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Of SENA DAGADU/ RedRed @ REPUBLIC the other day

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In what they described as a farewell gig,  singer Sena Dagadu and pop group RedRed (consisting FOKN Bois rapper M3nsa and Hungary’s DJ Elo) took over the Republic Bar – Osu two or three Wednesdays ago –farewell because it would be their last performance in the country for many months as they honour a lineup of international engagements.

Wednesday nights are reserved for live band sessions at Republic, but an exception was made on that particular occasion. It was worth it!

Founded on significant freestyle offerings on a blasé night, the treasured performers, who had drawn hundreds to Alliance Francaise merely days before, led the well represented crowd through a collection of songs from their sterling catalogues, which span decades. DJ Elo steered background music from turntables and a laptop mounted on shiny steel drums, as Sena and M3nsa (taking turns in a seamless flow) dished out affective singing, or poured down our faces, torrents of powerful rap .

The crowd; a delightful cosmopolitan convocation, required little enticement –because, this was a pack not unfamiliar with whom they had turned out to see. They consisted a cult following which has been built over many years, and have cultivated an attachment with the profound artistry typical of both Sena and RedRed. Therefore, there was absolutely zero traces of cynicism in the way of the tender air which blew past our cheeks and noses. Rather, cheers accompanied curling cigarette smoke into the firmaments, beer bottles caressed  lower lips, eyes twinkled with genuine approval smiles, and applause kept coming. This kind of crowd is rare gold — the preserve/reward of those truly dedicated to essential art.

The show commenced later than the advertised 8 pm, and there were seconds of technical glitches at the beginning. That was rectified swiftly, and the show was in full force after that. M3nsa himself admitted minutes into the performance,  to how quickly “things had escalated”.

The concert itself was disarmingly frank, taking the manner of a long uninhibited conversation among friends.  There were neither MCs nor opening acts, nor other known constrictions of a “perfect”  show as extravagant lighting or ancillary stage effects. Even their attires as headline acts were uncharacteristic of many a modern performer. Without blinding jewellery, or excessively befuddling fashion impressions, Sena’s signature cheekbone dots, and the grey patch on M3nsa’s head, would serve as the “loudest” bit of their look. Profound, I know.

The Republic Bar gig came off the foot of a hugely success Connection Concert to crown the 2017 Hungarian Cultural Week celebrationHeld to highlight and strengthen the harmony between Ghana and Hungary, especially in the area of art, it saw a thrilling display of talent from both countries. Acts as Hungarian urban folk band Zuboly, Wanlov The Kubolor, Stevo the kologo player, hiplife veterans VVIP, fast-rising Worlasi, Gyedu Blay Amboley and Tumi Ansah all took to the stage on that historic Friday, March 17.

Surely, it is a profuse need to dispatch surplus energy from the Connection Concert that occationed the Republic Bar meeting. And it showed on Wednesday, March 22. Pure fire! Pure fire!

A pulsating marathon, M3nsa and Sena (who manned the microphones) traded verses, choruses, and provided rich ad-libs for each other’s songs, and of their collaborative pieces. This was all discharged with such astonishing originality that, it constantly invoked startled expressions on the faces of the beholding crowd.

The intimate make of the show is also worthy of mention. At the end of the day (artists will tell you), the “small” shows carry immense potency.

“I always like the intimate ones”, singer Worlasi told me in an interview before a March 18 Jameson Accra Connect gig at Cafe KWAE (One Airport Square). Incidentally an intimate gig too, he was joined by guitarist and Sobolo singer Six Strings, and they gave off impressive acoustic renditions of some of their best-known hits.

 “They don’t even know when the time is flying…with big shows, people can’t even ask questions, people can’t even make comments whilst you’re performing. Even if they do, you won’t hear it. And you can’t see them, so you can’t actually connect with them…”

That last part about the “connection” question, is what strikes me most about his answer. There was no doubt about the rapport available in the yard that night. Worlasi (who also graced the event) felt it heavily. So did Wanlov Da Kuborlor. So did Gyedu Blay Ambuley. So did broadcaster and fitness icon Giovanni Caleb. So did renowned contemporary painter Bright Ackwerh, and indeed everyone of us gathered there.

“There’s always something nice about connecting with someone”,  Worlasi concluded his response in that interview. I agreed with him after the Jameson show, and further, at the Sena/ RedRed gig.

Sena and RedRed come from deep and uncommon musical backgrounds, and their craft, littered with endless experimentation.  Sena has, since starting off in hiphop/drancehall collective Gimmeshot in 2001, gone on to publish several works of critical acclaim: Sena First One, Lots Of Trees, Grow Slow, Azdanê, Natural High, Take a Look, Only Solution Remix, Vol. 1, and DA 1 YAH EP 03. Months ago, she announced her latest: FEATHERS. Possessing a dynamic music palette, no one genre has successfully tamed Sena. And so, her influences have ranged from hiphop, reggae, funk, rock, among a host of others.

The third son of  Osibisa guitarist Tumi Ebo Ansah, M3nsa is an unlimited store of creativity, and so is restless –constantly seeking out new outlets for his boundless stream of ideas — as founder of hiplife group The Lifeline Family, as music producer (creating for  V.I.P, Obrafour, Tic Tac, Tinny, K.K. Fosu, Samini, etc), as solo act, and (simultaniously) as member of controversial duo FOKN Bois and pop band RedRed. He’s also a filmmaker, and sixty-two other things.

Social commentary is a core  in the music of both Sena and RedRed, and even as they thrilled fans present with toothsome melodies, and wrote realtime jokes from what was happening around, they still poked at our conscience intermittently…like when M3nsa, hearing the sound of an aeroplane in the skies far above, suggested that it was Chinese who had come to take our gold away. Ghana is at the verge of a water crisis as a result of illegal mining activities on our water bodies. Currently, production potable water has reduced to 60 percent, and all life in most of our rivers is gone, leaving behind only saddening brownness and disease. For residents in the city, the effects of galamsey (as illegal mining is called in Ghana) many not be as tangible as it is in the hinterlands. There therefore requires reminders as these, even at events as the Republic show, to awaken us to what consequences are impending as a result of our inaction.

Streets around Osu are always lively, because Osu is the hub of all nightlife in Accra. That Wednesday though, it experienced an extra pep.

 

See exclusive photos from the show:

          

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I had the worse performance of my career at Rapperholic 2017 – Feli Nuna

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Ghanaian Afrobeat singer and one of the fastest rising music star in Africa Feli Nuna has opened up on her not so impressive performances at last year’s Rapperholic.

The ‘I like am ‘ singer in an interview with Ghone TV’s Eli Kharis on RythmzLive told the host ” I had my worse flop at Sarkodie’s rapperholic last December. Sarkodie called and said he wanted us (Freda Rhymes, Eno and I ) to do 16 bars each rap song for performance on the night. I ended writing and recording my part that 25th morning …… So I had to memorize before the show, I had several engagements that day ….. I went on stage and I forgot my lyrics, no one realized it ”

Known in real life as Felicia Nuna Akosua Tawiah, she is signed to Bee Hyve Entertainment which also has Mr Kem Ankude, better known as Fizzi, as their sound producer. Nuna has worked with the likes of EL, Joey B, and Richie Mensah and was one of  Ghana’s rep at the Coke Studio Africa in 2017.

Watch the interview below:

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LISTEN: Eye Judah – Control (Prod by SicnarfPro)

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Freedom Cry Record signed artiste Eye Judah is out with a brand new dancehall anthem dubbed Control.

The song inspires the individual to always be in control and not to lose focus on life.

The song was produced by SicnarfPro.

Listen to the song below:

 

 

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SATURDAY LIVE! Beloved Citi FM show returns this weekend with Rex OMAR, others

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Saturday Live, Citi FM’s popular music & arts programme, returns for the fourth season this weekend.

Compered by Kojo Akoto Boateng, the show, since its inception in 2014, has witnessed iconic weekly performances from established names, as well as served as a grooming ground for emerging acts. Pat Thomas, Paulina Oduro, Obrafour, Okyeame Kwame, Kontihene, Gasmilla, MzBel, Yaw Sarpong, Lucky Mensah, Wiyaala, Lawyer Ace Ankomah, and Kyekyeku have all appeared on the show.

Others include spoken word artists Poetra Asantewa, Chief Moomen, Nana Kofi Sammy, Abibikasa, comedian OB, Dark Suburb, Sollo 7, Josh Black, the Voice Trumpeter, Strongman, Six Strings, Koo Kumi, Adomaa, Hashmullah, Nene Narh, Choirmaster, Brenya, Celestine Donkor, and a host of others.

Aside treating listeners  to enthralling live renditions of some of their most requested songs, the show also sees the host engage acts in lively conversations pertaining to their careers and creative approaches, as well as their lives beyond music.

This season kicks of with sets by highlife great and Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) chairman, Rex Omar. He will be joined by singer Adina, as well as the Characters Band.

Saturday Live airs on Citi 97.3FM and Citi TV, 2 pm to 4 pm every Saturday.

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EFYA unveils brand-new single ‘Mamee’ featuring Mr Eazi

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Award-winning Ghanaian songstress EFYA delivers her wonderfully melodic new single ‘Mamee’, featuring Afrobeats artist Mr Eazi.

‘Mamee’ is an upbeat, summery production, which flaunts EFYA’s soulful vocal performance, alongside Mr Eazi’s smooth rap abilities. ‘Mamee’ samples the infectious chorus from Mariah Carey & Busta Rhymes’ 2003 hit single, ‘I Know What You Want’.

‘Mamee’ marks the second time EFYA and Mr Eazi have joined forces. The ‘Leg Over’ hitmaker enlisted EFYA to sing on his 2016 single, ‘Skintight’, which has surpassed 17 million plays on Spotify alone.

EFYA began her singing career like most, in the church choir, before performing under the moniker ‘Miss Jane’. She later reinvented herself under the name EFYA and in 2013, she released her mixtape ‘This Is Not The Album’ which was acclaimed by fans and critics alike.

‘This Is Not The Album’ features her incredibly powerful and euphoric ballad ‘Best In Me’. The track won the Ghanaian singer ‘Record of The Year’ and ‘Best Female Vocalist’ at the Ghana Music Awards. In total, EFYA has achieved the ‘Best Female Vocalist’ award five times consecutively. Not stopping there, adding to her astounding success in her native Ghana, EFYA was nominated five times at the World Music Awards.

EFYA continues to go from strength to strength with new single, ‘Mamee’. Positioned to be this year’s summer anthem, EYFA’s latest serving marks the evolving nature of her tones and cementing her reputation as one of the fastest rising talents in the 2018 music scene.

Listen to the song below:

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Kuvie taps King PROMISE for new single – LISTEN!

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Here is new music off producer Kuvie’s recently-released Gruvie (Vol. 1) album. Titled “Too Much Love”, the stimulating record,  guitar -laced Afropop themed on the many promises apparent during infatuation, also features a striking vocal performance from singer King Promise.

Consisting 11 songs, Gruvie also features top acts including B4bonah, Joey B, RJZ, Kwesi Arthur among others.

Famed for his work with Pappy Kojo, Joey B, A.I etc, Kuvie’s most prominent works include You x I, and Grind.

Listen to “To Much Love” here:

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WOMAN POWER! NanaYaa announces new single – LISTEN!

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Beloved Ghanaian chanteuse, NanaYaa, follows up her explosive 2017 offering, “My Hunny”, with a new anthem purposely for he ladies.

Produced by Citruss Beats, ‘Woman Power’ looks to portrays the endless strengths of women.

Discussing the song, Nana Yaa (born Nana Yaa Thomas) explained the concept of the song as one focused on highlighting the power of a woman. “I mean, this song is for every woman across the world. It is about time we embrace our God-given power on earth and use it very well”, she said.

Nana Yaa adds that the song is also for men who love and appreciate the power of a woman.

Listen below:

 

 

 

 

 

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