Album: Melodies Awakening The Inactive Conscience (M.A.T.I.C)
Label & Release Date: Da Trig Entertainment/ January, 2017
Trigmatic enjoyed immense success with his 2010 single My Life, and has received multiple awards since. A genius across genres, he has yet to attain celebrity that is truly fitting of his talent. M.A.T.I.C is Enoch Yaw Oduro-Agyei (as he is privately known)’s first album release in 6 years. In many respects a rebirth for the curiously underrated hiplife act, the 15-track project in a magnificent whisk of influences both old and new, a feature not uncharacteristic of him.
Highlights of the project include the Stonebwoy – assisted Gbedu, and Motromodwo (featuring A.I). That last song, unapologetic highlife founded on rich percussion and horn sections is without question, one of the finest Ghanaian records published in recent years. Thankfully, Motromodwo enjoyed ample radio play, reintroducing his name in top-tier acts from this town.
The CD, his fourth solo project after Stains on a Cloth (2007), Permanent Stains (2010), and SOUL-u-TIONS (2011) also features Sarkodie, E .L, Stonebwoy, A.I, Orezi, Jupitar, Krissy O and Skales.
Get M.A.T.I.C here.
Album: Onipa Akoma
Label & Release Date: A- Level/ October 2017
A-Level rapper Akan’s Onipa Akoma album took two years to make. It is also his debut. Running over with astoundingly mature language, dexterity with Twi, and creative valour, and compelling storytelling, the CD ranks not only among the most groundbreaking bodies of work by a Ghanaian this year, but also in all of Hiplife history, already being compared with the greatest of all hiplife albums: the 1999 classic Pae Mu Ka.
Formerly trading by the showbiz name Quabena Shy, Akan is among the most relevant of our young voices today, courting both plaudits and comparison with such hiplife elders as Okomfour Kwadee, Obrafour, Sarkodie and veteran producer Da’Hammer.
Producer and friend TwistedWavex handles majority of the productions on the i5-track project which also feature contribution from MikeMillz among others.
Get Onipa Akoma here.
Label & Release Date: ZYLOFON Music/ August 2017
Consisting 13 songs, Becca’s third studio album Unveiling coincides with her 10th anniversary in active music. The beloved Ghanaian songstress is also among Ghana’s biggest female exports, securing collaborations with top names as MI, Mr Eazi, 2Baba, M.I, Ice Prince, Bisa KDei, Uhuru, Hugh Masekela among others.
With Unveiling, Becca (Rebecca Akosua Acheampong) once again stakes a bold claim for the female constituency in a male- dominated terrain. A catalogue primarily consisting palatable love songs compiled over 13 months, the piece ranks among highly commercial albums of 2017, and features guest appearances from Bisa Kdei, Patoranking, Mr Eazi, Kofi Kinaata, Joyce Blessing and Ice Prince. Highlights from the record include Hw3 and Beshiwo (both featuring Bisa KDei), You & I, and Na Wash (featuring Patoranking).
Get Unveiling here.
Artist: Fancy Gadam
Label & Release Date: 5minutes Music/ July 2017
2017 sees Tamale-based Fancy Gadam (Ahmed Mujahid Bello) finally cement himself in mainstream Ghanaian music. With his Gadam Nation tour, the energetic singer has gone ahead to prove why he deserved to be named VGMA Best new Artist ahead of the likes of Medikal, Eugy, Rudebwoy Ranking, and Article Wan, filling up arenas in major cities across the country, and more than impressing on high-profile shows.
The launch of Mujahid (his third album) at the Tamale Sports Stadium was witnessed by over 18,000 patrons. Total Cheat, off the record and featuring rap icon Sarkodie, is a bona fide 2017 hit, rubbing shoulders with efforts from Stonebwoy, Shatta Wale, KiDi, Kuami Eugene, Patapaa, and Ebony.
Get Mujahid here.
Artist: Joe Mettle
Album: God of Miracles
Label & Release Date: Reverb Studios/ November 2017
God of Miracles brings to 4, the number of albums reigning VGMA Artist of the Year Joe Mettle has submitted since launching his solo carer in 2007. Comprising 13 songs, the live recording features guest appearances from Nathaniel Bassey, Akesse Brempong, Ohemaa Mercy, Kingz Kid, and protege Luigi Maclean.
The impact of the album, via the leading single Bo Noo Ni, cannot be questioned. The single has been viewed over 1.2 million times on YouTube alone. It is important for Mettle to have released God Of Miracles –an album of such significant quality –in the year that he won the most coveted music award in the land, albeit not without controversy. If not for nothing at all, to silence critics, prove that he’s not one to rest on his laurels, and most of all, keep Ghanaian Gospel in conversations that matter.
Get God of Miracles here.
Label & Release Date: SarkCess/ September 2017
Highest is Sarkodie’s fifth album after Makye (2009), Rapperholic (2012), Sarkology (2014), and Mary (2015). It sees the rapper proclaim himself as the foremost name in Ghanaian music, a sentiment he has held for as long as he has professionally engaged in music, and gone on to back with endless records and awards.
Much a rap album as it is melodic (something made possible by the layered approach of a typical Jayso production), Highest sees Sarkodie engage with deeply personal themes, and explore new creative terrain by recruiting unlikely collaborators as Victoria Kimani, Moelogo, Praiz, Korede Bello, Jesse Jagz, Bobii Lewis among others.
Artist: Ebony Reigns
Label & Release Date: RUFFTOWN/ December 2017
Just 20, sultry Dancehall/Afropop singer Ebony Reigns has had a tremendous 2017, submitting a significant percentage of hits the year has seen, as well as mounting nearly all major platforms over the period.
Ebony’s debut album BONYFIED consists 16 songs, and bears the main hits of 2017: Poison, Sponsor, Date Your Fada, Hustle, and Maame Hwɛ, as well as old gold like Dancefloor, Kupe, and Turn on the Light.
Because of what an outstanding year she has had, Ebony is widely tipped to win Artist of the Year at next year’s Vodafone-sponsored Ghana Music Awards.
Album: Epistles of Mama (EOM)
Label & Release Date: ZYLOFON Music/ BMG, December 2017
BET winner Stonebwoy looks to reach new frontiers with Epistles of Mama, his recently-released 4th project. It is evident in the collaborations he secures on the album: Sean Paul, Chronixx, Sarkodie, Pressure, I Octane, Efya, Vanessa Bling, Joey B, Kabaka Pyramid, etc.
Released in honour of his late mother Catherine Satekla, the double-album bears a flavoursome selection of reggae/dancehall songs on one CD, and Afrobeats on the other. But for two songs referencing his mum, EOM is hardly related to anything about motherhood. Otherwise, it is specifically a strategy to establish himself properly as an international brand.
Stonebwoy bears great talent, and so the album is unsurprisingly great, dripping with infectious choruses and even melody. It was highly- anticipated throughout the year, and was well worth the wait.
Get Epistles of Mama here.
Artist: Kwabena Kwabena
Label & Release Date: KBKB MUSIK/ November 2017
Sonically, ace highlife musician and trusted love doctor Kwabena Kwabena still reigns in Ghana. Even if his own love story has been characterised by successive failure, his songs have served as nectar to many. Ahyese sees him double back to the very beginning, which is what the album translates as from Twi.
Comprising a tidy 9 songs, the project brings to 5, his solo projects so far, and adds to high-profile projects published in Ghana this year. The album was led with 3 well-received singles: Tuamudaa, Siwagedem, and Adansie (ft. rapper M.anifest).
Artist: Blakk Rasta
Album: Kuchoko Revolution
Label & Release Date: Blakk & Tuff / VPAL Music, May 2017
Blakk Rasta’s Kuchoko Revolution was part of the longlist for the 60th Grammy Awards. That’s how important the firebrand reggae musician/ radio man’s project is.
The 13-track album follows Rasta Shrine (2000), More Fyah (2002), Ganja Minister (2004), Natty Bongo (2006), Naked Wire (2008), Voice of the Afrikan Rebel (2009) and Born Dread (2011). It is crafted over indigenous instruments as the Kologo, xylophone, talking drums (dondo), jimbe, Africa Foot percussion, jinbe, cow horns etc, and rendered over 6 different languages: English, Dagbani, Hausa, Arabic, Ndebele and Jamaican Patois.
Kuchoko Revolution navigates religion, history, love, and his special brand of reggae: Kuchoko.
Get Kuchoko Revolution here.
Label & Release Date: Lynx Entertainment/ May 2017