Founder of First Culture, Jeffrey Daniel was on the cover of the October 2016 Issue of Phoenix based publication, Blaize, Dance and Fitness (BDF) magazine. In a tell all interview which headlined Jeffrey as a “Living Legend”, he talked Shalamar, being on Soul Train and choreographing for Michael Jackson. About how the name Shalamar came to be, he said;
“The name of the group came from Simone Suzanne. The word Shalamar is Moroccan and it the name of some beautiful garden in the middle east. The idea was that our music was like a perfume, a sweet smelling fragrance of dance and music.”
And he attributed the groups success to their upbeat, positive dance music, and ballads that made you fall in love. Jeffrey also discussed Nigeria and being a judge on one of the biggest television shows in the country.
On his ties to Nigeria, he said;
“Because it represents a full circle moment for me, as our ancestors were uprooted from here and taken to America, UK, and Japan. Now I get to come back home! From the time you plant your feet on the grounds of Nigeria and Gabon, you are greeted with hospitality from the people and they want you to experience their foods, their culture. There’s not a lot of infrastructure in Nigeria. Without an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and other entities like this, they have built movies, high-quality fashion lines (Lagos Fashion and Design Week) an event known in New York and Tokyo. They are doing it all on their own. Can you imagine if they had the infrastructure that America has?”
“Nigerian idol found out about me…I must say that they were shocked to see me still in Nigeria as most stars just came and left. I am the first celebrity to visit and end up living here.” He said about how he became a judge on the television show.
He also talked about his personal life; I have two girls, Amber and Jalee. The J portion is my name and the rest comes from Kelly, her mother’s name. Amber made me a grandfather and I have two grandsons out in Los Angeles who I spend a lot of time with when I’m out there. In 2009, I came for Michael’s memorial , I stayed a couple of extra months with my family.
And on future projects; I am building a social media network called First Culture that will be out soon. The network will be linked to my Facebook page. Since Africa was the first civilization this will help expose Nigerian and African culture to the world. I am currently working on the virtual infrastructure.
BDF has also featured stars like Nicole Chaplin, Christian McArthur among others.
Read or Download the full interview here