This August artists from across the continent and the world are meeting in Accra for this year’s Chale Wote Street Art Festival. Over 200 of the city’s artist will be creating collaborative projects between the 19th to the 24th. Come to the center of the world.
New York based Ghanaian actress MaameYaa Boafo was in Accra a couple of months ago during the shooting of the web series, An African City. Mantse Aryeequaye took MaameYaa on a walk through the back roads of Dzorwulu, a suburb of Accra, for some photos capturing that “fly Ghana girl back home” vibe. Nana Osei Kwadwo chatted with her later on about An African City.
The first time I saw MaameYaa Boafo in Nicole Amarteifio’s An African City, I thought she was beautiful, fierce and versatile. She stars as one of five women characters, in the webisode, that returns to live in Accra after years of studying and working abroad. Debuting less than a couple months ago, the series has quickly gained a popular online following with major media shout-outs hailing via Ebony Magazine, BBC News, BET and NPR.
With comparisons being made to Sex in the City, the webisode is growing its audience by the day and captivating folks with African fashion, fly natural hairstyles and “awkward African girl” situations as the women support one another in acclimating to life in Ghana again.
MaameYaa has lived most of her life traveling around the globe but currently calls New York City home. She’s now working on a new project with renowned African American novelist and playwright, Walter Mosley, as well as a few new films.
Curious to know more about MaameYaa, I caught up with her recently to chat about acting, what it means to be Ghanaian, and her role in An African City. Continue reading
As told to Molly Sullivan | Photography by Mantse Aryeequaye
Nigerian Afro-fusion singer, Villy, describes his music as limitless – a free expression that breaks form and expectation. Inspired by a variety of artists, he blurs the lines between genres to create a distinct style that does not adhere to rules or guidelines. By combining rock, soul, hip hop, jazz and a consistent African influence, Villy has created a new sound that is accessible to all but firmly roots African music on the map. Accra got a proper feel for his music at last year’s IND!E FUSE.
Now Villy and his band (THE XTREME VOLUMES) have chosen to uproot and continue the music mission in Ghana, and they are not wasting any time. With a major concert coming up in a few weeks, we were happy to talk with Villy about Afro-fusion music, Nigeria’s wahala, and his move to Ghana. Continue reading
“Make You No Forget” blends old school hip-hop with energizing highlife guitar strings and amazing classic horns. Typical of Blitz, the lyrics fit perfectly in to the rhythmic beats and send a wild message to Africans, and everybody around the world not to forget where they come from.
He releases this song ahead of his upcoming “Afropolitan Dreams” album, which drops on April 28. ACCRA [dot] ALT produced the video in association Embassy MVMT with all the scenes shot in James Town Accra. A good amount was shot against mural backdrops from last year’s Chale Wote Street Art Festival inside the old Kingsway building in Ussher Town. We get to see some rising boxing heroes in the heart of Accra plus the crazy bike stunts by local BMX crew Flat Land Boys.
A year after her first Skype Talk Party Series experience, TAWIAH’s much anticipated return to Accra proved to be well worth the wait.
An intimate evening with the Ghanaian British singer/songwriter began with an open Q&A, where questions sprung out about her creative process and the musicians that influenced her at ages 8, 16, 24, and now (her list included gospel, Wu-tang Clan, Erykah Badu, Radiohead, Me’shell Ndegeocello, the Spice Girls, and her own stuff)
Accompanied by Tawiah’s commentary, we screened music videos from FREEdom DROP, her illmatic mixtape released last March. Videos for “TearDROP”, “FACes”, and “SEAlion”- all teased the crowd into stunned silence. Tawiah shared with us the inspiration for these songs, the vision behind the videos, and amusing anecdotes from her creation process. She discussed the decision to set the music video for “FACes” in Accra, the choice to deviate from the standard song structure with “SEAlion”, and her inability to sink during the filming of “TearDROP”.
The evening concluded with a chillingly beautiful, live performance. Tawiah, poised for utter destruction, propped up her guitar on a knee, a loop station beneath her feet. There was a noticeable shift in the room when Tawiah began to sing – a collective leaning in of bodies gravitating towards the perfect plethora of sound making. The set included two new songs from a forthcoming album this year. Upon much pleading from the audience, Tawiah consented to perform again, this time with a slow jam remix of Soul for Real’s ’95 classic, “Candy Rain”.
Luckily, amidst the praise and congratulations from fans that followed, we were able to pull Tawiah aside for some final questions about the reception to FREEdom DROP, her two week visit in Ghana, and what to expect next from the musician.
Last February, we held a special Talk Party Series with Ghanaian-British singer and songwriter, TAWIAH. At that time she had just wrapped production on her much-feened for mixtape, FREEdom DROP, and we gave the Accra fans a rare premiere before the rest of the world heard it. We also got a chance to rap with Tawiah via Skype and were even privy to an intimate live performance.
For those of us who saw Tawiah tear the stage apart at IND!E FUSE 2012, we have been patiently waiting to resurrect the magic of that night’s performance. Well wait no more, Accra city people. Tawiah’s back in the building and she will be representing at this Friday, Feb. 28th’s Talk Party. Tawiah will share a bit of her audiovisual exploration with us plus you’ll get to ask her all the questions you want. We also get a chance to hear some of her new material.
We are so excited to introduce you aliens to MECHE KORRECT. This golden girl comes with rambunctious verve, sick pipes and personality for days. The singer + songwriter hails from the U.S. capital city of Washington, DC. And her sound is infectious. If you’re lucky to see her perform live, you will immediately fall for her quick wit, improv style and funky flow.
ACCRA DOT ALT Presents IND!E FUSE 2013
The 4th Annual IND!E FUSE alternative music festival returns this December 12th to 14th with the coolest artists from Ghana and abroad in an exciting live music concert.
IND!E FUSE is the largest African indie music showcase in West Africa and highlights the best in hip hop, AfroBeat, traditional fusion, soul, electronic and rock music. 22 artists are confirmed for the festival including FOKN BOIS, GYEDU BLAY AMBOLLEY, EFYA, JAYSO, KING AYISOBA, MECHE KORRECT [U.S.], HOLLA BLAK [U.S.] KYEKYEKU, LYRICAL WANZAM, DRUNK BEGGAR THIEF and many more.
This year’s festival starts with The LABS – free creative sessions at Alliance Française on the 12th of December 9:00am to 4:00pm. These pop-up labs will engage artists, industry experts and audiences to openly share information on digital marketing, brand development, music management, international tour networks and much more. See the full LABS schedule here.
The SABOLAI RADIO Street Party follows on the 13th of December at The Republic Bar + Grill in Osu with live music acts and DJ sets from Accra’s DJ patrol – DJ Keyzzz, Fui Dogg, Bad Boy Steloo, DJ K3V, Kwaku Ananse and Kobby Graham. 5ghc at the door.
The final showdown is at Alliance Francaise on December 14th from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. 10ghc at the door.
IND!E FUSE 2013 is supported by Institut Francaise, Alliance Francaise, REDD Kat Pictures, Fullish Art, Hello Foods Ghana, Multi TV, One Nation Entertainment, Pidgen Music, Skillions Records, Eric Adjetey Anang + the Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop and The Republic Bar + Grill.