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M.anifest’s ‘Be My Woman’ – A VIDEO REVIEW

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Soft sunlight cuts into a small loft overlooking the city, announcing Friday August 11. Ahuofe Dua’s eyes slowly part open to welcome it. A slight neck pain reminds her what a hectic day yesterday was. An extra hour of sleep will be a blessing, but sleep is for the weak.

She inhales deeply and sits upright. She reaches for her phone on the nightstand to her left, and replies a quick message. Through the screen, she’s also greeted by the single tattoo she has. Elegant ink the shape of love, it rests just beneath her clavicle, pointing down at her heart. She had that tattoo done on the eve of her 21st birthday, right around the time she had decided that short hair works best for her.

She wraps a towel around her head, and soon, she settles into her morning routine, which involves sipping tea against the smiling sun, lighting a stick of incense, making soup, dancing by her window, half an hour of yoga, and then a shower.

The above is what ensues in the first minute of M.anifest’s latest video Be My Woman. Directed by Makere Thekiso (Call Back Dreams Production), the song features South African House band Mi Casa, and like all things M.anifest, steers conversation away from the hullabaloo to the core of matters: great art. It is what he has insisted on from the very start, especially with collaborations, and whereas artists collaborate for various business reasons, great art is what should be the the real “business reason”, he holds. This is why his music oozes such soul.

Deservedly so, M.anifest (Kwame Ametepe Tsikata) has earned a seat at Africa’s rap Vatican, delivering some of the most iconic verses the macho genre has witnessed in recent history. Yet, because of such songs as Cupid’s Crooked Bow, Goodbye, and Mind Games, he’s also distinguished himself in the character of resident loverboy. When it’s time to show vulnerability, M.anifest shows up just as impressively.  A singular verse he pours on Simple Love, made it one of the most requested songs in 2016. Supported only by an acoustic guitar, he empties his very depths unto the record –and when an artist is fearless in his weakness, it also translates to the ear at the end of his voice. Doubtlessly one of the biggest songs off Nowhere Cool (his latest album), it is unanimously recited back to him during performances.

M.anifest & singer J’Something share a laugh onset. Credit: M.anifest

Mi Casa member J’Something onset “Be My Woman”. Credit: M.anifest

He replicates a similar sensation in Be My Woman. “never felt like this/ my heart’s over heels but my heart says I like this/ my muse, it’s for you that I write this/ you make a gee send out sappy emojis”, he begins, before going on to unconditional love and fairytale nobility for Ahuofe Dua. There overflows in his speech, the specific authenticity of the foolishness of flaming love. And as everybody has articulated sentiments thus at one point in life or another, it makes it the more relatable.

Mi Casa’s sound –alternative, mature, and gracefully interior, proves a perfect balance for the Mike Millz –produced joint. Consisting producer Dr. Duda, silky singer J’Something, and hornsman Mo-T, they add to the first-rate quality of the song. Respected as a strong force in Ghanaian hiphop, Millz merges melodies from the two parts uniquely, but manages to retain the essence of the sounds: the strings and trumpet feel South African, but also present in the drum progression is unmistakable Ghanaianness, like is heard on another M.anifest record —Forget Dem (2015).

M.anifest & Mi Casa on the set of “Be My Woman”. Credit: M.anifest

Ahuofe Dua might translate from Twi as “tree of beauty”, and is a peculiar Ghanaian compliment for women of infinite splendor.  It is accurately testimonies of such a woman that we hear in those 4 minutes or so, and witness in the accompanying visuals. “Shea butter, smooth skin, gap tooth, 24-carat smile” –the daily charm of African goddess is portrayed both without effort and unnecessary flamboyance. Also present in the film is an alluring proximity worked into the eyes of the viewer. This sleekness in rendering may appear normal, but is not– else it will be seen in every third music video on YouTube. It is the consequence of deliberate ingenuity behind the lens, and exceptional sleights.

While Be My Woman is a refreshing marriage between the sounds of Ghana and South Africa, and adds delightfully to his catalogue, it is not the first time he is pulling something of this nature off. A truly pan- African artist M.anifest seems to have developed a natural connection with acts from that part of the continent especially, brewing masterpieces with rap heavyweights HHP, ProVerb, and Tumi Molekane, as well as with eclectic singer/spoken word artist Nomisupasta.

A gentle sun sets on the the smooth chocolate complexion of Ahuofe Dua’s skin. She’s draped in a flowery dress which reaches down her wrists and ankles. Large beads hang down her neck, and a happy smile draws across her face. The majesty of her gait on these pavements has made her the object of every man’s gaze. She’s unmoved by the many admiring eyes trained on her. She notices the tall dark man by the car ahead, and her smile broadens. He’s wearing a suit and a hat, and holds a large kempt beard between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand. He’s smiling too. They embrace –Ahuofe Dua and this tall dark man, like lovers. He is no stranger; all through her day he has been present –in spirit and in truth –reciting her rap from a chair across the bed as she slept, in her mirror, next to her earlier as she showered, and while she painted her toe nails earlier.

The class of Be My Woman, like other pieces M.anifest has published in the past, makes it something to treasure — a product of genuine global quality. It reaffirms confidence in his mandate as among leading ambassadors of art and culture from the Gold Coast.

 

A multiple –award winner, M.anifest is author of Manifestations (2007), The Birds and the Beats (2009), Immigrant Chronicles: Coming to America (2011), Apae: the price of free EP (2013), , and Nowhere Cool (2016).

He is signed to Singitdamnit!

 

Watch “Be My Woman” below:

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Events & Places

Sarkodie named for ONE AFRICA MUSIC FEST – DUBAI, November 16!

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Celebrated Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie (Michael Owusu Addo) will be joined by other music giants from across the continent for the Dubai edition of the widely patronised concert, which comes off at the Madinat Jumeriah Al Sufuoh Rd. on November 16!

The concert has been successfully held in the United States and the UK, witnessing sterling performances from Wizkid, Davido, Tekno, Jidenna, P-Square, Tiwa Savage, Olamide, Cassper Nyovest, Alikiba, Flavour N’abania, Phyno, M.I, Efya, 9ice, Awilo Longomba, Falz, Victoria Kimani, among others.

One Africa Music Fest is described by organisers as ‘ Africa’s leading platform in showcasing the best and brightest musical talents in the continent, with the sole aim of solidifying Africa’s position within the entertainment industry on a global level”.

Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, ,and beloved Kenyan band Sauti Sol have all been confirmed for the Dubai concert.

A multiple-award-winning act, Sarkodie is CEO of his independent imprint  SarkCess Music, which is also home to singer Akwaboah, and fellow rap act Strongman. His fifth album “Highest”, is out now!

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GADAM NATION CONCERT slated for Bukom Boxing Arena, Nov 26!

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Popular Tamale-based singer Fancy Gadam takes his annual “Gadam Nation Concert” to the Bukom Boxing Arena this November.

Put together by Sultan INC and 5M Music, the concert is one of the key dates of his ongoing tour of major cities across the country, which has been massively patronised, and seen performances from popular colleagues as Sarkodie, B4bonah, Ebony among others.

Last year, the Accra leg of the tour was held at the National Theatre, drawing thousands to the venue.

Born Ahmed Mujahid Bello, Fancy is recipient of a BASS Award for Discovery of the Year, 2017  VGMA Best New Act, as well as a 2016 JIGWE award for Best New Artist, and has been associated with the likes of Medikal, Wiyaala, Shatta Wale, Sarkodie among others.

Fancy is author of several hit songs including Total Cheat, off his 2017 album “Mujahid’.

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Events & Places

MOBO Awards 2017: Sarkodie, Juls, Mr. Eazi, Eugy up for BEST AFRICAN ACT!

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Ghanaian rapper, Sarkodie has bagged a nomination at the 2017 Music of Black Origin (MOBO) awards. The ‘Glory‘ act was nominated in the ‘Best African Act‘ category.

Davido, Eugy, DJ Juls, Maleek Berry, Mr. Eazi, Tekno, Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal and Wizkid are the other contenders in the category.

The awards ceremony will be held at the First Direct Arena, Leeds on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

 

The MOBO Awards stands for “Music of Black Origin” and was established in 1996 by Kanya King and Andy Ruffell. The MOBO Award show is held annually in the United Kingdom to recognise artists of any ethnicity or nationality performing black music. In 2009, the awards ceremony was held for the first time in Glasgow.

Prior to that, it had been held in London. In 2011, the ceremony returned for a second time to Scotland. The awards then moved to Leeds for the first time in 2015.

The Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards were established in 1996 to recognise and celebrate artists who create Black or urban music. The MOBOs may be the most prestigious but were not the first Black music awards show in the country. In Britain, the Black Music Awards (BMA) show ran from 1992 to 1996 in various venues in London.

The first MOBO award was presented to UK trio Baby D, in the Best Dance Act category.

The MOBO Awards are seen as a UK equivalent to the BET Awards and Soul Train Awards for being the main award show in Britain to focus on Urban music.

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Music

Trigmatic Shines At Celebration 2017 – SEE IMAGES!

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Rapper and Host of YFM’s Myd Monring Show, Trigmatic over the weekend set the stage on fire as he performed with the Safoa Band at the 2016 Felabration at The Shrine in Nigeria.

Trigmatic put up a spectacular performance for patrons at the show. He rocked the stage with live performance of most of his hit songs.

The ‘Motromodwo’ hit maker together with the Safoa Band lifted Ghana high with at the music festival in Nigeria.

Since their over the weekend, Trigamtic and the Safoa Band have been all over the news with everyone talking about their outstanding performance during the “FELABRATION” MUSICAL FESTIVAL; a most prestigious festival celebrated by a great number of people in Nigeria and across Africa to honor the legendary FELA KUTI.

Felabration is an annual music festival conceived in 1998 by Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti in memory and celebration of her father Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician and human rights activist known for pioneering the afrobeat genre of music.

The one-week-long event which is held annually at the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, attracts visitors all over the world and has thus been considered as an official tourist destination by the Lagos State Government

Felabration is held on the week of Fela’s birthday.

The event features musical performances from top music acts from Nigeria and guest appearances from internationally acclaimed musicians and personalities. It also consists of street parades, symposia on social and topical issues, debates and photo exhibitions.

Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti (15 October 1938 – 2 August 1997), known professionally as Fela Kuti, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, or simply Fela, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre, human rights activist, and political maverick. He has been called ‘superstar’, singer, musician, Panafricanist, polygamist, mystic, legend. During the height of his popularity, he was often hailed as one of Africa’s most “challenging and charismatic music performers.

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Music

LISTEN: No Size – Obrafour

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Titled No Size, rap veteran Obrafour reunites with XLM boss JMJ, with whom he worked extensively on his 2015 album Asem Beba Dabi.

The song, an uplifting up-tempo jam, is released under Obrafour’s Execution Entertainment imprint, and is among a series of landmark singles preparing the way for his Obrafoforo album.

Obrafour’s 1999 masterpiece Pae Mu Ka is widely considered the greatest Ghanaian rap album till date. An unparalleled lyrical technique and fearless social commentary have set him apart as amongst the most influential voices of his generation.

 

Listen to No Size below:

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Music

BRONYA: Wutah ready RETRO video for COMEBACK HIT – [ watch BTS images/video]

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Top Ghanaian duo WUTAH –comprising Frank Osei (Wutah Afriyie) and Daniel Morris (Wutah Kobby) are scheduled to release the video to their widespread comeback hit Bronya in coming days.

Yaa Baby’s Purse & a Premature Christmas – Wutah’s ‘Bronya’ – A REVIEW

 Directed by X Bills Ebenezer, the 80s-themed video is expected to invoke as much nostalgia as the record itself. Bronya is the second joint since Wutah announced their return as a group months ago –the other being AK47.
Wutah’s explosive break into Ghana’s music industry was with their 2006 debut Anamontuo, which birthed such classics as AdonkoGoosy Ganda and Big Dreams.

See behind-the-scenes images and footage from the video shoot courtesy Blagogee:

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