Village Boy Prince is here to tell his story and put on for his roots in Sierra Leone the best way he can. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, the country in West Africa experienced a civil war back in 1992, resulting in a split between the government and its inhabitants. For over a decade, citizens were fighting for their lives and freedom… as violence and poverty went on to plague their homes.
Rising from the ashes is Village Boy Prince, who luckily found solace in music and dance. While Prince is his real name, the name also derives from Prince Lamin Silla, the king of the village Kenema who’s background and culture directly impacts his current sound and art. As the son of a diamond dealer, Village Boy Prince fondly remembers growing up amidst the culture of Jeleba, where people perform at weddings and ceremonies with live instruments.
After discovering Michael Jackson who he lists as his main source of inspiration, Prince would then find the courage and confidence to pursue a music career full-heartedly.
AllHipHop: Not a lot of people are from Sierra Leone, could you give us your backstory?
Village Boy Prince: I’m from a village called Kenema in Sierra Leone. My village is small and filled with fishermen, diamond miners, and farmers; though we are blessed with minerals, we are troubled by corruption. I found my joy in music and dance. I am a real music lover. Since I was a kid, I’ve been around music and I just love to write, listen to, and perform music. When I first started as a kid, I didn’t know my mom. She moved and came to America. Then my dad moved and went to Angola, so I was there at home all by myself. I was able to figure it out.
AllHipHop: How did that impact your music today?
Village Boy Prince: Just the culture. I’m from a cultural place, so it shaped me into who I am today as far as things that I talk about. I talk about love, happiness, and affection. I talk about empowering and uplifting women. It is all about peace and harmony.
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
Village Boy Prince: My sound is very melodic. Not sweet, not sour, right in between. It is powerful. When you hear my song, my melodies are going to touch you. You’re going to feel something inside of you. It’s very special to me and my culture, and I hope to touch the hearts of other music lovers when they listen.
AllHipHop: Who were your favorite artists growing up?
Village Boy Prince: Growing up, my cousin was the biggest artist in my country. I was around him, his name is K-Man. That’s my mentor, that’s who I got everything from. Then Michael Jackson of course. Before my dad moved to Angola, he left me a Michael Jackson DVD. We’d have lights in the village once in a while, and that’s all I was watching. Then I started picking up moves. Next thing you know, I’m in front of the class dancing and performing.
AllHipHop: How’d you get your name?
Village Boy Prince: I’m a village boy and my name is Prince, so I just put it together. People will read my name and they will know exactly where I’m from.
AllHipHop: Was there a moment where you realized you wanted to do music for a living?
Village Boy Prince: Yes, I was six years old. That’s when I knew this is what I want to do. Because where I’m from, my tribe, we have this thing called Jeleba. What it does is when we have weddings or naming ceremonies or birthday parties, really any celebration, we come here and perform. We sing, dance, and play different instruments. We entertain. I was around that scene, saying, “Man, I want to be doing this.”
When I finally left and came to America, I wanted to pursue music to the fullest. So when I got the opportunity to come to America, I went to college to receive an education in music. I attended Full Sail University in Florida for recording arts, so I could learn how to produce, mix and master my own music. Now, I am self-sufficient. I make my own music so I don’t have to depend on anybody.
AllHipHop: How was it coming to America? Was there a culture shock at all?
Village Boy Prince: Yes. Where I’m from, we look at America like heaven. I swear, I thought there were no roaches out here, no flies, nothing like that. That’s how we look at America. When I came here I realized this is where I want to be. It is way way better than where I’m from, of course, look at all the opportunities.There are a lot of opportunities here, you can be who you want to be in America. You can make your dreams come true here. If you have the passion and the mindset, you can achieve your dreams.
AllHipHop: What’s your favorite thing about America?
Village Boy Prince: I would say lights. We don’t have lights back home. Lights are on 24/7 here. It sounds small, but to me, it’s huge.
AllHipHop: What did you learn from attending Full Sail?
Village Boy Prince: Music, making beats, and producing. I also met a whole bunch of people that I was able to learn from and connect with. Receiving an education was a blessing to me.
AllHipHop: You dropped “Change My Life” in 2020, what inspired that record?
Village Boy Prince: It was actually a girl. [Laughs.] Because I was going through a phase of my life where I was willing to change a few things about myself for a girl. With me, I like to write about personal stuff, and really speak from the heart, so I had to make a song about that.
AllHipHop: What music are you currently working on?
Village Boy Prince: I’m working on a whole bunch of new music, with a couple names you may have heard. But it’s in the wraps right now. I go to the studio every day, so my catalog is huge. I record all night long, everyday. Right now, I have a whole bunch of unreleased projects that are coming soon.
AllHipHop: What inspires you the most?
Village Boy Prince: My mom inspires me. Just growing up, everything she went through. Also, my people back home inspire me, because there’s nothing there. I wake up in the morning with this fire inside of me to just go hard, to make my family and my country proud.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Village Boy Prince: Of course, I need my champagne, I need some weed, and I need a few vibes around.
AllHipHop: What does Afrobeat mean to you?
Village Boy Prince: Afrobeat means everything to me. It’s happiness. It means affection, love, and unity. Coming from where I am from, family is everything.
Not to downgrade hip hop or anything, but when people talk about things with women and call them certain names, it is degrading. It is demeaning. The whole vibe of afrobeat is to uplift women, and sing of love, and beautiful things.
Back home, we didn’t have anything. Music made us happy. Music kept us going. Even during and after the civil war, at least we had music and dance.
AllHipHop: I know you recently linked with ASSAL COBRA on “WINE PON.” How’d that come about?
Village Boy Prince: Yes, we did that two years ago. ASSAL is a cool friend of mine. She stopped by my house, which also has a studio. We actually did that on Christmas day 2020. She heard some of my music and was like, “Wow, your music is fire. Let me put on a beat.” She put on that beat, and we went from there.
AllHipHop: Talk about the merch you have coming out?
Village Boy Prince: Yes. Right now, you could check my IG @Villageboyprince.
Villagedon.com, that’s going to be the website for the merch, it’s on the way.
AllHipHop: What does a day in the life look like for Village Boy Prince?
Village Boy Prince: I go to the studio all night, so I wake up around 8 or 9am. Get my coffee, and go to the gym. I’ll grab some lunch, then figure out my schedule for the day. I always stop at my studio, Up La Brea Studios. I manage it, so it’s important I’m there to see what’s going on, make sure the engineers are there doing their sessions, and making sure everything runs smoothly. From there, I might take a little break, and rest. At nighttime, I go right back to the studio and create my own music until the morning. When you are in the groove, there is no stopping that.
AllHipHop: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Village Boy Prince: I’m always working. [Laughs.] Except when I’m sleeping.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?
Village Boy Prince: Yes definitely, feed the village. My goal is to feed the village.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let the people know?
Village Boy Prince: Yes, I want people to expect a whole bunch of great music coming their way. I want people to know music is my passion and my life. I work every day on pursuing what I love, and I can’t wait to be able to share it worldwide.
AllHipHop: Can we expect any upcoming singles?
Village Boy Prince: Yes, I have a bunch in the works right now. We’ll have one ready in a month or so. Right now, we’re cooking up a whole bunch of music, and making sure we get that out the right way.
Get ready for what’s about to happen.