Yewande Adebayo was born in the war-torn city of Monrovia, Liberia in March
1976. She migrated with her family to the United States a few months shy of
the civil war that would devastate the country for the next fifteen years.
As an inherently conscious youngster, Yewande conceptualized the idea of the Music for Social Change Project in hopes of one day being a catalyst for change in her home country. Ten years later the Music for Social Change
Project is now becoming a reality.
She has been working with her parents, Maudeline and Gebah Swaray (formerly
of Zack and Gebah) and renowned Liberian producer on music releases turned
classics over the past 11 years. On her debut effort, her sound is characterized by a blend of jazz, RandB, reggae, light rock, and even
classical tonations over Liberian/West African rhythms. Her songs tell of her recent journeys overcoming some traumatic, self-destructive experiences
in her own life. This brief compilation also draws on memories and hopes for a better future for her people.
Past performances include the World Music Festival (Detroit Michigan 1998),
the Ivy League University circuit [Columbia and Brown Universities] (2004-2005). She has also worked on projects with London based club artists
like Theodore Gerideau with recent releases in Italy. She has also worked with members of the world-acclaimed Bembeya Jazz Orchestra and Les Ballets
Africains. Recent venues have included the NJ Performing Arts Center for the JP Morgan Chase Sounds of the City Music Summer Stage. She also holds a
Masters of Public Administration with a focus on International Development
from New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
and currently works in the field focused on efforts around poverty alleviation through the provision of micro-grants.
In her words:
"I am a creative person with a mission. My thought was to try to galvanize
other African artists in utilizing their talents and resources to aid the current conditions of our people. I figured we, through the arts, could step up any existing efforts but there needed to be a model to follow. Its one thing for others to mobilize in our behalf and its another thing for us to mobilize in behalf of ourselves. Because it is our problem, creating our own solutions would likely be more sustainable. And that's why at least lending visibility to our plight and creating an atypical platform for thought and planning is one other way forward. I don't expect change over night, but I still remain hopeful for our people and for our future."
recent Music Launch Party at the Mundial in New York City was a success. SEE