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Whispers of LOVE, Life & Living it… THE Kwabena Kwabena ‘Ahyɛse’ album – A REVIEW

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Tragic amour is widely-held to birth the greatest songs, and true artists owe it to us to experience sour love. The unlucky lover, Kwabena Kwabena has more than honored this curious demand of art, and is therefore, master of love songs.

Now to the meat of the matter:

Sonically, Kwabena Kwabena’s aptitude has never been in question. Over five magnificent albums, via superior linguistic ingenuity and melodic virtuoso, the beloved crooner has proven indispensable, and therefore, is well on his way to the status of “highlife legend”.

Since Aso (2004), his songs have served as nectar to a huge constituency of loyalists, which primarily consists women. And why not? His music has always accompanied with it, a timeless eminence and soulful connection in how they navigate the theme of love.

Comprising a concise nine songs, his latest album, Ahyɛse, completes an exciting index of high-profile projects published in Ghana last year –other contributors being the likes of Sarkodie, Ebony, Stonebwoy, Akan, Joe Mettle, and Becca. Led with 3 well-received singles (Tuamudaa, Siwagedem, and Adansie), the album sees Kwabena Kwabena, born George Kwabena Adu, double back to the very beginning, which is what the album title translates into English as.

It makes sense that Kwabena would opt for Ahyɛse as title for this new body of work. For one, they say life begins at 40, and at 39, he’s preparing himself to start living. For another, 40 symbolizes the juncture in showbiz where artists generally take stock of their career, and contemplate legacy. How else can we tell that he’s there? Months before announcing the album, he published his memoire, “Past Days Ahead”, chronicling his compelling journey thus far.

Ahyɛse navigates mainly, love and coitus (Kwabena’s leitmotifs), but also, God, life and living it, sees the singer expertly amalgamate authentic rhythms from across the ages, and features a single guest appearance –rapper M.anifest –a decision which is only logical for the direction of the project…also because ultimately, he’s regularly thrived solo anyway. Whatever theme he tackles, Kwabena’s vocal style induces goosebumps, because his delivery is distinctly persuasive. Whether he’s proclaiming the almighty’s unconditional mercies (Adansie, Adonai), listing the many accolades of the Ghanaian damsel (Obaa), peddling adult music (Tuamudaa, Siwagedem), or imploring a lover to be patient as no condition is permanent (Ɛnsesa), a rich honesty is felt, making the message difficult to ignore.

Like everything he has previously submitted, Ahyɛse is made for lovers, by a lover. But it is as much to detractors too. When, on Efie Biara, he admonishes all that there’s a “Mensah” in every home, we know he’s addressing the impunity with which his private life is subjected to public derision. Measured, he resorts to trusted adages (and vintage trumpets) that have guided our society over millennia, to convey his message: “if you see a fellow’s beard in flames, fetch water near yours in precaution”, “have good thoughts toward your brother, so good deeds will follow you”, “when you throw a stone at a wall, it bounces back at you”, he sermonises in Twi. Nobody is without flaws, and often, another man’s woes make you ignore your own, instead of causing you to reflect on them.

Ɛnsesa is a sobering piece not just for its lyrics, but also for the instrumentation that transports them. Every note, every percussion placement, is deliberate and delicate. It’s almost seductive in how it draws one in. The heavy sigh that is induced in the consumer by the end of the song, is testament to what a loaded tune it is.

Women have arguably been subject of adulation even more times than God himself, and Obaa serves as a special addition without doubt. Introduced by fine strings and a Palm Wine aura, it is a tantalizing homage to the Ghanaian female. Whoever inspires music thus, is not ordinary, for she affects unknown depths of a man’s heart.

M’atwɛn Abrɛ evidences Kwabena Kwabena’s adaptability to varying rhythm, as well as the ease with which he owns it. Highlife isn’t static; unrestricted to a single beat pattern. If anything, it unites cadences from across the breadth of Ghana, from days of our forefathers, to sounds of our time. So must the highlife artist. Kwabena proves a vessel for the spirits, whatever generation, whatever corner. M’atwɛn Abrɛ floats on regal Adowa reconstructed by Kwame Yeboah and the OBY Band (who handle virtually the entire album), and adds to the many moments of authentic heritage and cultural pride on the album.

Other records that round up this exquisite body of work include Obi Asa, and Yedɔ Yɛn Ho. Both joints inspire heavy perspiration, but whereas the former is tailored for the dancing feet, the latter is designed  to facilitate the rumpy pumpy.

Whether his voice is slightly above a whisper, or his emotions arrive via the unique pitch of his falsetto, on smooth rhythm, or on rapid tempo, Kwabena shines.

Mature, seamless, and thoroughly edifying, this album makes a magnificent case for highlife and the model Ghanaian songwriter, and further indents him as Ghanaian ambassador worthy of the name. Though it is only months old, Ahyɛse is the kind of album that you would refer to as a classic. It is one to be handled gently, enjoyed repeatedly, and only truly available to them that seek.

Like the album cover, Kwabena bares it all, and embraces himself afresh, flaws and all. It is only when one accepts himself that he can truly impact others.

Ahyɛse – Kwabena Kwabena 2.0!

Artist:  Kwabena Kwabena

Album: Ahyese

Label & Release Date: KBKB MUSIK/ November 2017

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IMAGES: Stonebwoy & team commiserate with Ebony’s family

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Fellow dancehall singer Livingstone Satekla (Stonebwoy) has joined droves of industry persons who have called on the Dansoman family house of the late Ebony Reigns to commiserate with her family, following her  tragic passing about a week ago.

Stonebwoy and his team (including manager Sidi Mohammed, and protege Kelvin Boy, were received by father of the deceased, Nana Poku Kwarteng, with whom he condoled, and made a small donation.

Ebony’s death has thrown the entire nation into a state of mourning. The days following her demise have witnessed an outpouring of sympathy and messages celebrating her profound impact on Ghanaian showbiz over the past couple of years. Messages of condolence have come from the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, ex-president John Mahama, and an endless list of  colleague entertainers and showbiz stakeholders.

Born  Priscilla Opoku -Kwarteng, Ebony met her untimely death on Thursday February 8, when the jeep she was traveling in, slammed into an oncoming VIP bus. The accident, which happened on the Kumasi – Sunyani road, also led to the death of a military officer identified as Francis Atsu Vondee and a female acquaintance identified only as Frankie, who were also onboard the Jeep.

A one-week commemoration of her passing has been slated for Dansoman tomorrow, February 18.

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CAUTION! DJ Yoga Features Reed Drago & Klu on New Afrotrap Single

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Zylofon FM DJ and music producer, DJ YoGa, has released a new Afrotrap single titled “Caution”,  featuring  Rising Ghana Hiphop Artistes; Reed Drago & Klu .
This is the third single of his upcoming maiden Afrotrap album scheduled for release later this year.
The song sends a message of caution to the youth on the need for a balanced fun and work life as a key to a trouble free life.
The song is composed by Reed Drago with supporting verse from Klu.
https://soundcloud.com/djyogagh/dj-yoga-ft-reed-drago-klu-afrotrap-caution-prod-dj-yoga
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VIDEO: GoldKay out with ‘You Remind Me’ feat B4Bonah

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Ghanaian born UK-based afrobeat musician, GoldKay is out with a new banger, “You Remind Me” featuring B4Bonah.

The song which talks about GoldKay’s dream girl is produced by Guilty Beatz and released under Gbevu Music Group.

It is GoldKay’s first release in 2018 and it was released on Friday, February 16 together with a video directed by Thephotograherx in the UK.

The song portrays a guy who sees a girl for the first time but believes this girl reminds him of a girl he once knew… in a dream. He feels an instant connection between him and the girl… Just like the one in his dream… but Can this dream be made a reality?

Both GoldKay and B4Bonah brought their talent to bear on the song.

Born Nana Kay Agyekum, GoldKay is a semi-finalist of Britain’s Got Talent 2013 Season 7 who has featured on a number of UK TV shows and reality shows including BBC altogether now.

He is one of the most talented Ghanaians in the UK making Ghana proud out.

Watch the video here

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DJ Mic Smith releases episode 3 of the ‘Shutdown MixShow’ in memory of Ebony

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Award-winning disc jockey, DJ Mic Smith has released the 3 episode of his weekly Shutdown MixShow.

The podcast features popular tracks from all over the world and dedicated to the memory of the late Dancehall act Ebony.

For the past decade, Mic Smith, known in real life as Michael Owusu-Smith, has demonstrated a monstrous mastery of his craft. His flawless control of the turntables has endeared him to the hearts of many in Ghana and across the shores of the country.

DJ Mic Smith is also the DJ, for the hottest drive time show in the capital Dryve on Y FM, hosted by Joel Orleans.

Also referred to as “The Shutdown King”, Mic Smith is also head of his Shutdown Empire label, he’s holder of a number of awards and has been associated with top Ghanaian acts including EL, Stonebwoy, MzVee, Reggie Rockstone, Trigmatic, Stargo, C-real, and Gemini.

He is also credited with several singles and mixtape including Birthday Mix (2013), Afro Explosion (2013), Shutdown Mix 2 (Afrobeatz), ‘Da Reminda’ ft E.L and Scientific, ‘We Just Landed’ ft C real, E.L, Joey B, Gemini and Stargo, ‘Rushing‘ ft Kwaw Kese, and ‘Shutdown riddim’ ft Stonebwoy, MzVee, AK Songstress, Choir Master, Vybrant Faya, Eye Judah, Trigmatic, Mr. Eazi, Episode, Shatta Rako, Aphecktion and Mighty Faya.

Listen to the show below:

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#RIPEbony: Wanlov names daughter after rising star!

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Without question, singer Ebony leaves a significant impact on the lives of all who beheld her. It is no wonder that the days following her death have been flooded with grief and touching tributes in various forms.

FOKN member Wanlov has, in this vein, named his new child after the singer. Sharing the decision on Twitter, February 16 (which would have been Ebony’s 21st birthday were she alive ), he extolled the  passion and zeal that she represented during her brief life.

“Ebony my daughter was born 3 days after you passed on…I had a name for her, but that has changed…I hope Ebony Akosua Mansa lives up to your level of strength and love. Happy birthday”, he posted.

Born  Priscilla Opoku -Kwarteng, Ebony met her untimely death on Thursday February 8, when the jeep she was traveling in, slammed into an oncoming VIP bus. The accident, which happened on the Kumasi – Sunyani road, also led to the death of a military officer identified as Francis Atsu Vondee and a female acquaintance identified only as Frankie, who were also onboard the Jeep.

A one-week commemoration of her passing has been slated for Dansoman tomorrow, February 18.

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GODZILLA! La Meme Gang drop new video off maiden EP!

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Here are new visuals from emerging Afro-trap collective, La Meme Gang, consisting Darkovibes, RJZ, $pacely, KiddBlack, Nxwrth, & kwakuBS.
 The colourful clip accompanies Godzilla, off their self-titled debut EP. The clique is also popular for such songs as MadOp, and Yaa Baby, as well as their association with established acts as R2Bees member Omar Sterling, and Joey B.
Watch the BABS-directed piece below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkNY5xWWxs8
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