Ibejii explores identity, resilience and freedom in visuals for ‘Gonto’


Over years now British-Nigerian Afro-retro/Soul artiste, Ibejii, has been plumbing the depths of his Yoruba heritage, fusing African percussions, rhythms and sensibilities with soul-jazz-funk vibes to create immersive storytelling landscapes.

A reputed storyteller, poet, thinker and romantic, he’s returned with Gonto off his upcoming project, an afro-orchestral anthem that takes the listener on a journey that captures the insensitivity of the powerful but also the daring of a new generation of believers. Ibejii’s essence is a fine balance of ‘Taiye Kehin’ , the physical and the transcendent, time-worn and timeless.  

Gonto is an attempt to capture the casual insensitivity of the tyrannical governments, and also the eventual daring of a new generation whose defeat of fear makes confrontation inevitable. The song depicts any instance where the oppressed move to resist the lingering excesses of their oppressor(s), as seen in Nigeria and other parts of the world these past months (re: #EndSARS, BLM, #June12Protest, recent Twitter Ban).

The just-released visuals cuts between a narrative sequence featuring Nollywood actress Dakore Egbuson-Akande and Ibejii performing with a fastidious chorus of violins and cellos. Dakore’s son is interested in the performing arts – ballet – and this inclination isn’t supported by the family. The dynamic is an obvious metaphor for how those with limited power are stifled and suppressed. But the powerless don’t remain down forever.

Gonto recounts the victory of tiny masquerades in the face of a selfish big masquerade that will not let other voices rise” Ibeji puts it quite proverbially. The song is Ibejii’s celebration of the ultimate victory of ordinary people over those who oppress and silence us.

Watch the video below:

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