In his most ambitious project to date, multidisciplinary artist Apex Zero presented his project Drummer Warrior Storyteller, as part of the Legacy 101 Spirit of The Village Festival celebrating the legacy of Black excellence emerging from the creative renaissance and movement.
Incorporating music, film, dance, photography, painting, and immersive live theatre production that engaged audiences through multiple mediums and created over the past five years. Drummer, Warrior Storyteller is a multi-layered experience that inspires people and provokes change with an insightful sense of vision, unmatched flow, and atmospheric sound. The project aimed to embody Nigerian author Chinua Achebe’s perception of storytelling; the Drummer calls the people, the Warrior fights the war, and the Storyteller recounts the events, creating meaning for those who survive.
Centering African Caribbean perspectives, the album explores personal experiences of oppression and liberation of diasporic, migrant, and marginalized people in London and beyond through music, film, dance, photography, painting, listening experiences, and performance in this engaging, immersive exhibition and stage show.
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 event featured an exhibition curated with artists Ekua McMorris, Kyung Hwa Shon & Kyungmin Son and featured two collaborative short films – Drummer Warrior Storyteller (Parts 1 & 2) – built around the album’s music; as well as photography by Ekua McMorris; expanded painting by Studio Godson and the film crew; live painting by Dora Lam; pieces by Metalsmiths Roxanne Simone, Gregory & Tesseras Blacksmiths Ltd and Lucie Gledhill; and outfits curated by Charlita ‘Lita-Styles’ Hall and Honey Malaolu. Each piece interprets the music and themes of the album or were created through the filming process.
As well as those mentioned above, Drummer Warrior Storyteller features work made in collaboration with Steph Be, Theo ‘Godson’ Oloyade, Alethia Antonia, FUBUNATION, 3000CeanHill, Chiba Visuals, Alicia Warner, Informotion Worldwide, Village 101, GlobalFaction, Breakin’ Convention, Slim Yearwood, Anna Beel, Akil Wilson and Ukombozii Ancestral Drums. Supported by Arts Council England.
Drummer Warrior Storyteller was presented for the first time as an immersive live theatre production crafted with creative director and choreographer Muti ‘Mutivation’ Musafiri. Using live music, dance, spoken word, visual effects, projection, and sound design, audiences were welcomed into the universe of the album and guided through its multidimensional story. The performance explored African Caribbean storytelling, spirituality, and political traditions. The cast and crew processed and interpreted their own and collective experiences of the infinite interwoven stories of home, diaspora, displacement, migration, and more that are central to that which is labeled ‘Black Experiences’.
The Drummer Warrior Storyteller live theatre production is a collaboration between Apex Zero, Muti ‘Mutivation’ Musafiri, Daniel Oluwasayo Olabode, Kitmapper, Tilé Gichigi-Liperé, Poetikah, Guy Kelton Jones Sr., Moussa Dembele, Dembis Thioung, Ukombozii Ancestral Drums, Andre Bright, Corrie Onyx David King, Grace Ogundipe Akinbode, Charlita ‘Lita-Styles’ Hall, Honey Malaolu, and features music made by Micall Parknsun, Al Lawson, In:Theory, RU1 Fam, Isatta Sheriff, Logic, Renee Soul, Big Cakes, Jazz T, Crazy Haze, Mazzi & S.O.U.L. Purpose, Raquel, Nilotika Cultural Ensemble. Supported by Arts Council England.