14 June 2017

Liberia: The Political Influence of Musicians - Liberia's Elections Charade

Monrovia — The role of musicians in influencing the decisions of their fans in selecting candidates has always been exploited fully by political parties and candidates in Liberia.

Liberia's presidential aspirants have caused unprecedented division in the musical circle- as many musicians are using the spotlight to let their fans know whose tune they are dancing to and canvassing voters at every opportunity.

Whether for personal interest or not, the role of musicians in this year's elections is more than just supporting a political party or candidate.

Musicians like Chiller Coolnanee, Shining Man, JB, Christoph The Change, Lil Beshop, TeddyRide, Margas, and DJ's Don have grouped themselves under the banner "ALP Front liners" following the release of their new song titled "Mr. Urey".

With the increased relevance and influence of Liberian musicians along with the rise of social media and online portals including Twitter and Facebook, politicians and their supporters are well aware of the potential positive impact, and on the flipside backlash,that can spread via these fora.

Presidential aspirants are seriously playing their cards to ascend to the presidency.

This year's election seems to have torn Liberia's musical industry apart as opinions are divided among entertainers.

Almost all entertainers have been declaring their support of preferred presidential aspirants, whilesome entertainers say they prefer to remain neutral while campaigning for a free, fair and credible election.

In this report, FrontPage Africa x-rays Liberian musicians and their preferred candidate in the October 10 presidential election.

Christoph The Change

Christoph The Change is arguably Liberia's hottest musician.

His support for ALP's Benoni Urey, according to many, is a major political scoop based on the number of fans he has attracted for himself in a relatively short period of time.Christoph The Change has never hidden his admiration for Urey.

He has vowed to support Urey in these elections, promising to lure more influential musicians to the ALP.

Urey's support to some of Liberian musicians has apparently endeared him to the hearts of so many as this is the biggest show of solidarity they say they ever received from an individual.

Urey, FrontPage Africa has gathered, had a private meeting with some of Liberia's top musicians to solicit their continued support and while indications point to the fact that he is planning more funding for them, the effects of the first grant are still very much visible in the level of support he's enjoyed from some musicians so far.

Sundaygar Dearboy

Michael Davies aka Sundaygar has never for once hidden his support for the second term ambition of Vice President Joseph Boakai.

For him, the third term bid of the Unity Party is the continuation of Liberia's journey to the Promised Land.

The musician just released a new song, describing "Uncle Joe" as Liberia's hope for development.

Michael Davies heavily supported President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Unity Party in the 2011 elections and his campaign music for the President was a hit.

Takun J

"I have decided to support the presidential bid of the standard bearer of the Alternative National Congress Alexander Cummings, the right man we need," Takun J said of Cummings during the ANC rally in Monrovia early this year.

Takun J was 'person of the moment' recently in electoral District #8 in Monsterrado County when several residents of the district petitioned him to contest the district's representative seat occupied by Congress for Democratic Change lawmaker Acarous Gray.

Since his open declaration for Cummings' presidential bid, the singer has been enjoying a close connection with the ANC standard bearer.

The self-acclaimed HIPCO king has been actively using his social media platform to create awareness for Cummings presidential bid.

Soul Fresh

Liberia's famous musical duo, Soul Fresh, are among Liberian artists who released a new song for presidential aspirant and standard bearer of the All Liberian Party, Benoni Urey.

The song Titled "Mr. Urey", Soul Fresh is heard urging their supporters to support the candidature of Mr. Urey as he "has all the good qualities of a good leader."

The group in the song promised to campaign to ensure Urey becomes the next President of Liberia. Mr. Urey is contesting the presidency for the first time.

Anthony Kpadeh

He prides himself as the King of Lorma gospel music.

Tony Kpadeh is arguably the most popular gospel musician in Lofa County.

He said he remains a staunch fan of Vice President Joseph Boakai.

The entertainer is said to be touring the nooks and crannies of Lofa County with a message for citizens to support Joe Boakai's presidency in the elections.

Lil Bishop

Lil Bishop was also among the musicians who released the "Mr. Urey" song.

He is an ardent supporter of Urey's presidential bid.

The musician is of the opinion that the Unity Party-led government has not done much for Liberians over the years and they should not be given a third term.

This is the opinion many opposition parties share.

Joe Thompson

Musician Joe Thompson has also always been quite outspoken and direct over his support for Liberty Party standard bearer, Charles Brumskine.

Some of Thompson's recent Facebook posts on this read: 'I took my stand a couple of years ago and I still stand by it.

Will support Liberty Party based on convictions.

Every Liberian should take a stand.

That is democracy. You should not be ashamed of your stand nor vote. CWBI really like.

Honestly. And CWB I love. No hate. Let's just vote and await results and live in peace.'

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