Artist, Activist, Entrepreneur
An artist, activist and entrepreneur, Derrick N. Ashong (aka D.N.A) is the Founder of "Take Back the Mic," a new youth-centered cultural movement and multiplatform media venture empowering global youth through music & media. He left a Ph.D. program at Harvard to serve as "Intellectual Hitman" at Weapons of Mass Entertainment, a new media venture launched by multi-platinum pop legend Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame. As an artist, D.N.A played a supporting role in Steven Spielberg's Amistad; has worked with such established artists as Debbie Allen, Janet Jackson and Bobby McFerrin; and is the leader of critically-acclaimed Afropolitan-fusion band Soulfège - with multiple nominations for the Boston Music Awards, recognition by the Independent Music Awards and the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and most recently winning Best Hip Hip Song of 2007 in the Billboard Song Competition.
A nationally recognized public speaker, D.N.A has lectured at 100+ institutions in the US, Ghana, Europe and the Caribbean on the impact of popular culture on youth identity. D.N.A is a graduate of Harvard College, with High Honors in Afro-American studies, and sits on the boards of Oasis Entertainment and Africa Action, the oldest organization in the US, lobbying African issues.
D.N.A and his band have been guests on NPR’s “Tell Me More” with Michelle Martin as well as ABC News Boston. He has also made countless radio and television appearances in South Africa, Jamaica and Ghana, including MTV Africa and BBC World Service Radio.