Change Story: Dan Aceda

Dan Aceda first came to the GoDown to audition for a 21-song musical theatre piece called Lwanda, A Ghetto Story circa 2006, fresh out of high school. He made it through, and was part of the show’s chorus. He kept coming to the GoDown throughout university, for some production or other, along with a friend he fondly remembers – Melissa Omeh.

Perhaps it is in this coming back and forth that the GoDown endeared itself to Dan, as he is currently based here. “GoDown hosts my office and studio. It has been a place in which I have tried out many things as a performer and as an artist, and had great successes. There’s that emotional link. For example, I was part of a musical which we rehearsed for here, and performed in New York, off Broadway,” Dan says.

The network available at the GoDown has been instrumental to his journey as an artiste: “The good thing about it is that it is a space that includes many other people. I’ve held studios in many spaces. The GoDown is unique in that just next door there’s another musician, an animator, another studio. There’s been many moments where everything depended on that network, and if I hadn’t had it I probably wouldn’t have achieved what I wanted to. Being able to run across there and get a drum kit or grab a bass when mine is not working is really unique and important and is something I’m grateful for.”

The GoDown, being a melting pot of artists, many of them in the upper echelons in their trades, has introduced Dan to new perspectives. “Suzanna Owiyo’s approach to music and music business is always refreshing to hear about, and the way Michael Soi talks about his art and being an artist is something else. Gado’s approach to art, its position in society and how it informs politics and vice versa is very interesting. Mark Le Vine has also been here – and he’s worked with artists such as Mick Jagger and  Ozomatli (which won a Grammy). I could go on and on.” He is also immensely grateful to some former GoDown employees such as Lima Mbai and Japheth Njagi who made his settling in very smooth.

Dan’s hope for the GoDown is that it would open up even more to the community, and that the community enjoy its offerings even more, as he has done.