Archive | July, 2013

GHANA SUMMER JAM 2013

15 Jul


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July 2013- The Ghana Summer Jam 2013, which was held at Gaucho’s in New York City, was a splendid event. Presented by Fantasy Entertainment, in collaboration with Big Apple Sounds, Goodlyfe Fam, and Ohemaa Ladies, Ghana Summer Jam 2013 was an extraordinary event which showcased some of Ghana’s top artists.

Hosted by Jah Tempo, Ghana Summer Jam 2013 opened with a performance by Nana NYC and 2Shy. Nana NYC, widely known for his various music collaborations and award winning iRap TV show on BronxNet TV, performed ‘Giving Up’, which was followed by ‘Party Pooper’, with Sammy Khaki.

2Shy, popularly known for his hit, ‘Azonto Girl’, took to the stage with back up dancers, both male and female. After singing a few newer songs, 2shy gave the crowd what they wanted and sang ‘Azonto Girl’, jumping onto the floor of the auditorium and showing the crowd how to do the Azonto in true form. He took the Azonto to another level and the crowd was highly impressed with his skills, high energy, and performance.

Squadee took to the stage after 2shy. Squadee, a group which is well known for their collaborations with Sarkodie,Buk Bak,Criss Waddle, E.L., Chase, and others, recently released their 13- track album, NO DAYS OFF, which included hot tunes like ‘Turnt Up’ and ‘Monopoly’. Squadee brought their street edge Afro-fabulosity sound to the halls of Gaucho’s, turning up their ‘swag’ and getting the crowd even more warmed up.

After Nana NYC, 2Shy, and Squadee performed, Buk Bak took to the stage around 2:25 am. Buk Bak, the duo which is continuing to share their multi-nominated song ‘Kolom’ with the world, performed songs the audience was familiar with, including ‘Gonja Barracks’. When Buk Bak sang ‘Kolom’, it was the first time many people in the U.S had seen it performed live. The duo started and stopped the song, and then restarted it, causing a loud cheer from the audience. Buk Bak performed extremely well and gave their all to their performance.

Tinny performed after Buk Bak, gracing the stage with his American -themed style. Singing hits like ‘I Need It’ and ‘Ringtone’, Tinny worked the stage, and received a shower of dollar bills during his performance, which was also full of energy, excitement, and intensity. Everyone in the audience knew the words to Tinny’s songs, and it was proven throughout his performance, as he randomly stopped singing to allow the crowd to complete various segments of the songs. Tinny brought his ‘A game’ to the show and the audience appreciated every single effort he put into his performance.

Ghana Summer Jam 2013 could have easily ended after Tinny’s performance and everyone would have gone home happy but there was more in the form of Kwabena Kwabena and Samini.

Kwabena Kwabena’s performance brought out all of the women. As soon as Kwabena Kwabena appeared on stage around 3:20 am with a live band, couples gathered around the foot of the stage and so did every single woman in that concert hall. Dressed in simple African attire, Kwabena Kwabena slowly massaged the minds of the women in attendance through his love songs. Watching Kwabena Kwabena, live in concert, was like watching Elvis Presley- the women went crazy, yelling, screaming, and pushing at anyone and everything that stood in between them and Kwabena Kwabena. Kwabena Kwabena performed for more than thirty minutes, taking the audience through a pleasant journey of his music. By the time Kwabena Kwabena sang another one of his hits, ‘ Obi Do Wo A Do Ni Bi’, the whole audience was swaying back and forth, united as one, singing about the importance of love.

Samini performed last, joining the end of Kwabena Kwabena’s performance, to co-sing ‘Adult Musik’. Dressed in a simple black and white ensemble, Samini allowed his vivid sounds and performance to color the atmosphere within Gaucho’s four walls. Utilizing the stage as if it were a trampoline, Samini jumped, danced, and skipped all over it, while getting the crowd involved in his act. Thirty minutes into his act, after singing ‘Tempo’, drenched in sweat, he quickly unbuttoned his shirt and continued the show with his hit song ‘Linda’. Samini performed like a 4×4 Olympic relay team memberhe knew exactly when to slow down, and exactly when to speed up. By 4:35am, when he introduced the audience to one of his latest songs, ‘Tomb Bomb’, the whole crowd knew every single word, solidifying the power of Ghanaian music and the ways in which African music is capable of transcending the African continent.

Ghana Summer Jam 2013 was a wonderful event, bringing together 2shy,Nana NYC, Sammy Khaki,Buk Bak, Tinny, Samini, Squadee, and Kwabena Kwabena, all talented Ghanaian artists, who are unique in their own right.

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AFROMUSION VIDEO REVIEW: UPS AND DOWNS BY SELASI

8 Jul


AFROMUSION VIDEO REVIEW: SELASI – UPS AND DOWNS

JULY 7,2013-
Ghanaian artist, Selasi, has released the video for his song “Ups and Downs”. Mixed with English and Twi, the song has a catchy beat, describing the ups and downs of a relationship.
The video opens up with the audio of a couple fighting, where a lady is heard telling her man that she is not going to deal with his nonsense one more time. Next, the viewers are introduced to a fighting couple, and twenty four seconds later the lyrics for the song are introduced.

“Girl I know we’ve had our ups and downs” is the line introduced , as Selasi can be seen going down the steps of a home. As he drives to work frustrated, Selasi is shown thinking about the girl while the lyrics “ not saying I don’t love you, not saying I don’t love you” serve as the musical backdrop for the scene.
During the 6 month flashback, the video clearly shows how Selasi met his girlfriend. A mechanic, Selasi met his soon to be girlfriend while working as a mechanic at an auto body shop. His girlfriend brought her car into the shop and they entered into a relationship, however over time , the relationship encountered ups and downs .
The use of symbolism is evident in this “Ups and Down” video. In the beginning of the video, while Selasi’s girlfriend is yelling and screaming at him, she is wearing a pink shirt and her nails are pink. The only red items in that scene are the red cup and the soap. Red symbolizes the deepest love, it symbolizes love and adoration, however his girlfriend is seen wearing pink, possibly symbolizing a decrease in her love towards Selasi. As Selasi drives to work, there are scenes of him in a black coat and black shirt, symbolizing the lack of love. The only time Selasi is seen wearing red is during the morning on the day when he meets his girlfriend, he is seen wearing what appears to be red boxers or pants. Also, on the day that he meets his soon to be girl, she is wearing bright red lipstick-symbolizing the presence of love.

It is interesting that Selasi is able to go into the “heart” of cars, (note the red car parts between 1:48 and 2:04) in order to repair them, yet he seems incapable of mending the heart of his girlfriend, who is contemplating leaving him. Obviously, Selasi is feeling quite blue that they are having their “ups and downs” ( hence the blue uniform and gloves).

The love Selasi has for his girl is so heart wrenching- the viewers can feel his pain starting at 1:45 in the video. However, Selasi is making it clear that he probably won’t take his girl back if she “says that’s its over” because he doesn’t want the girl to “ come back crying on my(his) shoulder… they say all good things must come to an end, so girl I’m done.”Towards the end of the song, even Selasi’s friends are advising him to get rid of the girl, and their love for him is symbolized via their red soccer uniforms.

Toothpicks are used to carefully pick food up and down, and just like the toothpick that is clearly shown in his mouth, his relationship encountered several ups and downs. However, it seems that Selasi is ready to acknowledge the end of a relationship, if that’s what his girlfriend proposes to him.
Do the viewers really know what happens at the end of the day? Does Selasi stay with the girl or do they part ways like the birds departing the electrical wires? Will Selasi leave his highly wired relationship the way the birds leave their high wire at the end of the video? It is not really clear. Let us hope that Selasi will follow up this video with another one that answers all of the yet unanswered questions.

UPS AND DOWNS VIDEO–SELASI:

ONE ON ONE WITH ATUMPAN

8 Jul

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July 7, 2013 – Atumpan is a Ghanaian artist who made his entrance into the music world boldly, with his award-winning song, “The Thing”. Subsequent hits including “Mad Bad” and “Give it to You” have reinforced the fact that Atumpan has the ability, creativity, and uniqueness to be a staple in the music scene, not only in Ghana, but globally. The following is an interview with Atumpan:

 

Tell us a little bit about your background- where did you grow up and go to school, how many siblings do you have?

I was born in Takoradi, western region of Ghana. I grew up in Kumasi in the Ashanti region. I am the 2nd out of 6 siblings.


When did you get into music- what sparked your interest in music?

I was in my church’s junior choir since age 10. I sang tenor and did solos in the anthems. I have been reading the tonic sol-fas and singing the Methodist hymns since that time to date.


What was the first song you ever wrote?

My first song was a rap song because I started as a rapper. It was called  “Abena”  and I used Lauren Hill’s “That Thing” beat at the time.

 

What is the importance of music in society, as a whole?

Music is everything.  Life itself, they say, is a song. One of my songs called “Music is life” says it all.

 

How did you pick the name “Atumpan”?

My stage name ATUMPAN means TALKING DRUM. The TALKING DRUM is a very prestigious African drum that is used to give information. In other parts of Africa, it is called the gongong. As a bell boy in primary school, I used to play the drum to tell time and make students aware of such things like the break, change of lesson, or closing. There was no better name to choose for my music career than Atumpan-that makes a representation of the African Talking drums.


Who were your favorite musicians when you were growing up?

I listened to different genres of music while growing up, from the Fugees and Michael Jackson to  Buju Banton, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, and Paapa Yankson.


Who are your favorite musicians now?

My favourite musicians now are Will I am, Wyclef, Movado, and Asa from Nigeria.


Which Ghanaian musician would you like to work with and why
?

The only Ghanaian musician I can not wait to work with is Rex Omar.


How does technology impact your music?

 Technology does a lot, right from production to post production and promotion.

What year did you officially enter the market as a musician?

2011

Most people became aware of you when you released “The Thing”. What inspired you to write that song?

The song “The Thing” came about as I was teaching my class and realized one student was not paying attention. As a means of getting this student to pay attention I said, ‘Hey you! You don’t know the thing, I am teaching you the thing and you are playing with the thing’.  The whole class burst into laughter when I said that and immediately I realized it was a punch line I could use for a song.

Were you surprised by all the attention that “ The Thing” received upon its release?

No, I was not because I put a lot of hardwork into it.

If you were not making music, what do you think you would be doing in your life?

I would be teaching.

When you were teaching, how did your students respond to you being their teacher and a musician they likely listened to?

My students loved and respected me as a teacher. They loved my lessons and I taught them well.

When did you receive your first GMA nomination and what song was it for?

I received three nominations in the 2011 Ghana Music Awards. I was nominated for Most Popular Song of the Year (The Thing), Afro-Pop Song of the Year (The Thing), and Best New Artist of the Year.

How did being nominated for a GMA make you feel?

I felt acknowledged even though my utmost satisfaction lies in the fact that my fans appreciate my works.

Let’s review some of your songs- “Lets Take A Ride”.  Tell us a bit about that song and the idea behind the video.

“Lets Take a Ride” is a passionate romantic piece based on a real life story.

 

Tell us a bit about the creation of the song “Mad Bad”.

“Mad Bad” is the result of my spontaneous reaction to hearing the sweet beat made by Garzy. It did not take long to write.  I went straight to the booth and freestyled bits of the song, and my brother from another mother Captain Planet (from the group 4×4) blessed it with a verse. Big up to 4×4 for showing me love.

You just recently altered your hit song  “The Thing”. The lyrics are slightly different and there is a new video. Why did you change up “The Thing”?

I only spiced it up. It is a move by my new UK- based label to market the song properly to a new audience because the song has the potential to cross over.

Many of your latest songs have been created by Mixmasta Garzy, Can you briefly explain your work relationship with him and why he seems to be your go-to producer.

Working with Garzy is inspirational. He understands my style and I like his spirit.

 

Out of all the songs you have performed/written, which ones are your favorite and why?

I love all my songs equally.  They are my creation and children.

How do you define your music?

My music is authentic, urban and African.

 

Do you ever release a song which surprisingly becomes a hit?

I do not believe in surprise hits. However big or small any of my songs have been, they still serve the purpose for which they were made. And different people like different vibes so they are all hits relatively.

Describe your song writing process—what factors into your music writing process?

I do not have any special parameters for writing.  I write according to my inspiration at that time. How I feel determines what I write.

 

2013 has been a busy year for you. You have either featured or been featured in several songs, with artists like 4×4 (Mad Bad), KGPM (X-Large). Also, you just released “Give it to you”.  How do you determine the best time to release music ?

I do not have any special timing for releases. Left to me alone, I would release music every day as long as there is a listener/fan out there waiting.


What role does Ghanaian music have in the world?

Ghanaian music to me has only one role.  To educate and tell the world about Ghana.


What advice would you give to young aspiring musicians?

Young musicians should stay true to themselves and work hard.

 

Fun Facts  about Atumpan:
Favorite song (non Atumpan song): Mr. Jailer by Asa

Left handed or right handed: Right Handed

Tell us something most people don’t know about you: I play table tennis very well

Favorite place to hang out: My home

Countries/cities you have visited: London, France, Holland, South Africa, Nigeria, Gambia, Liberia, etc.

Favorite food: Rice and vegetable stew

Favorite Book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

One thing you are afraid of: poverty

Atumpan can be found on Twitter : @AtumpanGH

Atumpan’s latest video, “Give it to You”, can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cij91zxV9BM

“The Thing” can be found here:

RNM RELEASES “ECHO”

7 Jul

JULY 2013: Rnm has officially released the video for their song “ Echo”, featuring Trigmatic. The song focuses on the issue of domestic violence, a topic that affects millions but is unfortunately rarely publicly discussed. The video was produced by Nana Kofi Asihene (@Nanaasihene).

 

See the video here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEoQlJ0iMds&feature=youtu.be

ALL WHITE MIDNIGHT CRUISE – JULY ’13

7 Jul


July 6,2013
The maiden edition of the All White Midnight cruise, presented by DJ Albert and DJ Alongay, was successfully held in Washington D.C on the night of July 6,2013. Setting sail from the Washington DC Waterfront, a multi-level cruise ship was provided for all guests to party on all levels. An all-you-can eat buffet was provided and guests danced the whole night to Fuse ODG, Buk Bak, 5FIve, Obour, D’Banj, r2bees, D Cryme, and many other artists. Dj Akuaa, DJ E love, and Selecta Decka worked their magic all night, making sure they kept the dance floor hot. The party was attended by guests from all over the nation, including Selasi Duse, a world reknown musical artist and producer.The party also included a surprise party for Dj Alongay, who was celebrating a milestone birthday. While the cruise ship navigated the waters of the Potomac River, cruising past national landmarks, guests aboard the cruise ship were decked in All white attire, enjoying the music, food, and atmosphere.

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CONGRATS TO WALE

4 Jul


Today it was announced that Wale’s CD ” The Gifted” reached the Number 1 spot on Billboards Top 200 chart.
Itis a HUGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE DEAL because 1) he is African ; 2) he is Nigerian , 3) He is based in Washington DC, 4) it is his first Number 1 Album.

Many Africans in Africa, musicians, only DREAMMM of what Wale has accomplished today.What he accomplished is a great thing, and its a wonderful event for all of Africa.

Wale has proven that hard work and believing in your self will pay off, as long as you persevere.

Im sure, I join many others, in congratulating WALE for taking the #1 spot.

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