ADDIS TUNES: Elias Aba Milki (aka Japi) is the winner of a $25,000 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which will allow him to spend a year of independent exploration and travel – most notably through South Africa, Brazil and Uganda to examine hip hop and its global impact. Before beginning his odyssey, Japi was kind enough to sit down with us to discuss his plans for the future. This brother is headed for big things – but don’t take my word for it…check out the interview below! And make sure to follow him on Twitter!!!
AT: As they say in Jamaica, “Big tings agwan!!!” Congrats on the grant and your recent graduation from Amherst. Would you mind giving us a little background on your grant award, how you learned about it, and how you won?
Japi: Thank you! The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship is a one-year grant for independent research and travel abroad for recent graduates. It’s a pretty popular award at my school so I had known about it for some time. I was really attracted to the opportunity to carry out research on a unique topic of my choosing in multiple countries. I was sure that every round of the application would be my last, and was quite surprised when my sister called me screaming about the news. I obviously need to work on my perception skills.
AT: So you are heading to South Africa, Brazil, and Uganda. How long will you be in each place, and what do you have planned as the first thing you’ll do once you get settled? … Read More