Kirk Briscoe aka Tijani Conscious born in Kingston, Jamaica, is an international reggae artiste, a singer, songwriter, producer and film director whose songs are enjoying massive attention all over the world. He currently lives in Atlanta, USA. In this exclusive interview with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM the Muslim- cum- reggae sensation, bears his mind on his kind of music and other? sundry issues. Excerpts:

Tell us why you decided to go into music?
I approach everything I do with a God conscious mentality but I am versatile within that concept. I grew up in a musical household, My family has a long history in Jamaican music. My cousin is reggae music producer Clevie who was a part of the duo that helped to create dancehall music, Steely and Clevie. At an early age my family saw my talents and encouraged me to develop my gifts, later on I decided to become a professional musician because it is my passion and I can do good with it.

What genre of music do you do and why did you chose it?
I know my sound is unique, right now I refer to it as a fusion of reggae, dancehall, hiphop and Afrobeat. Reggae music because that is what’s native to me, I grew up with my father as a DJ playing reggae all the time, hip hop came later in my life as a teen in Jamaica, dance hall is the natural voice of the youths so it was very much a part of my growing up, and I was introduced to Afrobeat when I discovered Fela (Anikulapo) Kuti, he was my first experience with this genre of music that I love.?

Let’s know more about your style of music?
My style of music is a composite of my life’s experiences. If you don’t get to travel the world then music allows you to do so. I started at home in Jamaica exploring real reggae music, this is the base of my style. I do not leave this base but I add to it. As a youth, hiphop took me over seas to America. So now I mix my reggae with hiphop and Dancehall. My exposure to African music made me love the beats that come out of Africa. So you will hear me doing a style of music that is reggae base mixed with a variety of world music.
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You are based in Atlanta USA. For? how long have you been there and what is? the response towards your music?

My home is in Jamaica, but I have resided in New York, Detroit and currently Atlanta, the response everywhere I have lived is always the same, people are excited about my sound and it is just a matter of getting the music to the people. The fans are there waiting anxiously for an album. My goal is to be able to reach everyone of them with this music that I created just for them.

In one of your videos on youtube, you featured Ishmael Turner on the track ‘You Changed Me’, what’s the brain behind the song?
The brain behind that song is the love that is a natural beautiful thing between a man and a woman and it is best experienced when there is a spiritual bonding by seeking The Creator’s blessings in the ceremony that we call marriage.

‘Lost Children’ is one song that talks about life as a whole, tell us more about it.
Lost Children is a message to the world about the reality of homeless children and the plight of orphans it’s also a message to men to remember their responsibilities as family providers and protectors .

Your songs are enjoying air play both in Nigeria and abroad your established based. How do you feel watching your songs play on well known? entertainment stations?
I receive mad love from my Nigerian fans, I love them and appreciate their support, Watching my songs on MTV, Channel O and Sound City is one of the best experiences, Big ups to all who play my videos in Nigeria, I have received nothing but love from you all and I can’t wait to meet and jam with you.

So what should we be expecting from you next aside your songs making waves now and who will you be featuring next?
Right now I’m working on a 7- song E.P so far I have recorded about twenty songs and Its so hard to pick only seven of them. My features are not based on popularity but artistes that I bond with creatively.?
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How would you rate Nigeria entertainment industry especially as an international artiste. What do you think needs to be done to meet all standards?
Nigerian entertainment is huge and growing. On the international side the entertainers are becoming more well known mainly because of the Nigerians that live overseas and the use of the internet, they are both importing the country’s movies and music to the rest of the world. One of my Nigerian associates in Atlanta is Kayswitch who is the younger brother of D’Banj, I’m directing his music video ‘Mama’, a song produced by Jamaican reggae producer Waggy Ras and I see the success and good response they are having in the states. Really there is nothing that needs to be done as far as meeting the international standard, Nigeria is an enterprising country with well educated and creative people who have risen to meet the quality that the world is used to when it comes to entertainment.??

Has the political situation in Nigeria affected your musical career in anyway in Atlanta?
Only emotionally, I empathise with the people in Nigeria who are living in distress due to political stress. We in Jamaica are real familiar with problems in politics, we have had what could be considered a civil war because of political violence. I believe the people will overcome this.

What would be your message to your fans especially in Nigeria and the Leaders. What would you want them to do in making sure that there is a level playing ground for all?
I would say to my Nigerian fans that I pray that God bless you with plenty of good including the best leaders who care about your future and your country’s future. My message to the leadership is to remember that public office is a job that you take to work for the people, so take pride in what you can do for your people. Leveling the playing ground for all will take justice and create opportunity for all and that is a lot of hard work but I believe that the Nigerian people have the ability and will find the right leaders to address this situation.?

Watching your videos one realises ‘art’ which is rare in Nigerian music, how did you weave it in all your songs, thus making it evergreen?
I am very happy that is the impression you get from listening to my songs and watching my videos. I am an artiste in every sense of the word and even though I’m in the music business, I have to stay true to myself and the artistry. My songs and videos are usually not trends but standards and maybe that is why my work seem timeless.

I love to be adventurous in my creative process and the response has been incredible, so I encourage those who haven’t yet to join me on youtube, twitter and facebook to continue building our community of real music lovers. Thanks for this interview and Big Ups to all my fans. God bless the good people of Nigeria.