In the Liberian entertainment world; I can say unequivocally no career has stretched more epochs of entertainment & music than that of Lincoln ‘TheLegend’ Ward.
His work as a Founder/CEO of IRep Lib, IRep Lib Shop & recently Wlojii has earned him the nickname: “The Innovator.”
Recently there has been rumors and unverified claims about Ward quitting because of his frustration with the pace Liberians were embracing their music.
In this exclusive interview via Skype, LSV caught up with Lincoln Ward and asked him flurries of entertainment questions; from setbacks, his recent Liberian Music platform built into mobile app-Wlojii-, copyright and his take on the future of Liberian music.
Here is a full transcript of our interview with Lincoln Ward.
LSV: “Let’s start this interview with some of the setbacks you faced when starting your career. Can you tell me about a particular work-related hurdle you’ve encountered and how you wrestled your way out?”
Lincoln Ward: “My setback right now is not getting enough people to take advantage of the two platforms purposely designed to help uplift Liberian entertainment and entertainers; specifically Liberian musicians. Perhaps I need to figure out a better way.”
LSV: “What are those platforms and how could Liberian entertainers, specifically musicians take advantage of them?
Lincoln Ward: “The latest one is Wlojii. It is a Liberian Music platform built into the mobile app. The word “Wlojii” is a Kru, Bassa and Krahn word which means: “the gathering of people in a town.” I chose the name because it best fits the goal I had; which is to gather all the best Liberian music and put them in one place thus making it easier for people to find them.”
LSV: “Can you tell our reading audience about the others, prior to Wlojii?”
Lincoln Ward: ” Before Wlojii, it was IRep-Lib & IRep-Lib Shop. IRep Lib strives to promote and shine the spotlight on the rapidly growing entertainment industry and entertainers in Liberia and around the world. IRep Lib Shop is an online store with a sole purpose of creating a fashion style that represents the culture and heritage of Liberia; a sense of pride and expression that every Liberian can be proud of.”
LSV: “I personally follow you and the passion you put behind your work. What are you currently working on?”
Lincoln Ward: “Even though I just did some modifications to Wlojii, I am still working on fixing some things on it.”
LSV: “Post 1980; Liberian photographers, artists, authors, architects, musicians, and choreographers continue to struggle with protection and reproduction rights under our laws. Any advice as to how copyright laws could be implemented in Liberia?”
Lincoln Ward: “It will be very difficult to implement copyright laws in Liberia at this point, but I think what’s really important is for the artists to be united and focus on unionizing. I know there’s a Liberian Musician Union that is not really effective at this moment but I am also aware that most of those artists are not part of that union. In order to have a major voice in Liberia, I believe that artists will have to be united with a common voice to achieving this goal.”
LSV: “On the morning of March 3, Liberians in Liberia and around the globe woke up to some sad news of the death of Quincy B. How did his death affect you personally?”
Lincoln Ward: “I think the death of Quincy B affected a lot of people. I had just communicated with him the morning of that unfortunate incident. Even though I only knew him through interviews and his music, I always had a feeling that he was among the young generations that were helping to bring recognition to Liberian music.”
LSV: “What do you think about growing calls from hundreds of Liberians on social media to sponsor a Liberian concert on the motherland?
Lincoln Ward: “I think that’s a wonderful idea and hopefully it can start coming together soon. If it is successful the first year, I can envision a lot more people getting involve moving forward.”
LSV: “Do you have a favorite blogger?”
Lincoln Ward: “Of course; my favorite blogger is the first lady of Liberian Star Views: Miss Augustina Kou Monpleh. She’s passionately committed to her line of work.”
LSV: “Do you care to give us the name of your favorite Liberian artist?”
Lincoln Ward: “I have a lot of artists that I really like but right now I would say, Kobazzie and Snoti.”
LSV: “Any preferred Liberian song?”
Lincoln Ward: “My two favorite songs right now would be “Bufair Ground Hold It” by CIC and a recent song by Miss Menneh Tumoh. Even though I don’t know what she is saying; however, I love it. This is a proof that music is a universal language.”
LSV Excutive Staff Writer, Kwame Oldpa Weeks & LSV Boss, Augustina Kou Monpleh contributed to this article.