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Watch Now: A High-Energy Afrobeats Performance You Can't Help But Dance To

Michigan alum Ayoinmotion returns for live performance, Q+A

Watch Now: A High-Energy Afrobeats Performance You Can't Help But Dance To

A Black man (the singer Ayoinmotion) is wearing a purple outfit. The image is mirrored on the other side.

Ayoinmotion

“I feel like life is cyclical in the circles it goes in, so to kind of be back here, it feels really special,” performer Ayoinmotion said recently, at a Q+A before a virtual concert he performed early this spring. He went on to speak about his experience of moving to Michigan from Nigeria as a teenager, and how supported and inspired he felt at U-M Flint. “[Flint] was the space where my artistic direction started to be shaped. I feel like I’ve always been artistically inclined, but it was at University of Michigan Flint where I met a lot of my mentors and that allowed me to be able to find my voice as a poet. It was always there but I just didn’t realize how poignant it could be, how spoken word could really inspire people.” 

After transferring to the Ann Arbor campus, he said, he got involved with the African Graduate Student Association, which helped him combine his passions for art and activism. “When I think about my formative years and growing up and coming of age in Nigeria, before moving to America, I’ve always been very politically inclined and I’ve always been about social change because I just feel like it’s a luxury not to be involved in those things. It’s like, how could you see something and not feel like it needs to be made better?” he said. “How could you grow up in a military dictatorship and not understand to push for democracy and equality and equity, and then how could you be in spaces like this where there’s systemic oppression and injustices, and not feel like you need to be part of that change?

Check out the performance below along with a Q+A with Ayoinmotion:

Watch the Q+A