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#VGMAs2017 surest bets

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It all goes down tonight. The biggest night in Ghana music is finally upon us, and all the questions which have lingered on our minds till now will be dealt with once and for all…at least till next year’s edition.

Tonight marks 17 years since the scheme was instituted. In the time, the coveted prize of Artist of the Year has been won by Kojo Antwi (2001), Lord Kenya (2002), Kontihene (2003), V.I.P (2004), Obour (2005), Ofori Amponsah (2006), Samini (2007), Kwaw Kese (2008), Okyeame Kwame (2009), Sarkodie (2010), V.I.P (2011), Sarkodie (2012), R2Bees (2013), Shatta Wale (2014), Stonebwoy (2015), and EL (2016).

 

Who picks it this year, and who emerges tops in the other categories? We bring you a preview:

 

GOSPEL SONG OF THE YEAR

Nacee, Mary Agyeman, Mabel Okyere,  Sonnie Badu, and Jeshrun Okyere all are expectant of winning this category. It is a tough call from the start, and all nominees stand a realistic chance at winning. Our impressions are that, whoever wins it wins it because of the weight of their name, and not solely based on the record they published. And so, Nacee, and Sonnie Badu are likely winners, though it is characteristic of these awards to cause upsets.

 

 

 

HIGHLIFE SONG OF THE YEAR

Jwe – Bisa K’dei

Confession – Kofi Kinaata

Beshiwo – Becca ft. Bisa K’dei

Mintse Bo – Wisa Greid

Christy – Dobble

Bokor Bokor – Kill Beatz ft. Mugeez & Fuse ODG

 

Kofi Kinaata wins this category hands down. Once Confession was announced, many brought up the argument of wrong categorisation, claiming his other single Sweetie Pie was a better fit. It changes nothing. He’ll win it, because, there’s no other song in the country currently — highlife or not — that matches Confession.

 

HIPLIFE SONG OF THE YEAR

Samba – Guru ft. Singlet

Club – Donzy ft. Piesie & Sarkodie

Go Low – Flowking Stone

RNS – Sarkodie

Bie Gya – Criss Waddle ft. Stonebwoy

Sweetie Pie – Kofi Kinaata

Alhaji – VVIP ft. Patoranking

 

Sarkodie’s RNS appears slightly ahead, but every other song in there could win the award without any qualms. 

 

HIP-HOP SONG OF THE YEAR

God MC – M.anifest

Trumpet – Sarkodie ft. Teephlow, Koo Ntakra, Strongman, Donzy, Medikal & Pappy Kojo

Lalafalama – EL

Confirm (remix) – Medikal ft. Sarkodie

Egboame (remix) – Edem ft. Cabum, Teephlow, Ayat, Gemini, Medikal, Mac M, Darko & Bebelino

Tension – Okyeame Kwame ft. Cabum, Medikal & Sister Debbie

 

God MC, Trumpet, and Confirm (remix) because of Medikal’s momentum all through last year. In the end, for us at ENEWSGH, it could go to God MC simply because of how much it steered hiphop conversation in the country all through 2016.

 

BEST REGGAE/DANCEHALL SONG OF THE YEAR

People Dey – Stonebwoy

Nwansina – Ras Kuuku ft. Luther

Gborgborvor – Gallaxy ft. Stonebwoy

Kupe – Ebony

Yonnah – Samini ft. Luther

Pain Dem – Rudebwoy Ranking

Arostor – Kaakie ft. Yaa Pono

 

For the past few years, once Stonebwoy has been named, there has been little doubt that he would pick it. That could easily be the case this year too, yet Ras Kuuku, and Ebony constitute more than decent competition.

 

AFRO POP SONG OF THE YEAR

Kaabuame – EL

Dance For Me – Eugy ft. Mr. Eazi

Solo – Article Wan

U x Me – Joey B

Too Risky – Medikal ft. Sister Debbie

Too Late – Adina

Grind – Vision DJ ft. A.I

 

Perhaps, the only song we can cross out (with extreme caution) is Adina’s Too Late. Otherwise, it will be no surprise if it goes to any other in the category.

 

GOSPEL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

Joe Mettle

Piesie Esther

Sonnnie Badu

Jeshrun Okyere

Nacee

 

Both Joe Mettle and Nacee ( Joe Mettle more, if you ask many) have represented  the fraternity impressively. Last year remains one of Joe Mettle’s biggest years yet, and many feel that he could even snatch the overall prize, and they could be vindicated. The campaign for him to win VGMA Artist of the Year these past few months has been unprecedented. That will have a spill-over effect in Gospel Artist of the Year.

 

HIGHLIFE ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

Bis K’dei

Becca

Kofi Kinaata

 

Kofi Kinaata may not strictly be a Highlife artist, but we shall not be surprised if he soars above the conventional names Bisa and Becca. Otherwise, Bisa wins it.

 

REGGAE/DANCEHALL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

Stonebwoy

Ras Kuuku

Samini

Ebony

Rudebwoy

MzVee

 

Here too,  Stonebwoy stands out not merely by his presence in the category as he has become a dominant name in GH Reggae/Dancehall, but also by his unparalleled work culture, never mind that it takes nothing away from the efforts of Ras Kuuku, Ebony, Rudebwoy, Samini, and MzVee. 

 

HIPLIFE/HIP-HOP ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

Guru

EL

Flowking Stone

Medikal

Sarkodie

M.anifest

Joey B

 

Medikal’s wave all through last year makes him an immediate favourite, but so does M.anifest. And as we all can bear witness, once a category has Sarkodie in there, it is not necessarily a fair fight anymore.  Everyone else in there, if they manage to win, would have had to summon something extra.

 

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

Joe Mettle – Onwanwani

Kill Beatz – Too Late

Kofi Kinaata – Confession

Nacee – Yewo Nyame A Yewo Adze

 

Kofi Kinaata writes with the consciencism of an old man, though there’s always something very youthful about his melody. It is what he did with Susuka, which won him the award last year. It is what he has done with Confession, which will earn him the laurel this year too.

 

RECORD OF THE YEAR

Me Ne Wo Aa – Nacee

Hello – Akwaboah ft. Sarkodie

Too Late – Adina

U x Me – Joey B

Motromodwo – Trigmatic ft. A.I

 

Rapper Trigmatic has mastered the formula for “Record of the Year” over time. No, it’s not about genre, for what he comes into this year’s fight with, is highlife. It remains a surprise that Motromodwo failed to meet requirements for Highlife song of the Year. Still, it is a fierce contender here. Joey B’s You x Me is also more than deserving of that award. All through last year, it remained a Top 10 song, and nobody dares question the sterling quality of it’s composition.

 

BEST MALE VOCALIST

Ogya Mensah – Get Serious

Afriyie – Here To Stay

Joe Mettle – Onwanwani

Akwaboah – Hello

Sonnie Badu – Still You Reign

Ernest Opoku – Yewo Nyame A Yewo Adze

 

Afriyie is no stranger to this category. He’s no stranger to winning it. Neither is Sonnie Badu, who picked it up in 2014. Joe Mettle cannot go unnoticed. Akwaboah, while a revered writer/composer, might not be the strongest vocal technician. Reggae singer Ogya Mensah’s performance on Get Serious is not just good enough to get him in as a nominee, but is potent to win it for him too.

 

BEST FEMALE VOCALIST

Adina – Too Late

Becca – Beshiwo

MzVee – Nobody Else

Piesie Esther – Agye Won Nsam

Petrah – My Man

 

Adina, MzVee, and Becca shine brightest here.  It remains to be seen if any of them shines this lightly tonight. 

 

BEST GROUP OF THE YEAR

VVIP

R2bees

Dunsin

Gallaxy

 

Gallaxy, R2Bees, and VVIP are the real contenders for this category. For R2Bees and VVIP, it has become a norm over the past couple of years. Therefore, they possess leverage, and therefore, a slight edge over Gallaxy, who have built a strong  fortress over the last two years or so. 

 

BEST RAPPER OF THE YEAR

Flowking Stone – Fire Bon Dem (remix)

EL – Love God

Medikal – Connect

Yaa Pono (Ponobiom) – Mind on Money

M.anifest – 100%

Sarkodie – Fire Born Dem (remix)

 

All the names above have distinguished themselves as among the nation’s best lyricists. Most of them are hardly strangers to the category, or winning it. An artist’s rap performance alone will not win him the title, if we’re being completely honest. That is what will happen tonight.

 

BEST COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR

Alhaji – VVIP ft. Patoranking

Yewo Nyame A Yewo Adze – Nacee ft. Ernest Opoku

Confirm (remix) – Medikal ft. Sarkodie

Bie Gya – Criss Waddle ft. Stonebwoy

Nwansina – Ras Kuuku ft. Luther

Samba – Guru ft. Singlet

 

This category will be keenly contested, and remains one of the categories of which will invoke anxiety till the name falls from the presenter’s lips. The possibility of it being Alhaji, Bie Gya, or Confirm remains very high. It is impossible to narrow it down to a single name. Simple.

 

BEST NEW ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

Medikal

Nii Funny

Fancy Gadam

Article Wan

Feli Nuna

Ebony

Rudebwoy Ranking

Eugy

 

Ultimately, it comes down to Article Wan for the gift of Solo, and Medikal…well for a barrage of rap performances.

 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Counselor – Nacee

BAR 3 – EL

Nowhere Cool – M.anifest

Gifted – Flowking Stone

Soundz of Africa – Sonnie Badu

 

M.anifest’s Nowhere Cool was the most critically acclaimed from last year. 

 

VODAFONE SONG OF THE YEAR

Christy – Dobble

U x Me – Joey B

RNS – Sarkodie

Solo – Article Wan

People Dey – Stonebwoy

Kaabuame – EL

Bie Gya – Criss Waddle ft. Stonebwoy

Sweetie Pie – Kofi Kinaata

Alhaji – VVIP ft. Patoranking

Yewo Nyame Aa Yewo Adze – Nacee

Go Low – Flowking Stone

 

Since there’s no Confession in there, Article Wan’s Solo, which hands-down reigned for most of last year, will most likely be crowned tonight. 

 

AFRICAN ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

Patoranking

Mr. Eazi

Runtown

Tekno

Nathaniel Bassey

 

This year, it is virtually Mr Eazi’s right. While he has achieved meteoric heights on behalf of Ghana, he remains an outsider to most categories here because he was born in Nigeria. It appears therefore, that his consolation might come in the form of this award. He merits this award due to all his efforts last year especially, mind you. It’s just that you can’t talk about Mr. Eazi’s VGMA situation without bringing this point up. Runtown has been named performer for the night. As has been the norm, the award has gone to the nominee who has been invited to perform. Rundown’s Mad Over You is big in Ghana, and he could upset Mr Eazi.

 

OVERALL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

EL

Sarkodie

Stonebwoy

Joe Mettle

MzVee

Medikal

 

You know what? Let’s just wait for tonight…

 

 

*VGMA 2016 is a Charterhouse Ghana event with sponsorship from  telecoms giant Vodafone. Berla Mundi and Elikem Kumordzi compere the Rd Carpet session, while Starr FM’s Anita Erskine hosts the Main event.

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Medikal announces new video ahead of UK TOUR

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AMG’s Medikal is set to tour  the United Kingdom in coming weeks. Details pertaining to the tour are expected to trickle in in due course.

Ahead of that, the “Too Risky” man is set to publish new music. Titled “How Far”, it is, as usual, produced by in-house engineer Unkle Beatz, and drops on September 1.

The rapper (born Samuel Adu Frimpong) recently released his debut album DISTURBATION –a 22-track  project which serves widespread hits as Confirm (ft. Sarkodie), Too Risky(ft. Sister Deborah), Gimme Vibe (ft. Stonebwoy), as well as the recently-released Ghost (ft. Pappy Kojo).

He is also author of Da Medikation mixtape (2016).

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VIDEO: Captain – Eugy ft. Siza

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Here’s another video from UK-based Ghanaian act Eugy’s  Flavourz EP. Titled Captain, it also features chanteuse Siza, and arrives in cozy Afrobeat tempo put together by regular collaborator Team Salut.

Accompanying visuals to the classy record were directed by Gabriella Kingsley.

Born  Eugene Entsir, the rapper rose to international prominence with Dance for Me (ft. Mr Eazi). He has mounted several top platforms as the Ghana Meets Naija,Ghana Party in the Park, Mr Eazi Live in Concert in London, a Europe tour among other feats..

Watch Captain below:

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Lighter TOD returns with “Only You” ft. Mugeez – WATCH VIDEO!

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Ghanaian rapper Lighter TOD is back with new music –a pleasant Afrobeat jam which features R2Bees member Mugeez.

Titled “Only You”, it was directed by Masta Garzy, and accompanying visuals were directed by J Shotti. Lighter is privately known as Evans Appiah, and is reportedly working on his new album “LIGHTER”!

Watch the video below:

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VIDEO: Taki Taki – Friction & The Raw Rhythm Section

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Ghanaian reggae singer Friction (formerly of hiplife group V.I.P) presents visuals to his recent single Taki Taki.

Backed by the Raw Rhythm Section, the act (born Musah Haruna in Nima – Accra) emphasises the importance of humility in all endeavours of life.

Since leaving V.I.P, he has gone on to record successful albums as Big Trouble, Auntie Serwaa, and Ghetto Blues. Alumnus of the  Fontys Rockacademy (Holland) and leader of the Roots Drivers Band, Friction has performed on several major stages worldwide –over 90 in Europe last year alone.

This year, their tour keeps taking them across boundaries, such as the African Descent Festival in Canada and Festival der Kulturen in Germany.

Taki Taki was directed by Urban Studio. Watch it below:

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“You Do All” – Samini APPLAUDS Shatta Wale as they freestyle LIVE ON AIR

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Reggae/dancehall star Emmanuel Samini, simply known by his surname, was on Starr FM’s Starr Chat Wednesday August 16, discussing his life and musical journey (which started in 2004).

Responding to questions posed to him by host and EIB Network CEO Bola Ray, he addressed a number of touch issues including Marijuana use, his beef with Shatta Wale, his personal life, his forthcoming 7th studio album, among others.

On his take on the use of the Marijuana, the Linda star opined that as it was legal elsewhere, the country could capitalise on it and grow it in commercial quantities for foreign income specifically:

“There are countries that have made fortunes from exporting marijuana and it’s not just for smoking or recreational use, I’m talking about the other 33,000 uses of the plant. We can make jeans fabric from the plant, we can make oil from the plant. If Ghana’s economy is struggling and there’s a plant not meant to be used on the streets of Ghana, let’s plant it and export it to the streets that they use it and collect money from them. Because they have legalized it there, so why not send it to them. A farmer who has a good soil who can grow acres of marijuana should be able to grow it, package it and send it to who buys it so that we make money for the economy,” he explained.

He also spoke on his role in colleague dancehall act Shatta Wale’s rise to prominence, pointing out that their lyrical beef was instrumental in shooting the Kakai man up: “He [Shatta Wale] should always say thanks to the blueprint [Samini] because I’ve been there and he looked at me, targeted me, he threw shots at me because I was on top and still at the top, he knows that. So I became his main target, so now I guess he is even tired of answering questions about my name because wherever you will go, I promise you that they will ask you: what’s your problem with the artiste Samini?”.

Samini also recounted putting Wale on his 2004 nationwide tour, placed him among his top three dancehall acts in the country currently, and inadvertently influencing the SM frontman’s change of name to Shatta Wale.

Towards the end of the thrilling conversation, Shatta Wale was raised on the line, and both acts lauded each other’s contributions to the genre and the industry as a whole. “You Do All’, Samini said to Shatta Wale, before they delved into a historic freestyle session live in air.

Shatta Wale appeared on last year’s edition of Samini’s “Saminifest” concert, a gesture announcing the end of their prolonged beef. They’re also reportedly working on projects together, as well as a world tour.

Watch the interview below:

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Stonebwoy premieres NEW SINGLE on Apple Music’s Beats 1

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Dancehall singer Livingstone Satekla (Stonebwoy) debuts his latest single on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio platform.

Titled Falling Again, it follows up major joints he has put out this year as Say It (ft. Demarco), and My Name. It also features Kojo Funds, with production by Masta Garzy.

Owned and managed by IT  giant Apple Inc., Beats 1  airs a mix of pop, rap and indie music. Now globally received, the station was established with the motive of  “curating  cool new music, whether it be new talent or fresh music from established artists”. It is hosted by veteran American broadcaster Ebro Darden.

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