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EXCLUSIVE! Joy FM pays almost GHC 100, 000 for Gary Al-Smith… joins after AFCON



Promising Sports Journalist, Gary Al Smith, of the Adabraka-based radio station CITI FM, is joining competing brand JOY FM, can confirm.

In what is yet the biggest signing-on fee a local media organization has paid for the services of a sports journalist on urban radio, Al-Smith is getting close to a 100, 000 Ghana Cedis. We have this on good authority.

A bait too juicy to ignore, it finally brings to an end, a 3-year chase. (We reported first, the attempts to get him in May, 2013).

A deal was signed on Thursday, January 8, 2015, we can also tell you. This website is also able to report that Mr. Kwesi Twum, CEO of the Multimedia Broadcasting Group, which operates JOY and a number of broadcasting properties, led the negotiations.

Al-Smith begins work after the African Cup of Nations, which takes place in Equatorial Guinea from January 17 to February 8.

He will be expected to help re-position the whole JOY Sports brand, which goes just beyond radio. “His job will mainly be to make it attractive again,” a station source tells us.

Among other things, he will lead a structural positioning of the brand as one at the very heart of social and new media, making it a must-have medium, online.

The twenty-something year old is being brought in as an assistant to Nathaniel Attoh.

Gary (left) captured at CITI FM's Decemba2Rememba

Gary (left) captured at CITI FM’s Decemba2Rememba

In May 2013, this website first reported that he was close to joining the Kokomlemele-based station. A combination of timely interventions and the young man’s desire to hold on till the time was right, ensured that the deal fell through.

Both parties returned to the negotiation table, and finally met each other halfway on Thursday.

A known name in mainstream sports journalism across the world , Al-Smith prior to joining CITI FM had stints at SKYY TV (Ghana), Vibe FM, and Metro TV.

He writes for the South African-owned football website, which is a spin off title of the pay per view channel SuperSport. A visible Ghanaian Journalist on the international news scene, with his work featuring regularly on major titles such as CNN, The Guardian, BBC, bein Sports ESPN, and Aljazeera among others, he’s also covered some of football’s biggest events of the last decade.

Al-Smith is the current host of TV3’s weekly EPL spin-off show Fanzone.

By: Abena Akyaa Hirsch/



GO SOLO! Paa Kwasi, CODED offer inside look to music groups in new song – LISTEN!



Produced by A.T.O, the tune navigates various challenges Ghanaian music groups encounter, especially at their climax.

Released today March 19, the song is already gaining widespread traction as it offers a particularly personal   window into an artist’s emotions.

Paa Kwasi was formally of Dobble, whilst Coded started off in hiplife group 4×4.

Listen below:

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MILLIONAIRE! Rapper Adan announces Easter jam – LISTEN!



Germany-based GH act Derick Ntow Adu, who trades by the stage name Adan, finally announces his new single, “Millionaire”.

Formerly of 3Beye Records, Adan’s unique sound, Afro-fusion, has set him apart from his contemporaries.The artiste is not entirely new to the industry for those in the know, as he has worked with some big names. He draws his influences from maestros like Osibisa, Amakye Dede among other Ghanaian pacesetters.

Produced by Sick Strings, the hiphop single, Adan is confident, will dictate the Easter festivities.

Listen here:

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Long Reads

Throughout the YEARS: A Sarkcessful rap King still Living a Dream



Sarkodie belongs to an elite group from the continent who have proven doyens across multiple genres. Thus, while he is considered a hip-hop god, he is perceived in a similar light within Afrobeats circles. Seamlessly, he moves from rap, to pop, and back; dance-ready music with Runtown, followed by a hard-hitting partnership with Jayso and Big Narstie.

The SarkCess man’s adaptability to rhythm, coupled with the fact that he ranks among the most decorated performers from these parts, have secured him constant presence in debates pertaining to true greats of his generation. In a terrain dominated by Nigeria, and South Africa to an extent, the rapper (born Michael Owusu Addo), has on numerous occasions, defiantly and single-handedly, kept the Ghana flag high, and made an important case for art from the West African nation.

Over five albums and with smooth charm, Sarkodie has cemented his place as Ghana’s most influential rapper in this new millennium, but does this reputation extend to the rest of the continent?

Is Sark the greatest African rapper now working?

While there may not be a straightforward answer to this question (because of the likes of MI, Nasty C, Nyovest, Olamide, AKA, Kaligraph Jones et al), it is hardly erroneous to include Sarkodie in any “Top 5” list worthy of the name.

Choosing to rap in his native Twi (periodically augmenting it with English and/or Pidgin), Sarkodie has constantly fashioned memorable auditory experiences employing a brisk, engaging flow. When he first began, it was feared, despite numerous precedents, and the overall perception of music as a “universal language”, that Twi would prove a disadvantage for him. But staunch support from the diaspora, and the world’s inquisitive palette toward Afrobeats (via Ghanaian sub-genre Azonto, which Sarkodie is pioneer of), ensured that he became a bona fide superstar.  Really, no other rapper has affected modern African rhythm quite like Sarkodie has –Wizkid, Tekno, Mr Eazi, and Davido’s contributions have arrived through singing; Juls, Masterkraft, and Legendury Beatz achieved it playing beats. This is a key component that sets the “U Go Kill Me” man apart from his contemporaries.

KINGS! Sarkodie poses with MI ABAGA backstage a recent award ceremony. Credit: Instagram/ SARKODIE

In his polemic 2017 offering, “You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives”, MI courted flak for suggesting that African hip-hop was now –being dictated by South Africa. Music debates around here tend to be very political, and assertions like MI’s quickly fester rivalry like you would find among siblings, and so, whether it is deeply-founded in fact or not, it is not something everybody would readily accept.

Not long after filling up the FNB stadium (Soweto) in a historic hip-hop concert, South African colleague and fellow contender for the accolade of “greatest African rapper today”, divulged observations that corroborate the MI’s argument on “You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives”. Within those statements which ultimately saw him discuss the state of hip-hop on the continent, he also acknowledged Sarkodie’s excellence.

“South African Hip-hop is in the forefront of African Hip-hop in general. It might not be as popular as it is in South Africa in Nigeria. But I know for a fact that rappers from Nigeria are kinda unknown in SA, he told in an interview. “If we talk about crossing over, I know that a lot of people in Nigeria know about my music. I know that in Kenya and Ghana, it’s the same thing.

“I’m not just talking about me; I’m talking about a movement. Sarkodie is big in Ghana, but are there other rappers who are as big as Sarkodie from Ghana? The South African hip-hop movement is big across, also in London, New York…we are out there performing in different countries”.

Sarkodie and Cassper Nyovest. Image: Instagram/ SARKODIE

Now, when an act who has drawn crowds of nearly 70, 000 in a hip-hop show –not Afropop –makes such a pronouncement, it must be taken seriously. And his point is valid to a point. As a collective, South African acts generally do hold the fort today, followed by Nigeria.

Cassper’s also right when he suggests that Sarkodie lead’s Ghanaian hip-hop by a decent stretch. With over 60 local and international awards in his cabinet, the Tema native also stands as among Africa’s most decorated hip-hop performer. Indeed, in an October 2017 tweet reacting to Sarkodie’s list of laurels (consisting honours from the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, BET Awards, MOBO Awards, EMYs, MAMAs, AFRIMMAs among others), Cassper deems Sarkodie’s feats “inspiring”. Similar messages have come from English Grime act, Stormzy, for instance. “Legend in this ting”, he acknowledges. Despite clear dominance by South Africa and Nigeria as premium hip-hop nations, Sarkodie’s efforts have raised Ghana as an impressive third force.

For the school that holds that Sark is the greatest African to do it yet, it is rooted in something more than mere fanatic exuberance. In Ghana, the distance he gives other hip-hop acts is so glaring, it makes little sense to contest it. Most rap acts in this town pale against his brand in terms of catalogue, consistency, and overall craft. Of course, all this has culminated in the fact that he has remained default nominee for the coveted Artist of the Year category at the Ghana Music Awards for the greater part of a decade.

An impartial comparison of Sarkodie and say, Olamide, would prove that the former has made more pronounced inroads with an indigenous language. “Rendezvous’, MI Abaga’s latest project, could be the most influential hip-hop work published by a Nigerian this year, without doubt. But really, that’s it. Much of the glory MI Abaga enjoys currently is as a result of previous work. And so truthfully, Sarkodie occupies today, the level that MI used to be at. Of course, that is not to take anything away from Mr. Abaga’s place as African legend. Cassper’s milestones are as a result of the efficient infrastructure that South Africa boasts of, still, he’s not as popular, frankly.  There’s no question about Khaligraph’s mettle as lyricist, only, he’s too obscure.

This very moment, Sarkodie does stand tall among his peers on the continent. It may not be by such a stretch as is being witnessed in relation to his Ghanaian colleagues, but he is the highest. Consistency and an unflinching dedication to game plan that actually works, have proven this. Posterity will too.







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“I erred in starting a church” – Ofori Amponsah admits in Delay Show grilling



Celebrated highlife singer Ofori Amponsah, has admitted in a recent interview with Deloris Frimpong Manso of the Delay Show, that starting the Family of Faith and Love Ministries in 2013, was a miscalculated step, and a result of turbulent times he underwent emotionally.

While he maintained that he has been called by God (as is the case with every christian), he acknowledged that it was in another area, and not to be a pastor.

His second stint on the show, the conversation, a grilling, saw him backtrack on statements he had made the first time he was on the show in 2015, such as a declaration never to return to secular music, as well as his original motives for entering ministry. He also admitted to recording secular music with KayWa while still running a church.

“Only a fool doesn’t change his mind. I know what my strengths are. I don’t feel like writing Gospel music. Gospel [sic] is my belief, and I will not waver from it. It is a belief I have in God…I won’t change. But I don’t think that God calls everyone to be a Gospel singer…”, he submitted among other things.

He used the opportunity to apologise to people he has disappointed via his past actions.

Ofori Amponsah aka “Mr. All 4 Real” is credited with 12 albums since he commenced music actively in 1999. He’s known for, and received numerous laurels for widespread hits as  “Lady,” “Emmanuella,” and “Otoolege.”

Watch below:

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Events & Places

AfroExcellence: Sarkodie assembles heroes in “Highest Feast” [+ video]



Ace Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie, brought together various persons who have influenced his life and journey over the years in a private get-together held at his residence on Saturday, March 17.

The first of what he intends to be an annual event, the “Highest Feast”, which saw in attendance, close family, industry friends, as well as acquaintances across corporate Ghana, was, according to the SarkCess frontman, to converge under one roof, various personalities who have served as inspiration for him and his career.

“This is a gathering where I bring together a few of my closest people that I cherish, respect, and appreciate so much. The idea for the highest feast is to bring together these noble people under one roof, have a good time, and connect”, he said.

To him, it also proved a perfect opportunity to exchange success stories under a relaxing atmosphere, and refuel toward new projects.

“In life, the energy around you is very important. It can make you or break you. I choose to keep these people around me because I need that guidance”, the rapper further submits about the feast.

Well-decorated and author of multiple bestselling albums, Sarkodie ranks among elite music acts on the continent. He’s in the running for a number of award at the forthcoming 2018 VGMA Awards, including the coveted Artist of the Year prize.

Here are highlights of the event courtesy Sarkodie’s YouTube page:

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WHOMAN WOMAN! Efya announces new single – LISTEN!



Beloved songstress, EFYA, reiterates her long-held confidence in the special prowess of the fairer sex in her latest offering.

Highlife made by Demsa, the joint (Whoman Woman) — trumpet -laced and free, salutes the African women particularly, who is the source of all things beautiful. It follows her sobering piece on love, published two months ago.

Born Jane Efya Awindor, the chanteuse has maintained her grip on the accolade of one of Ghana’s premier female vocalists since bursting unto the scene as one half of duo Irene and Jane in 2008, being awarded GMA Best Female Vocal Performance of the Year an unprecedented four times in a row. Her long-awaited debut album Janesis, which was launched April 22, 2013. She’s also author of the T.I.N.T mixtape.

She is signed to One Nation Entertainment.

Listen to “Whoman Woman” below:

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