Sep 17, 2021
I was born in Liberia in 1990 during that bloody civil war. The war took so many of our people. My parents named me Abraham Mellish at birth, however my grandfather called me by the name of his father, Zondo. The meaning is "the man who cannot be captured." He was an honorable and noble man of the Bassa tribe.
When I arrived on Turtle Island at the age of fifteen after the second war, it is here that music found me. I didn't understand what the medicine of music was going to bring to my life. Playing music helped me to express my heart's yearning, feeling alone and in a foreign place, as a mismatch of my expression to be me. At nineteen I started writing music in the closet because it wasn't permitted in my house and I was doing open mics in Dallas, Texas. That introduced me to community and a way for me to process the world. I felt a sense of belonging and an assurance of the usefulness of my art, I witnessed tears of grief and expressions of joy that spoke to the depths of my soul.
Although my Spirit remained on the run from the steady hissing of the shadow of an Ak47, when I grabbed that guitar it quieted, I became hopeful and jubilant within myself.
After surviving two civil wars in my homeland of Liberia, I found refuge in music. Influenced by Tracy Chapman, Lucky Dube, Bob Dylan, Seu Jorge and Fela Kuti. I Zondo, developed my own sound.
Combining traditional Folk, Funk, and Blues with an African pulse. I use bass notes juxtaposed with intricate finger picking to establish a rhythm steeped in Liberian roots. My songs create an atmosphere of community, telling the story of my heritage with an inspirational message of oneness and peace.
On this Episode:
Adam Jackson | https://www.instagram.com/adam___jackson
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