I’m stepping a bit out of my informative blogging way to do a “5 Mins of Fame wit’….” This series of interviews will be with local Ghana/African Music Icons, Celebrity Journalists, Youth Entrepreneurs, Creative Geeks and just anybody grinding haaaard to make a living by positive means and also been very innovative in his/her field.
The idea about this new way of blogging came from my Ghanaian blogger friend, Fred Frimpong who’s the author of dotFaf.com blog. After I had gone through a couple of “5 Minutes…” he’s had with creative & innovative Ghanaian’s, I felt it’s time I also take a step in that same direction and reveal some of Ghana’s creative minds with no web presence on my blog.
Beginning this series, I want to start with Taurian Jeanine-Wolfe Deveaux. Her name doesn’t sound Ghanaian but she’s made Ghana her home since 2008 till date.
Taurian Deveaux is a 23 year-old Los Angeles native, born into an artistic family headed by her photographer mother. She is the oldest of five girls, two of which are musical contemporaries in LA; California and Seattle; Washington respectively.
Please follow me as I interact with her [Taurian Deveaux] in sharing “5 Minutes” of her life with us…!
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Where are you originally from? Where do you take your root?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: My mother was born in the Bahamas to an American mother and Bahamian father. I was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up on the West Coast and Europe but my real roots are deeply southern on both sides. Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Please tell us a more detailed info about you…
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: I’m addicted to crime shows like Law & Order and CSI Miami. I believe in the power of a raw food diet even if I don’t practice it. I’m the world’s worst liar and hate lying so my friends all know to never ask me to cover for them! I really enjoy traveling and my childhood dream was to be a cultural anthropologist, which I’m kinda living out in a weird funky way… Plus I hate long pauses in conversation over the phone & people flashing me.
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Tell us about Taurian Jeanine-Wolfe Deveaux in only 140 characters or less. (Twitter Style)
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: #Taurian (wow, I can’t believe I just referred to myself in third person!) is an enigma even to herself. Every day I discover a new interesting part of me that I wasn’t so aware of before.
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: How long have you been in Ghana and why Ghana?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: (Smiling….) I’ve spent about two years in Ghana since 2008 till now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I always knew I wanted to work and live in the continent but Ghana wasn’t specifically on my radar. After graduating from New York University and trying my hand at a Masters program in London, I knew I was ready for the transition. Luckily I had a good friend who spent her sophomore year here and she linked me with some of her associates here and the rest is history!
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Heard you’ve traveled around a lot. Which countries have you visited till date?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: I went to school in Europe as a child and in my early adult stage so I’ve been blessed to be exposed to many cultures and people. I’ve lived in Ghana, Wales, Italy, England and the U.S. I’ve also visited most of the Caribbean, Spain, Holland, France, Thailand and Nigeria. Still looking forward toward a lot more…
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Would you describe yourself as a Musician, a Singer or both?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: Wooooow…! I’m definitely a musician! I’ve always been of the persuasion that musicianship equates to either writing your own lyrics or playing an instrument; otherwise you’re just a singer. I play the guitar rather badly but I do write all my own material. Music has to come from that real place (inside your heart)
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: What is your definition of a very good music?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: Very good music is the soundtrack to life. It is music that instantly takes you somewhere simply by hearing the intro. Most importantly, very good music has the power to instantly change the consciousness of an individual, community or world, kinda like how as a culture we’ve come to feel about Bob Marley, Miriam Makeba, Bob Dylan, and Fela Anikulapo Kuti… etc.
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: What type of Music do you do? How’s yours difference from others?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: I’d like to think of my type of music as World beat/Fusion soul. I enjoy incorporating global sounds, merging and diverging genres, and putting it all together in a mish mash. Personally I see nothing wrong with an artist featuring classical Indian instrumentals in one song and heavy metal in another all on the same album. Music comes from inside and from all around us.
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: What do you think about the general perception of Female Musician’s in Ghana?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: There is definitely room for female musicianship in Ghana, particularly on the instrumentation side. The music industry in Ghana, as in most places; is a male dominated which creates an imbalance in power relationships. Outside of the gospel genres, female musicians are encouraged to market themselves as simple and toy-like in order to sell records.
Hearing a female musician on radio singing about social issues or playing the violin for example is an extreme rarity on Ghana radio. Having said that, I certainly don’t want to paint a bleak picture because those women ARE out there, it’s a matter of training people ears to accept things that are new, different, and perhaps slightly challenging. I really adore Efyah, Irene Logan, Becca & Tiffany for taking bold steps into the Ghana Music scene…!
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: If you had one wish to collaborate with any artist in the world, who would it be and WHY??
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: I would love to collaborate with an artist like Cesária Évora. I love the unique, almost haunting quality of her voice and I respect her talent so much. I was watching her old performances the other day and she reminds me so much of my great aunt. Her art is so “seamless she makes it look effortless.”
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Have you considered modeling? What pushed you into going for that nice tattoo at your back?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: I’ve modeled as a child and did consider it as a hobby later; however I don’t have the patience or temperament for the modeling industry! It’s almost comparable to the army and I’m very independent minded person. I’d have a hard time accepting someone dictating everything to me down to my body functions, which is an unfortunate reality for many models.
In terms of my tattoo, I had it placed there as a reminder of how I want to live. It’s the tree of life and reminds me of the interdependency of everything as well as the need to abide in the real rather than the superficial.
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Kwaku Tutu [Kwaku-T] of Big Brother Africa & Higher Life Music fame featured you on his Hit Single; “Senea Mete”. How was working with him like?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: It was really fun working with Kwaku-T and he knows how to keep you laughing! In addition to being a great lyricist, he’s also really professional and is very knowledgeable in terms of arrangement. He’s an inspiring and a multi-talented musician. Looking forward to collaborating with him upon my return from LA…
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Any tit-bits of entertainment places to hang-out whiles in Accra?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: Accra is a great city for nightlife and this fits what most people are looking for. A combination of venues suited to every taste. I have a few personal favorites including a great little Italian wine bar; Bella Roma located in the heart of Osu, Citizen Kofi and Reggie Rockstone’s Office behind the Ghana Police HQ & Japan Embassy, Kanda. Accra…!
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Are you working on any humanitarian cause? Where do you see yourself in 5yrs?
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: Currently I’m preparing a big move from the Liberian Refugee Camp in the Gomoa District of the Central Region where I’ve been teaching English and Social Studies and living for a year. I’ll be going back to my native Los Angeles for a few months to promote the music. I’m sure that the humanitarian effort will continue but will likely different form.
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Your last words and appreciations…
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: All Music lovers and my Fan’s can grab a copy of my mixtapes here; [The GH Mix-Up] & [Lazarus Rising Original Mixtape]. I’d also like to take this opportunity to say a BIG “Thank You” to Skillion Records, Kevin Blackmore of NVNT Studio’s & Kwaku-Tutu [Kwaku-T] for supporting my dreams and always been there for me.
Mac-Jordan [MJ]: Thanks for your time and It was great pleasure interacting with you.
Taurian Deveaux [TD]: You’re always welcome, dear. Good luck with your blogging. Shall keep you posted on any new development. Have a pleasant day 😉