Music is more than just an art form. It has been used to build community and empower people for centuries, leading movements and empowering the world's most influential changemakers. In the 21st century, music continues to play a pivotal role in inspiring positive change and moving people to tackle some of the biggest social issues of our times.
In his debut book Press Play: Music As a Catalyst For Change, Nifemi Aluko offers a rich, engaging, and insightful look at how music and musician drive empowerment and social change. Press Play explores how musicians use their voices including stories of Fela Kuti (Afrika 70), Bob Marley, Jason Mayden (Postmodern Jukebox) Seun Kuti (Konvict Kartel), Kendrick Lamar, Rapsody, Wanlov The Kubolor, Thelonious Monk, and many others.
Aluko writes from a catbird seat within the music industry as the Founder and CEO of kpakpakpa Inc, an information and advisory company that assists business builders with enterprise expansion across the African continent. And throughout his various endeavors, music plays a central piece in his journey.
It's written for both musicians and music lovers offering a fun ride through music, music festivals, and music personalities. Aluko explores questions of music and social change including:
- How music helps solve problems
- The science behind how we respond to music
- How music can be used to build solutions that enhance the way people feel
- How to use music at different stages of our lives
- How music can help with finding an identity and boosting our collective consciousness
Writing about music can be difficult — which is why music journalists are often credited as some of the world's best storytellers. And Aluko is certainly up to the task through his business acumen and music industry experience. Former lead designer at Nike for the Jordan brands Jason Mayden writes of his work:
“Nifemi is masterful in his approach to analyzing the profound impact that music has on culture, creativity and the modern interpretation of a “muse”. This book is a must-read for anyone that is looking to understand how professional creatives harness the power and relevance of music as a medium/catalyst for invention.”
Although music is his primary creative outlet, almost 90% of the compositions Nifemi creates do not see the light of day (buried in the hard drives of his laptops). Yet, his other interests in technology, business, and sports keep him inspired to connect with fellow explorers, tinkerers, and entrepreneurs such as himself.
He inspires and implores us to use music to take action. Music encourages dialogue, curiosity, technological advancement, cooperation, and problem-solving. It is a lot more than just entertainment.
And as a listener, he pushes us to view music as an instrumental agent of change.
About the Author
Nifemi Aluko is the Founder and CEO of kpakpakpa Inc – an information and advisory company that assists business builders with enterprise expansion across the African continent. Throughout his various endeavors, music plays a central piece in his journey. Although music is his primary creative outlet, almost 90% of the compositions Nifemi creates do not see the light of day (buried in the hard-drives of his laptops). Yet, his other interests in technology, business, and sports keeps him inspired to connect with fellow explorers, tinkerers and entrepreneurs such as himself.