Baoku & The Image Afro-beat Band is a unique music powerhouse based in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. They recently changed their name to BAOKU after 9 years as Baoku & The Image Afro-beat Band. We spoke to the band leader about the change, enjoy his story.
Tell us about yourself and what you do?
Baoku Moses: I am Baoku Moses, originally from Nigeria, living in Cincinnati, Ohio now for over 12 years. I am a trained African performing artist and an Afro-fusion composer and producer.
Tell us more about your band and musical journey in general.
Baoku Moses: Thanks, it’s a long story but the summary is that I found arts in 1994 and Fela’s music in 1997. Since then, I have been a self taught Afro-beat student and a composer. The journey of life brought me to US in 2002, I released my 1st album in 2004, started The Image Afro-beat band in 2005.
Wow, quite a journey! So what brought about the name change from Baoku & The Image Afro-beat Band to just BAOKU?
Baoku Moses: The band will celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2015! What I realized is that after that many year of being together, making great music and performing lots of awesome shows, lots of our fans, even the diehard ones have a hard time with our name. So I said to myself, I/we have a calling that is bigger than ourselves and music and our fans are a huge part of our movement and journey. So if they can not really relate to us by knowing our name, how can they then connect deeply with us. So I spoke to the band members, we actually have been talking about it for a while, and we finally reached an agreement to rename the band.
Wow, ok why BAOKU?
Baoku Moses: Because it is the core, heart and soul of what we do and stand for!
Baoku Moses: No not me, BAOKU! Let me explain, BAOKU is a short word from Baoku Ise Otan, which means “when there’s life there’s hope”, so simply put BAOKU means HOPE. And everyone that knows our music knows that our music carries a message of hope for the world, no matter how messy a situation being addressed in a song is, it always has a hopeful message for our listeners.
I also noticed that you are calling your style AFRO-FUSION, tell us about that.
Baoku Moses: AFRO-FUSION is my own version and extension of Afro-beat, it is easier for our fans to remember and most importantly relate with. My compositions have evolved over the years and I am doing more to be able to connect with audiences from all styles of music.
Wow, that is amazing! So who has inspired you in your life and why?
Baoku Moses: My parents, at the very early age they impacted in me all the knowledge that I needed to be successful in my life’s journey, and I can tell you today that their impact on me has being my map.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
Baoku Moses: A two part answer (1). Having a family (a wife and twin boys), (2). Holding on to my destiny. The reason is because as soon as you become a family person you have a big shift happen, and usually it is hard to continue on certain life’s journey, lots of people have quit, but I am proud that I have been able to balance both and aiming for the sky.
Do you have any tips for our readers that are trying to break in the industry?
aoku Moses: Yes, continue to be yourself no matter what, and remember that no matter how hard life may be right now, as long as you are still breathing, you have HOPE!