Becoming a style icon is often traced back to an individual’s intense love for creativity and the boldness to express one’s unique design ideas and fashion tastes in the face of both skeptics and admirers.
It’s no news that African cultures contribute to a significant degree of global style and fashion trends.
However, something rarely obvious about Africans who take a step ahead of the ordinarily fashion-frenzy African society to become style icons, is the commonly huge amount of risk it takes to make the decision to stand out. This is because icon-ism in style goes beyond the idea of style as Fashion, to style as an interwoven form of art and enterprise.
For an intense lover of style like Jidenna who went ahead to become style icon; his journey to expression, you may say, connects to his love of being dapper (a classic man) as much as it does to his love for stylish music. Jidenna, indeed opted to study Sound Engineering back in the days, in a cunning bid to silently steer his way to his music passion. And for a typical African of his background, there couldn’t be more subtle ways to convince his parents that he was not hoping to end up ‘unproductive’.
Jidenna Mobisson (also known as Jidenna, or the Classic Man) is a Talented recording artist of Nigerian descent. A graduate of Stanford University; Jidenna started out studying Sound Engineering before eventually graduating with a Major in Ritual Arts – a course he supposedly created fro himself. Jidenna had his early life in Enugu State Nigeria, where his father was a professor of Computer Science at the present day Enugu State University. In 1995, his family moved to Boston Massachusetts where his music career was later developed.
Jidenna’s adoption of dandy style fashion came to light after the death of his father in 2010. The Classic Man’s looks, in his own words are heavily inspired by the Harlem Renaissance with hints of traditional West African design, and a marriage of European and African aesthetics.
Following the release of his two hit singles, “The Classic Man”, and “Yoga” in 2015; Jidenna hit his fans with a fresh appearance in an episode of the Netflix original series, “Luke Cage”. Like most celebrities following a trend of naming their fans, Jidenna’s fans are called the Jenerals.
In his interview with NDANI Tv, Jidenna discloses that how he actually tricked his parents into letting him go for music.
Host: …So you have a Nigerian family in America… so when you went to college, you were going to study sound Engineering… You know Nigerians they like title… but then the Engineering isn’t quite Computer Engineering, doctor…but it’s
sha (though) Engineering… so were they kinda happy that you were studying sound engineering?
Jidenna: Yeah yeah yeah… I mean that was my trick though… you know I’m a trickster…. I had to trick my dad so I could do music.
He didn’t believe at first, so I told him emhm… I said, “dad…”, in fact he was even going to…[mimicking his dad] “everybody in the village doesn’t know Stanford”
…(Now they know because of tech boom and silicon Valley…), but… he was worried. He said, umm… but you’re not gonna
make any money from music. So I said, “I’m gonna be a sound Engineer”
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