Austin Emielu, a Visiting Professor to ILAM has just come out with a new single titled ‘Land of my Birth’. The song which combines musical resources and perspectives from West, East, Central, North and Southern Africa eulogizes Africa with its varied peoples and cultures and preaches ‘unity in diversity’. The song is done essentially in English with a call and response refrain in Igbo, a Nigerian language. According to Austin the song is dedicated to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) global movement. The single was released on August 4, 2020 by Distrokid, a U.S-based record company and is available on major digital platforms including Apple music, iTunes, Medianet, Google play and Deezer.
Austin Emielu started his music career in Nigeria in 1982 when he formed the A-Konnection Band modeled after the American pop group T-Connection. In the 1980s and 1990s, Austin who is a guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, singer, producer and studio engineer was very active in the music industry in Nigeria and the West African sub-region. He moved into the academia as a music teacher in 2001 and has continued to combine theory and practice. Austin holds a PhD degree in performing arts(music) and was appointed Visiting Professor to ILAM on January 1, 2020. In November 2019, he was in the U.S. as a scholar and musician. While there, he gave series of lectures on West African popular music and a concert at Morehouse College Atlanta, Georgia. He then moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he received the African Studies Association Presidential Fellow’s award at the 62nd annual meeting of the African Studies Association.