This week our Africa Series travels to Ghana where the music scene is booming. From fresh new talent to hot collab’s and dope videos, Ghanaian artists are making headlines. Choosing our top 6 artists was no easy feat! – Words: Bianca Agenbag 

M.ANIFEST

“Damon Albarn wants him in his band. Flea (Red hot Chili Peppers) follows him on Twitter. And the Twin Cities love him.” Naturally, we had to find out what this guy was all about, and as it turns out, M.anifest is an internationally acclaimed Hip Hop artist known for multilingual wordplay and fresh lyrics. Less than two weeks ago he dropped his new single “God MC” causing major mayhem on social media, with the lyrics “What’s a king to a god mc?” proclaiming himself god of the music scene. However, he is probably not that far off as he was called “the foremost rapper on the continent,” by the Guardian (UK) just last year. His music is *Afrocentric with just the right amount of attitude/ego. He is creative, clever and original in melody and we love that he is ALL about authenticity. He has a long list of achievements to his name collaborating with the likes of Tony Allen and winning numerous awards including third place in the R&B/ Hip-hop category at the International Songwriting Competition (which receives over 18,000 entries). BBC’s The Strand was right when they called him “Ghana’s rapper supreme” and one of 4 artists to watch in the world!

*A fusion of West African with black American music.

 

EFYA

Efya, singer-songwriter and five-time winner of the Ghana Music Awards Best Female Vocalist award, entered the scene with songs like “Little Things” and “I’m in Love with You”. She has since established herself as a singer with an unforgettable sound, which she describes as *Afro-soul with a hint of pop. She recently released her debut album Janesis (we have it on repeat) and although we haven’t had the chance to see her life, judging by demand online she has stellar stage command. Now, who doesn’t love a girl that can rock a “male-dominated” industry?! Her fan base stretches all over the globe, she is signed to Africa superstar Wizkid’s label Starboy Entertainment and has performed alongside some of the industry’s best, including P-Square, M.I and Wanda amongst others. She is also the first girl Sarkodie collaborated with in a love song!

*A fusion between soul music and African sound.

 

KOFI KINAATA

Awarded with both the Song Writer of the Year and Best New Artist of the Year awards at the 2016 Ghana Music Awards, we switch our attention to new kid on the blog – Kofi Kinaata. Kinaata raps in *Fante dialect and fans and critics say his style is different from other Ghanan FanteRap mc’s, which makes him outstanding and totally unique. No wonder his fans call him the #FanteRapgod. When you listen to his music you can’t help but get swept up by the tight delivery, punch lines, lyrics and futuristic, minimal beats. We totally get why he says “anyone who hears him rap falls in love with his lines” because it’s witty and straight to the point. When asked about his raps he answered, “I say the unthinkable. I believe in punchlines, universal advice, nothing profane”. Refreshing. Hit singles like “Obi ne ba”, “Aha ay3 d3” and “Kiwhich”, which have received massive airplay by radio stations and night club DJ’s all over Ghana, has turned him into one of Hiplife and FanteRap Most Wanted artists. He has also worked with producers such as Appietus, Ball J, Dr Ray and recorded tracks with top dawgs like Castro, Old Soja and Atsu Koliko. We’re expecting big things from this guy!

*One of the three formal literary dialects of the Akan language.

 

E.L

He was awarded Artist of the Year at the Ghana Music Awards 2016 and we can see why! His popular club bangers like “Obuu Mo” (which went viral straight after its release), “Kaalu” and “Auntie Martha” made him one of the most famous faces in Ghana’s music industry and has led to several international shows and a constant demand for more. We love his style that fuse R&B, Hip Hop and alternative genres with high-quality arrangements. He also hustles hard to promote and improve the quality of Ghanaian music and has a passion for helping other artists reach their goals. When it comes to cred, he has performed with stars like J. Martins, 9Ice, Fabulous and Rick Ross and has produced hit songs for many elite performers, such as Sarkodie, Black Reggie Rockstone, V.I.P. and much more.

 

BISA K’ DEI

Bisa K’dei is a popularly *Highlife singer and record producer. He is the man behind the Ghana blockbuster Azonto Ghost’s hit theme song which was also his breakthrough song, pushing him into the limelight, winning Movie Soundtrack of the Year at the 2012 Ghana Movie Awards. He has since had many chart topping tracks ‘Metanfo’, ‘Over’, ‘Madanfo’ and ‘Love letter’. Bisa has an undeniable flair, style and sound that every other musician is after. His debut album Thanksgiving, debuted near number one in Ghana, he has received numerous awards including Best Singer at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards. He has also worked with top artists like Sarkodie, Dblack, Efya, and Lola Rae amongst others by way of featuring, collaborations and/or producing.

*Eastern Nigeria, originating from the popular kpanlogo rhythm developed in Ghana in the 60’s.

 

SARKODIE

Sarkodie is a Hiplife/Hip Hop/*Azonto artist making a whole lot of waves on Ghana’s music scene. He often raps in Twi, and is considered a “multifaceted rapper” due to the various musical styles. He has a large fan base and one of the most celebrated artist’s to hail from Ghana. We love his fresh energy and amazing freestyle abilities, mixing witty rhymes with real issues. Sarkodie has an endless list of achievements but here is a few that stood out. He is the first Ghanaian to win the BET Award for Best International Act Africa in 2012 and was nominated again in 2014 and 2015. His album, Rapperholic, was the recipient of three Ghana Music Awards and his fourth album Mary, sold nearly 4,000 copies on the first day of its release. He has performed all over the world with international musicians such as T-Pain, Miguel, Movado, Ludacris and Busta Rhymes. He has also worked with Wizkid, AKA, Tiwa Savage, Banky W and Mi Casa. Have we mentioned that he made history earlier this year when he became the first African rapper headlining at the O2 Arena in the UK.

*Dance music genre from Ghana.

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