‘Drummer Warrior Storyteller’ is the multi-layered visual album from West London emcee and multidisciplinary artist Apex Zero. The project aspires to embody Nigerian author Chinua Achebe’s perception of storytelling; the Drummer calls the people, the Warrior fights the war, the Storyteller recounts the events, creating history, memory and meaning for those who survive.
Centering African Caribbean perspectives, the album explores personal experiences of oppression and liberation of diasporic, migrant and marginalised people in London and beyond through music, film, dance, photography, painting and immersive listening/performance, engaging audiences through multiple mediums in the form of an installation exhibition.
With the help of many collaborators, Drummer Warrior Storyteller focuses on the frustration, anger, alienation and awareness caused by racism, its embedded structures, police/state violence and denial of opportunity, whilst also striving to break from the image of the ‘struggling’ Black figure, exploring joy, love and aspirations to live and grow despite society’s obstacles.
The film premiered screening at Breakin’ Convention 2021, followed by sold out events at The Hackney Social on August 22nd 2021 (aligned with the 230th anniversary of the Haitian Revolution) and Bernie Grant Arts Centre. Last month, Village 101 presented the exhibition curated with artists Ekua McMorris, Kyung Hwa Shon & Kyungmin Son, then brought to life as a live theatre production crafted with creative director and choreographer Muti ‘Mutivation’ Musafiri. The film also won the Short Focus Film Festival 2022 Audience Award, and will be released on 11th November 2022, alongside this music that runs throughout it.