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Review: Nusɛ – Worlasi

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With Worlasi’s Nusɛ, it’s just as much the flame in every single song as it is about the overall experience of the project. Every one of the songs on that mixtape is majestic in their wonder, but when you listen to those 13 tracks at half past midnight, God is not so far away. Believe me, they respect my opinion on music of late.

You’ve not heard of him yet? That’s alright. I feel sad for you, but it’s alright. The truest artists usually have to be looked for. If the gods permit, we stumble upon them, but I suspect it’s more a reward for our show of commitment to the pursuit of happyness than anything else.

It’s rare, unimaginable… for an artist to achieve such soul and depth with every song on a project, much less at first attempt…but then again, he’s an Ayigbe boy so…

So many things amaze me about this man. For one thing, he’s meticulous in arranging melody…and the rap just keeps coming, and he’s excellent on every beat, even indigenous rhythm, which is tedious to manoeuvre. And as a listener, it’s one of the best gifts –to feel like time has stopped while you’re absorbing God.

Edem raps in Ewe, EL raps in pidgin, I’m enchanted by them both. I have never, however, seen anyone put these languages side by side…not in this way. These languages, through which Worlasi primarily thinks, complete his identity –Ewe is what this world was introduced to him in. It’s the language through which he noticed care, a mother, play, scolding and a father’s punishment, sleep… In most of West Africa, Pidgin is the language of youth, and discovery, and through which individual conscience is moulded. It’s a more effective medium through which to explore life at twenty-something…because it is a mix of many languages, and it’s the best metaphor of what the average twenty-something has been through. That’s why his monologue is full of philosophy.

Nusɛ is strange and daring, because Worlasi’s words contain a courage and honesty, hope and covered reality.

The music on Nusɛ is original, deliberate, layered, practical, truthful, and definitely several paces ahead of what everyone else is doing right now. His rap is dexterous, his singing evokes feeling, and he’s fearless in choosing to speak in Ewe, which is accurate identity, but might be risky all the same.

In Worlasi’s sound, everything is happening at once, just as happens in Makola…just  like life speaks to us. The composure this quality requires is insane. However, when you’ve been obedient enough to the spirits you hear in your head, and are  patient enough to program them one at a time (as Worlasi has done here), then you’ve achieved genius. In music, genius is when we hear and are enthralled by something new, no matter how many times a song is repeated; Hallelujah Jesu, Unlooking, Freedom, Wake Orp…

Influence is the best homage. What a true creative makes from influence is a treasure. That is specifically what Nusɛ typifies. And the young man has been influenced by everyone and everything –FOKN Bois, Skillions, C-real, EL, Yaa Amponsah, Adowa, Agbadza, Nkrumah, Jesus, spoken word, everyday…life, basically. I know it’s what’s every artist says, but Worlasi is different, I’m telling you.

It’s not enough for an influence to choose you…the broth you make from it is what gives your voice audacity and reverence.

As a young head, he’s doing what young heads are supposed to do: asking questions. Asking questions is how we process life, yet, we are especially drawn to his approach at unpacking life because of his diction. His words are raw and unpretentious. These fundamental questions he asks,  are asked in a way that’s more specific than we are used to. We all have these puzzles running through our minds; what’s our real place out here? What is our role? How do we navigate carnality to something truer, something higher? What do we make of the concept of “one day”? Why aren’t we assisting another to “ get in touch with his or her soul”, like the little boy says in Intro? “We are shapeless spirit forms … “the spirit is here for something greater/ being something greater/ something greater that can help another/ we are born that way…”

I confess, to my shame, that I too have not known Worlasi’s work for long. I came across Nusɛ when it was first released in May last year, but I ignored it. New artists usually don’t have my attention because they all want to brag like Sarkodie (sorry, rap), or, their music is fundamentally a terrible imitation of Nigerian and American rappers…so I couldn’t be bothered about this  Ayigbe man who held a shackles on another him in the sitting room with the old tv and family pictures. The image is instructive; we are our own slaves, we are our own masters. Still, I wouldn’t fall for it.

My God, how stupid that was! I know for sure, that if I had heard Nusɛ a year ago, my life would be significantly less directionless. But it’s never too late, He says it himself in Someday: “ ebi late, ebi late/ it’s never too late…”

Six Strings shared a link of Worlasi’s latest single on his timeline. The song, One Life, features himself, with whom the girls are bonding emotionally because of Sobolo (which is someway), as well as Sena Dagadu, whose tone is sunlight. It’s where I finally shook hands with Worlasi. Of course this interaction took me back to everything else he has previously done, hence Nusɛ.

One Life is for reflection, it should be heard in solitude, for silence and slow tears are a natural response. It’s gentle in tempo, so it should not be absorbed in a rush. The string contribution in the song is beautiful and has just as much a voice. The use of silence, and the manner in which the rap both admonishes to live a more appreciative life and questions fundamental logic at the same time is a marvel to observe.

We all have been enamoured by the art which is One Life since it was released yesterday. But I have extra catching up to do, when it comes to Worlasi, so I’m grazing on  Nusɛ first.

I love the sound of a good  pound in music, and an anger in delivery, so definitely, Hallelujah Jesu is, in my opinion, the highest point of this mixtape. But definitely, every other track on there is superior for various reasons: Freedom (ft. Poetra Asantewaa) is so powerful, Black Man continues to hammer on the real place of the obibini in the world space: “black or white, the blood stays red/ black or white, brain dey your head” . What should make up beauty? Is it make-up, for instance? Hey says you can’t mess with an Ayigbe man. Wake Orp says “allow me to reintroduce myself”, Focus, Some Day predict what happens if we don’t relent, and so on…Hell, even Intro should be part of every child’s morning ritual.

 

He’s singing, he’s rapping, he’s playing, he’s programming. He’s something special.

The rhythm in which majority of the project comes in, is noteworthy. It’s homage to the roots of our sound, but at the same time,  of contemporary worth. The space between past and present is how a perfect future comes about. Worlasi exists in that realm.

The way I felt when I heard Nusɛ, the way I feel when I hear One Life, is strange. Everyone who hears Nusɛ becomes a stalker too.  Take Lynna for instance…this is what she texted to him when she stumbled upon his music one day:

“Found you on the weird part of YouTube. Then stalked you on soundcloud. Now making Sunday Jollof with my friends thinking how great your songs are!!!! Bless you.”

 

Nusɛ is Ewe, and translates as “inner strength”. It’s out there on the internet. It’s still available for download.

For free.   For free!

It’s important you get it now! God, this Ayigbe boy is great!

 

 

@myershansen on Twitter

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Music

New Video: Amaarae – ‘Lonely’

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Born in New York and raised between Atlanta and Accra, 23 year old singer, songwriter, producer and engineer, amaarae is an artist who describes herself and her sound as an eclectic blend of bold, yet sexy lyricism and longing vulnerable melodies.

The polarizing combination of uninhibited wordplay and amaarae’s small yet alluring vocals are what makes this young woman so shocking to listen to, yet one cannot help but fall prey to the fierce expression of lust, pain, and love lost in the singer’s music.

Here, the artist presents herself in the most intimate setting possible, her living room – performing her song “Lonely”.

Her upcoming project Sex, Heartbreak & The Beach will be available on all streaming platforms in late October.

Follow her on

Twitter: @amaarae

Instagram: @amaarae

Facebook:@iamamaarae

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#ITISPOSSIBLE – Eboo drops official theme song for Bola’s biography – LISTEN!

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The entire country is is gearing up for the launch of media mogul Bola Ray’s biography tomorrow, September 21.

Slated for the Labadi Beach Hotel, the ceremony is expected to be graced by key statesmen, industry colleagues, and admirers alike.  President Akufo-Addo, former presidents Rawlings and J. A Kuffour, John Dramani Mahama, Deputy UK High Commissioner to Ghana Gavin Cook, world renowned cosmetologist Dr Rita Rakus are among special guests of honour.

Ahead of the launch, prolific reggae- dancehall singer Eboo, announces the official theme song for the book. Like the book, it is titled “It is Possible”, and is a touching testimony of the celebrated broadcaster’s journey. It was produced by Legacy Beats, and is laced with uplifting statements by the EIB boss himself.

Authored by journalist Obed Boafo, the 320-pager details the media mogul’s life over four decades, as well as his journey to becoming one of the country’s foremost business persons. It was written over 2 years.

Copies of the book can be preordered via bolaray.com

 

Listen to the song below: 

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Kontihene releases video for “Di” (Esaa Na Asa)

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Royal Family Entertainment frontman, Kontihene has released a music video for his latest banger titled “Di” (Esaa Na Asa).

“Di”, a Twi word which translates as ‘spend’, positively encourages hardworking people to spend all the cash they have toiled for without considering the future.

Just like the song’s concept, Kontihene is seen blowing all his cash at an unknown slum in the music video.

Directed by Yaw Skyface, Kontihene blows all his cash on fancy things, gambling and of course, a voluptuous vixen.

“Di” was produced by Citrus Beatz and the audio was released a week ahead of the video.

Watch the video below:

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Ete Dakitse Launches “L’amour Vrai / True Love” Album

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Alliance Française d’Accra, the French cultural center in Accra will come alive on Saturday 23rd September 2017 when exceptional crooner and gifted African musician, Ete Dakitse, launches his maiden album.

Titled “L’amour Vrai” (meaning True Love), the ten track album is to cement Ete Dakitse’s place as one of the fastest rising and promising African voices on the international music stage having recently performed at a series of private events in London and Scotland.

Some of the singles on the album which have started receiving heavy rotations on radio and television are ‘British Lady’, ‘Love by Nature’, ‘L’amour Vrai’, ‘Persévère’ and ‘Jamais Sans Toi’. All the songs on the album were recorded in South Africa by Sunset Recording Studios.

Speaking about the album, an elated Ete Dakitse said “I am very excited and very thankful to God for all the good things he has done for me and how far he has brought me. One of the popular songs on the album is ‘British Lady’ as you rightly said. It is a song dedicated to the British Monarch and every properly behaved lady. Another favourite song is ‘Persévère’ (Persevere), an inspirational song urging people never to give up in life despite the circumstance or situation they might find themselves in”.

Born Ete Komlan Dakitse – Benissan in the Togolese capital, Lome, he recently performed at the Glam Africa Ball held at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra with His Excellency, President Nana Akuffo Addo and other high profiled personalities in attendance.

 Ete is widely known across the francophone African music space as Ete Dakitse. His unique and sweet soft singing voice is complimented by his ability to sing in two languages – French and English.

 

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I present an African vibe with int’l packaging – XtaCy

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Singer XtaCy is set for greatness. Signed to the respected supreme Rights imprint, the versatile act has already courted significant appeal with compelling debut singles “Kings of Our Prime”, and “Frema” (a flavoursome remake of the beloved Akosua Agyepong classic).

Born Emmanuel Prempeh, XtaCy spent most of his childhood in neighbouring Nigeria, only returning to the motherland in 2001.

A versatile act, Xtacy discovered his gift for melody at a very tender age, eventually blooming into a fully- fledged act. And while his soothing voice is what is fast earning him acclaim, he also dabbles in rap and production.

The O’Reilly SHS alumnus’ sound is unquestionably addictive, and just like his stage name, possesses the ability to take the listener to majestic altitudes: “Ecstasy (the drug) is known to be very addictive, because it puts people in a trance. I see myself as a human form of Ecstasy –something very unique. That, coupled with the facts that my favorite letter is “X”, and my favorite comic character, Prof. Xavier of X-Men led me to my current showbiz alias”, he explains.

An old soul, XtaCy grew up on the sonic influences of African legends as King Sunny Ade,C.K man,Paa Bobo, Fela Kuti, and Rex Omar –something which inadvertently has influenced his music identity. “Listening to these legends tuned my senses for African music”, he further observes.

It is  therefore no wonder that he describes his sound under the authentic African genres Afrobeat and Highlife. At the same time, he mines from other genres as dancehall, reggae, and other forms of island music.,those were my biggest influences growing up.

Popular Ghanaian singer Ebony and KiDi, Nigeria’s  Yemi Alade, Stonebwoy, Wizkid, AKA, Mi Casa, Bantu Clan, and Nasty C are among acts he names as his favourite crop of African musicians.

Ultimately, what is the direction of the XtaCy sound?

“I like to give people an African vibe with international packaging –call it the best of both worlds”.

Listen to more XtaCy here:

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Events & Places

Daddy Lumba, Amakye Dede join Kanda Bongo Man for 2017 VODAFONE AFRICAN LEGENDS NIGHT

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Music legends Charles K. Fosu aka Daddy Lumba and Abrantie Amakye Dede have been announced as two major Ghanaian acts that will grace this year’s Vodafone African Legends Night.

According to Global Media Alliance, organizers of the event, the two superstars were lined-up together due to their immense contribution to the Ghanaian music industry hence the decision to create a platform to have close interactions with their fans.

Lumba and Amakye Dede will be joined by Congolese music legend Kanda Bongo Man who will be the headline artiste for Vodafone African Legends Night. The trio are expected to mount the stage to thrill audience to some of their hit songs.

The 6th edition of the music show will take place Saturday September 30th at the Banquet Hall State House in Accra.

Last year, the show witnessed great performances from Yvonne Chaka Chaka who collaborated with her ‘daughters’ Becca, Wiyaala and eShun on stage and was spiced up by the robotic Akosua Agyapong, the Kpanlogo man Amandzeba Nat Brew and the smooth taker Nana Tuffuor.

Over the years, African Legends Night has celebrated musical icons. Notable performers include South Africa’s legend and first headliner Hugh Masekela, Femi Kuti, Freddy Meiway, Gyedu Blay Ambulley, Amakye Dede, Ghanaian ace Saxophonist Steve Bedi, Ben Brako as well as a blend of artistes across Africa.

 

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