World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Derrick Ashong

Article Id: WHEBN0016369011
Reproduction Date:

Title: Derrick Ashong  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Angola Three
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Derrick Ashong

Derrick N. Ashong, also known as "DNA", (born 1975 in Accra, Ghana), is a musician, artist, activist, and entrepreneur.


Born in Accra, Ghana in 1975, Derrick Ashong is the son of a pediatrician.[1] He attended school in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Voorhees, New Jersey[2] before attending Harvard University in 1997 through a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, where he studied Afro-American studies and was awarded the Hoopes Prize for his senior thesis. He returned to Harvard and is currently studying for a PhD in Ethnomusicology and Afro-American studies.[2] Ashong was a founding member of the Harvard Black Alumni Society.[3]



Ashong's musical career started while at Harvard. He produced a musical entitled Songs We Can't Sing, for which he won awards,[4] before forming a band called "Black Rose". The band later became known as Soulfège. Ashong has worked with such established artists as Debbie Allen, Janet Jackson, & Bobby McFerrin, and is MC and leader of the pan-African band Soulfège, under the name "DNA", producing works that have aired globally via outlets including MTV Africa, MNet Africa and BBC World Service.[2]

In 1997, Ashong had a role in the Steven Spielberg-produced movie Amistad,[1] playing the character Buakei, a role he gained through attending an open audition in New York.[5] He also appeared in a 2006 documentary about the Angola 3, entitled 3 Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation.[6] Ashong founded a talent agency, ASAFO Productions.[7]

Ashong is also the former host of The Stream on Al Jazeera English.

Public roles

Derrick Ashong has lectured on musicology, the free market, and individualism at over a hundred institutions in the United States, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia, including the World Music Expo WOMEX in 2003 in Spain,[3] and is the author of FREE THIS CD!!! - The FAM Manifesto - a text outlining the philosophy of open source music.[4]

Ashong reached prominent media attention when a YouTube video of him speaking on Barack Obama's campaign to gain the Democratic nomination for the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Surprising the interviewer who expected a short soundbite (perhaps based on Ashong's casual appearance), Ashong gave a measured and protracted analysis of Obama's campaign.[8] The video has been viewed more than a million times.[1]

He has recently founded a media company specialising in niche advertising, called Take Back the Mic.[1]


External links

  • Official website
  • Official Soulfège website
  • ASAFO MEDIA website
  • Free this CD
  • Derrick Ashong article on
  • Ashong/Obama YouTube Video
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.