J Rock: The voice of patriotism and optimism
Moved by the spirit of patriotism, an upcoming South Sudanese musician by the stage name J Rock sought a unique way of reaching out to his compatriots through a song.
The City Review’s Boka Jr interviewed the “Junub Sudan Wathoni” hit-singer to understand his craft.
Here is the interview:
Boka Jr: Thank you for honouring the interview. Kindly tell us about yourself.
J Rock: Thank you. My name is J Rock, and my real name is Mawien Adhiik, born in 1987 in the Lou Ariik area, Tonj North County of Warrap State. I spent a few years of my childhood there and then moved to Uganda where I lived in the refugee camp while I was a teenager.
Boka Jr: How was life in the refugee camp?
J Rock: Life there was and still is not easy up to today. The South Sudanese who live there face a lot of challenges. I feel sympathetic and wish I could do something to help them. But I realised the little I can do now is to preach peace and to motivate them.
Boka Jr: So, what comes to your mind about it?
J Rock: I had been having frequent dreams about Kakuma Refugee Camp since last year. I do always feel happy whenever I dream about it. Now open prediction but most of the time I wonder what could be the meaning of these haunting dreams? It disturbed me a lot.
Boka Jr: When you came back to South Sudan, what difference did you see in life?
J Rock: It is not easy but a man is always a man. I mean despite the challenges, one has to work tirelessly to get daily needs. As an artist, my music is my business from which I earn a living but this industry is still not profitable.
Life is not easy especially for the youth but we cannot give up no matter how difficult life becomes in this country, I will remain patriotic, hardworking, and hopeful that things will work out one day.
Boka Jr: Reports are that you study part-time, how do you balance it with music?
J Rock: Yes, of course, I manage two masters at ago because I know why I am doing them and with commitment and determination, I can achieve my goals. I am done with my higher studies.
Boka Jr: Tell us more about it. How has the experience been?
J Rock: On the 29th of April 2021 marked yet another milestone in my life. I became a political Science Degree holder. There was no amount of words to express how much I became delighted.
BOKA Jr: What is the message behind the song Junub Sudan Wathoni?
J Rock: Let me just describe the song. It says that South Sudan is my homeland and Salva Kiir is our beloved President. The armed forces are our national army including the police. It also says that we the youth should be united and protect our beloved country, South Sudan. It says, that South Sudan is beautiful and richly blessed with abundant resources such as oil, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, Gold…name them.
Boka Jr: How did you conceive it?
J Rock: It just came to my mind when I had a look at our beautiful landscape and the natural surroundings.
BOKA Jr: Where did you record the audio, shoot the video, and how about the cost
J Rock: I did the audio recording in Hai Studio within Juba. I also did the video shooting here in Juba. In total it costs over 800 USD.
Boka Jr: How has it performed in the market after production and promotion?
J Rock: The audio recording, video shooting, the dancers and the costumes or makeup was of good quality. That’s why it’s a little bit more expensive. I haven’t launched the song yet, but I have been performing it on some occasions, thus, making some little income anyway. But I will launch this great song hopefully earlier next year.
First of all, I am looking for sponsors or promoters to help organise the launch on my behalf.
Boka Jr: Are we patriotic enough as the South Sudanese youth?
J Rock: They are patriotic but the lie they are living discourages them, imagine if you just go to bed thinking of what to eat tomorrow or where to get a job but you don’t get it, how will you feel? If you spend your money, time, and resources and after graduation, you fail to get jobs; how is it? Many have skills and talents but no one supports them. Those are things that reduce their patriotism.
Boka Jr: What is the gap that needs to be addressed?
J Rock: Many things can be done like building schools to have better education, creation of jobs for their employment, promotion of talents, games, and setting up vocational training centres to equip them with skills. Such can include listening to their voices and giving them their rights, improving the economy among others.
BOKA Jr: What is your last message for people outside there?
J Rock: Youth must be aware of their rights and contributions to this country. It starts with loving the country and people. They have to study and work hard to be leaders of tomorrow who will bring development and freedom for all. Leaders, youth, women, and growing children should put their country first. Develop it, defend it, love it and be proud of it. This is my short message. Thank you.