM announced a first of its kind home based Liberian Music Awards (LiMA).
“We are finally in! Liberian artists are out of the woodworks. DJ Blue and eight devoted group members have come together to wipe away the tears of our Liberian entertainment industry,” she publicized.
Hours prior at Peace Café on 17th Street, Sinkor, a press conference was held to reveal one of Liberia’s best-kept secrets.
“Today we are launching an event, the Liberian Music Award,” DJ Blue revealed.
“Never in the past 10 years since I’ve been involved in the music industry have we seen such a group of stakeholders come together. Entrepreneurs who don’t just talk, but have made significant changes in this country…There’s strength in unity,” he proclaimed.
The board members of this unique home based award who vowed time, devotion and commitment to LIMA included: HottFm and Blue Link Records’ Entertainment Marketing Manager and co- founder, Bernard DJ Blue Benson; Champion Design CEO, Edwin Tisdell; Shizzo Magazine CEO, Duplexe Jaeploe;
Wonder World Group’s Lewis McCarthy; Red Eye Entrainment CEO, Yusuf Mansour; Mad Media Entertainment’s Sundaygar Dearboy; Victor George of BlakFaz Inc; Monrovia Liquor store owner, Fidel Samukai, and; Barkue Tubman Zarwolo, CEO Miss Boss Lady Ent./Peace Cafe Yeabo.
Social meeting place for entertainers and the entertained
The most popular after hour hang out spot in the center of Monrovia has now become a social meeting place for many Liberian household name entertainers – the same creative group of people who will be considerably affected by LiMA.
“ We know what’s at stake. We won’t disclose how we will (get) great results but can tell you the website is there, transparency through the media is there and we are going to move on as a team,” said Victor George, CEO of BlakFaz Inc.
Speaking to Lady Emotionz on LiMU’s need for 146 Block, she said, “Using 146 Block as a means of getting the information out about the newly formed LiMA is what the event’s promoters have done.
“Here you will see (people like) Deng, Soul Fresh, Quincy B, Rise B, Peaches, K-Zee and all of the big names. Here they listen to whatever is being said because here they relax and listen. We’ll use this place to get all the artists involved, interested and encouraged to do more.”
For the time being, LiMA is aware that this is a crucial time for Liberian entertainers as many have started to successfully promote Liberia’s talents overseas. Also, there are many positives coming out of the industry to catch the attention of big dogs like Deb Antney, DJ Khaled, Shaka Zulu and a few others.
“Friday the Cellphone Man and Jodi Clark are one of our successors. They have been touring around the world and giving everyone a chance to see what is coming out of Liberia,” stated Catherine, a bartender at 146.
“Secondly, DJ Nelly and Young Muse, who were recently fortunate to work alongside Ms. Deborah Antney, Nicki Minaj’s former manager and Waka Flaka’s mother, is an example of what we’re doing. That is big. Why have such great activities happening without awarding those who have made them happen.”
According to LiMA’s website manager and member, Red Eyez CEO Yusuf Mansour, LiMA has created a website at www.libmusicawards.com
The website houses all the details, including nominees, ticket sales, registered and interested individuals, and above all, a forum for interactive discussions that will help LiMA to improve.
“We’ll give the world a chance to see what we’re doing. We also created a forum where members can log in by email or facebook to discuss their favorite artists and what they want to see us do. We’ll update it as we get more information,” Yusuf added.
Lewis McCarthy, LiMA’s Artist Executive said that artists old and new will have an opportunity to built up and flourish.
“For the first time, we’ve received government’s endorsement and have sought partnership with the Liberian Music Union. We got their blessings and all have worked out. There is a platform to take the ceremony where it should be. We’ll make this as transparent as possible, and the media will have a stake
to question our intentions,” he added.
According to LiMA chairman, Fidel Samukai, forming this well awaited platform was well planned and has the blessings of the Liberian Music Union and government.
“After many years of watching and working in the entertainment music scene, we want to thank Hon. Lewis Brown of MOI and Griffeth of the Liberian Music Union for all of the work they have done thus far. They have developed, enhanced and empowered players from a holistic standpoint. Now our aim is to
host and develop the industry further. Starting with the music and working with organizations, unions and the existing ministry to educate and build, that’s our goal. Whatever you do you have to recognize those who have been in the struggle. LiMA is here to help.
“What we are doing at this moment is encouraging membership to the union, encouraging censorship for our musicians, educating them on piracy and stuff that comes with the industry. We want to assure the music union and MOI and citizens at large that our dedication and passion for the industry is here to stay.”