Tag: African Music


The Africa Centre’s 2nd Summer Festival 2/8/14

London’s Covent Garden to host Textile Themed festival

The Africa Centre is a London-based charity that aims to promote awareness of African cultural and developmental issues in the UK. They will be hosting their second Summer Festival on August 2nd 20141 from 2 noon – 10 pm in the East and West Piazzas of Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RF
This year the theme of the event is the “African Textile Experience”
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The centrepiece of the festival will be an inspiring programme, curated by Magie Relph of the African Fabric Shop and advised by Chris Spring, Curator of the African Collection at the British Museum, showcasing the rich tapestry of African textiles in all their beauty and diversity which will engage, inspire and fascinate you. Learn how to make your own Africa-inspired textiles at our craft workshops or take home a memento from our African craft stalls in Covent Garden’s Piazza.

The day will give attendees an opportunity to see, touch, hear and taste the best that contemporary Africa has to offer. You will also be able to feel the energy of Africa through vibrant dance and acrobatic performances. Have fun for all the family with African face and mask painting. Move to the beat of Africa with live music, drummers and DJs. Savour the flavour of Africa with authentic cuisine.

So why not go along and take part in celebrating the vibrancy, creativity and sheer joy of contemporary fabrics from all over Africa, including Kente, of course.

For more information please visit the website – africacentre.org.uk

Why is the Ghanaian Musician not Penetrating the African Music scene ?

What do Ghanaian Artists need to do to enjoy the same kind of exposure of their Nigerian and South African counterparts?

Over the years, I have decided to broaden my tentacles and research into why some particular countries in Africa has it artists playing
shows in other African countries more than  others. It is quite obvious that Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana have been rated as countries that are musically active. South Africa’s Angelique Kidjoe,Hugh Masekela,HHP, are just few names that immediately come to mind when talking about stars who have played shows across the continent.

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Nigeria has a long list of artists that has been booked by head of states and cooperate bodies over the years to play big concerts. Ranging from Fela Kuti, Asa and in recent times D-Banj , Wizkid, Davido, Banky W,Tiwa Savage,Timaya and Ice Prince. Burna boy ,Selebobo and Kcee are few of the latest additions to have headlined. However in Ghana the story is totally different as compared to the days of Amandzeba Nat Brew Koo,Osibisa when they also enjoyed some diplomacy, playing gigs for head of states in neighbouring countries.

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In Ghana we can only point out Fuse ODG courtesy of his hit song “Antenna”, R2bees, Sarkodie, Samini, Wanlov and Mensa (Fokn Bois), who at times get invited. It is worth noting that these are the same old names we have heard over the years. Though the Ghanaian dancehall fraternity is gradually creating a buzz for themselves.

The big question here is; what exactly are the South African and Nigeria artists doing that Ghanaians cannot or are not doing to help them penetrate through Africa? Secondly, what is forcing Ghanaian radio presenters and Djs to be playing more Nigerian & South African songs than the songs produced by Ghanaians?.

The system is different in Nigeria and other countries. Ghanaian music does not enjoy massive airplay in those countries like theirs do in Ghana. I don’t necessarily believe that the size of your countries economy matters in this perspective. Good music paves ways to its lovers. I believe Ghana has versatile song writers and sound engineers that can push out a better production that can equally sell across the continent like how Kukere and Davido’s ‘Dami Duro’ took African by surprise.

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If language was truly a barrier, then Cabo Snoops ‘Windeck’ and Mafikizolo’s ‘Kona’ will not be the number one African song for virtually six months to the extent of winning an Award at the 2013 4syte Music Video Awards in Ghana and other Awards respectively? The only way Ghanaians can commercially breakthrough the music industry in Africa is to research properly, write lyrics, invest, be ready to learn how to play shows live and produce songs that are more African than Ghanaian.

Most musicians are scared of branding themselves and that is the comparative advantage others have over them. So why not think of professional branding? That is also not to say they should deviate from the indigenous style. There is a borderline. Afrobeat (African beat) has evolved and has presented itself in a dynamic way and artistes who are digging into it achieves are touching the heart of their fans. Least of songs that can be considered as Afrobeat includes Kcee ft Wizkid’s Pull Over, Sarkodie ft Mugeez “Give it to me, Inyanya’s Kukure,Wizkid ft Fela ” Jaiye, Samini ft Mugeez “Sweet Mistake ,SK Original “Famame, Fuse ODG’s Antenna,R2bees “Kiss your hands and Someone like you and the latest production by Ghanaian group Gallaxy called BokoBoko.

Technically these songs have the feel of the authentic African drums in the instrumentation live and arrangement by the respective sound
engineers. Moreover the languages cut Francophone and Anglophone jurisdiction which is a dominant element of an Afrobeat. This is the
trend which will not fade away. Some known Africans have been tolling this direction over decades now and are still selling commercially
across the continent. Rhythms does not die, they evolve and present themselves in different way to suit the new world. That is what the new generation is calling “contemporary”which quite debatable. Locally we can all testify to the evolution of Ghanaian highlife music.

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EL,D-Black, Sarkodie,R2bees,Castro who came into the industry as Hiplife artistes are producing highlife now because that is what is more commercial now. So it about time they expand their capacity to reach the African Audiences who are waiting to hear them.

If reaching the global community is the focus of the business minded Ghanaian musician then we should restructure our production and marketing policies.

Afia English (@AfiaEnglish)

Biggest African Music Festival in London

Sarkodie and R2Bees to perform at ‘Africa Unplugged’

 

The biggest African music festival in Europe ever is set to take place in London at Wembley Arena on August 27th. Celebrating Africa through music, dance and comedy, the festival will also highlight issues affecting Africa and will be raising funds to support two charities – WarChildUK and SaveTheCongo.

With an exclusive artist line-up coming together on stage to support real African issues, this is a concert that cannot be missed! The festival will more than cater to all African music tastes, so come along with your friends to enjoy yourself and help raise money for a good cause!

CONFIRMED LINE UP

HOST: the fantastic Eddie Kadie with co host Jazzie Phizzle

DJ: DJ EDU, #Afroboss (‘Destination Africa’ BBC 1Xtra) ‘if you don’t know his show, you’ve been missing out!’

ARTISTS
Cabo Snoop (Angola)
Chameleon (Uganda)
Dj Arafat (Ivory Coast)
Fally Ipupa (Congo)
Femi Kuti (Nigeria)
Flavour (Nigeria)
Iyanya (Nigeria)
Mad Traxx (Kenya)
Mic Inity (Zimbabwe)
R2Bees (Ghana)
Sarkodie (Ghana)
Tuface (Nigeria)
Winky D (Zimbabwe)
Zahara (South Africa)
Zakes Bantwini (South Africa)

CONFIRMED UNSIGNED ACTS
Mr Silva (UK)
Skobs (UK/Ghana)
Noeva (UK/Zambia)

Africa Unplugged will educate, motivate and inspire all by shedding light on the plight of Mother Africa and the daily issues she faces. This includes Genocide, Poverty, Corruption, War, HIV, Water Shortage and Malaria. We will celebrate the spirit of Africa through music, comedy and dance. For each ticket sold, £2.50 will go towards our Partner Charities War Child and Save The Congo.

WE WANT TO PARTY WITH YOU THERE, Africa needs you there… so get your tickets now HERE

Afrobeats: Ghanaian Musician Photos Leaked

Tiffany’s leaked photo: Is she to blame?

It seems that being a celebrity sometimes comes at a price, and Tiffany unfortunately paid for it when nude pictures of her topless were leaked on the internet last week.

Tiffany_Afrobeats_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_ComThe female rapper who’s had popular hits with ‘Fake London Boy’ and ‘Last One’ reportedly had her house robbed, where many personal items were stolen, including her mobile phone. After failing to exhort money from the rapper through blackmail upon discovering nude pictures on her blackberry, the perpetrator then leaked a picture of Tiffany topless on various social networks. The perpetrator has threatened to leak more pictures if his demands are not met.

As a fan of Tiffany I really felt for her when I heard the story, as something like this has the potential of really damaging her musical career when she’s doing so well at the moment. Tiffany has since apologized to fans on Facebook for the incident. Which brings me to the question: why did she even have those pictures on her phone? As unfair as it seems, sometimes having a career in the public eye means you have no private life.

Everything you do is scrutinized and things you don’t want people knowing about you are made public knowledge. Knowing this shouldn’t someone in the public eye take precautions to prevent things like that from happening?

Tiffany_Afrobeats_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_ComEveryone has the right to do whatever they want in their privacy, however as someone in the public eye, having nude pictures of yourself on your phone is something you need to seriously think twice about. My problem is not why Tiffany took those nude pictures of herself but rather why she left the images on her phone. I feel that perhaps Tiffany should have realized the risk factor involved in carrying such pictures of herself around. People around you can easily access your phone, and when not careful you expose personal information and in Tiffany’s case images of yourself when you lose or have your phone stolen. As harsh it may sound, she could have prevented this from happening.

With the guy in question now threatening to release more nude pictures, I bet she’s wishing she’d never had those pictures on her phone. I really hope they catch the guy responsible for this before he leaks more nude pictures of her on the internet. It would be a shame to see her career badly affected because of this.

By Yaa Nyarko

Afrobeats: Ghanaian’s Atumpan & Stay Jay

Atumpan is back with a hot new track called ‘Sisimuden’. This time ‘the teacher’, who brought us the massive hit ‘The Thing’ has teamed up with shashee wowo rapper Stay Jay. Atumpan, who has described himself as an ‘underground dancehallist’ does not disappoint on this track. ‘Sisimuden’ is definitely something to write home about and a great follow up single to the highly popular ‘The Thing’. Having just released his album ‘The Talking Drum’, this will be the second single off the 15 track album.

Sisimuden’ is a high energy song that will get you off your feet and dancing in no time. Atumpan and Stay Jay have done an excellent job on this track! Their lyrics are on point and with such a banging beat, I’m sure this track is going to be big! Check the song out!

By Yaa Nyarko

Daddy Lumba – The Legend!

THE LEGEND THAT IS LUMBA!

Daddy_Lumba_Me_FiRi_GHANA_Dot_ComThey say a picture can speak a thousand words, none more so than this one here. This picture taken at the ‘Legends and Legacy Ball’ held in Ghana last week reminded me again why Daddy Lumba is truly a legend. We all know about the hostilities that exist between former presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kuffour. Recently, it seems the two have been working towards burying the hatchet after being cordial with each other on a number of occasions. But it was the powerful hit of Daddy Lumba’s ‘Aben Wo Ha’ that truly brought the two together. Seeing Kuffour dance with Nana Konadu along with Rawlings as Lumba looked on was truly amazing.

Daddy_Lumba_Me_FiRi_GHANA_Dot_Com_2Lumba now known as DL, who can be described as one of Ghana’s most consistent hit-makers was honoured for his contribution to music at the Legend and Legacy Ball by the Musician Union of Ghana (MUSIGA). MUSIGA’s president Bice Obour Osei Kuffour described DL as “not only an entertainer but an entrepreneur, an employer and a critical investor whose works can reap great and enviable dividends which if well harnessed would be enjoyed by posterity”.

No one deserves this honour better than DL. Since releasing his first hit “Yeeye Aka Akwantuo Mu” with Nana Acheampong in the 1980s, Lumba has gone on to release 27 albums, and he’s also responsible to for the discovery of Ofori Amponsah aka Mr All4Real and Borax. He’s collaborated with Pat Thomas, Ofori Amponsah, A.B Crentsil, Felix Owusu and Sarkodie. His songs are legendary and going to a Ghanaian function without hearing a Lumba track is like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower! Such is the impact of his music that some of the phrases in his songs have now become common use in the Ghanaian vernacular. No musician has achieved what Lumba has and for that we salute him!

By Yaa Nyarko

FREE DOWNLOAD: Afrobeats Star A-S-E-M

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Asem is back again with another one depicting his dislike for Mondays, who doesn’t?

A-S-E-M is an artist we have alot of respect for. When we last saw him perform live it is evident that he puts in the work. He has a fantastic stage presence and really knows how to interact with the crowd and get the people moving. We salute you ASEM!

DOWNLOAD –>> HERE <<–DOWNLOAD

By BIGxGH
www.bigxgh.com

Azonto Invasion Mix – FREE DOWNLOAD…

BiGxGh Azonto Invasion Mix Vol. 2

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Azonto seems to be the “iish” now and the 1st “Azonto” mix had 32,000+ downloads. No doubt people loved it. This one should get more than that as it’s way better than the 1st one as confirmed by lots of DJ’s. It starts with popular dancehall tunes that goes well with the “Azonto” dance and ends in one as well. You know how I does it already. I won’t talk much. Check out the track listing, listen and download for your listening pleasure. My gift to you. And don’t forget to thank me later.

DOWNLOAD –>> HERE <<–DOWNLOAD

By BIGxGH
www.bigxgh.com

Ghanaian Music: Interview with K’adu Larbi

This week Me FiRi GHANA catches up with K’adu Larbi, one of the few artists bringing hiplife on the international stage. He tells us more about his new single ‘Take My Hand’, his upcoming album and how well he can azonto…

For the benefit of those not familiar with you who is K’adu?
I am music producer, songwriter, artist and musician. Born and raised in south London, originated from Ghana. Studied Music at the famous ACM music Academy and have been dedicated to creating and perfecting a new style of music.

How best would you describe your music?
Best description to give my music is experimental, in terms of a fusion of sounds. I love mixing genres from Afro-beats, African Dancehall, Hip-hop, RnB, Reggae, African Funky and Soca. A different blend sounds gives me the edge to cut my music across Europe and Africa.

Who or what inspired you to do music?
I’ve been inspired by some of the greatest musicians to singer-song writers from the early generation, people such as Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson and if moving to the present, artist such as Ne-yo, Ryan Leslie and production wise Scott Storch and Timbaland.

What has been the best experience for you in your career so far?
I think the greatest highlight so far is finally finishing my album (LIFE IS MUSIC), which took 3 years in the making. The passion and thoughts behind the songs has giving me a better insight to my music and the experiences behind it.

Tell as us about your upcoming single ‘Take My Hand’.
Take My Hand is the first single off the album. It’s a retro mixture between Afro beats, Dub-step and African Funky. The story behind the song is for my loved one to understand, no matter how much my career may shine, she will always be a priority; nothing can change my mind set, staying true and humble to what I have and how I started.

When it is coming out?
Take My Hand has already been represented on some of London’s Urban Uk/African radio stations such as RADIO REPREZENT107.3FM – BANGRAIDIO 103.6FM – RAINBOWRADIO SKY 0207 as we are now on RADIO TOUR! The official single release date will be set for mid January.

You’re working on your debut album as well. What can we expect from it?
LIFE IS MUSIC has all the elements to represent me and my style. The songs listed indicate my fears, my passions as well as the outcome situations in other people lives. Taking stories that others could possible relate to the world will surely get people interested in what has to be said as well as listening to a diverse and unique style of music.

What are your thoughts on the current music scene in Ghana?
I think the music scene In Ghana is huge right now. I see the Artists there are making a real statement on what style their trying to represent. With the stage their placed on now, I am sure they can only move forward by placing African music on a bigger scale.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the new dance craze in Ghana azonto
Yes! I’ve heard about the Azonto

How well can you do it?
I can only do it slightly, more practicing needs to be done lol

If you could work with any artist or producer in the world who would it be and why?
If I had to say one particular artist, it would have to be my main guy Sonni Balli, for he’s unique voice and style. I think he is highly underrated but I see something great about him and his music.

Finally tell us what you love about Ghana the most and why?
Lool, I can’t say much, otherwise I’d be talking forever, but what I can surely say is the food, music and the respect!

By Yaa Nyarko

Afrobeats: Free Download – The Thing!

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DOWNLOAD HERE: Listen & Download

To doubt the “Azonto” invasion has helped lots of artists hit the limelight. Artists like Stay Jay, Eduwodzi, Atumpan, Cash Unit and the likes have benefited hugely from the invasion. It’s amazing how one song can take an artists far. Ruff N Smooth went far with their hit song “Swagger” and so is “Atumpan”. I hope Atumapan’s song win the most popular song of the year as it’s made lots of noise these past few months. He’s remixed the song with the sensational trio “V.I.P.”  The remix reprises the same instrumental produced by “PeeWee”. Let’s listen together and get our azonto’s on and remember where you heard it 1st.

By BIGXGH