Accra’s literature collectives are running workshops throughout this month to November. Get involved.
On October 25th Accra will see its first Electro music festival with the city’s Djs and artists who have been cooking the scene for a while now. The festival is also bringing together producers and artists who are active within the scene to discuss ways of creating more Ghanaian psychedelic genres which used to be a thing in 1970s Ghana. The usual suspects performing are BBrave of Akwaaba Music, Steloo and Jason Kleatsh from Accra House Music, Dj Keyzzz and Azizaa. Kenyan Electro Funk trio Just a Band are headlining the festival which makes for a great shut down for anyone who knows their music or seen them live.
Just a Band was formed by Sellanga, Daniel Muli and Jim Chuchu while they were students at Kenyatta University. The group blew up following the release of “Ha-He,” their unique blend of funk and electro made sure of that. Now with three studio albums and counting, the band has forced the world to rethink what they know about African music and identity. Accra is definitely looking to bum rush this one. Electro Comes to Ghana is produced by Alliance Francaise Accra.
A lot of the time festival producers are hardly able to enjoy the event as much as visitors do for obvious reasons. We are discovering so many great photos of people and activities at Chale Wote that are worth sharing. We start off with the fashion gallery below by our friends at TalkofGh. Enjoy Photo Credit: TALK OF GHANA
Photography by MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE
As we ready ourselves for the CHALE WOTE Street festival 2014, we’d like you to familiarize yourselves with the works of some of the artists who are coming to the festival.
DJ Steloo will be rocking the turntables at the Accra House Music DJ booth. Abrokwah A.K.A “Bike Lord” is getting ready to serve some Kpakpo Shito Bicycle stunts at Chale Wote 2014. Nii Aryertey and Din are part of the amazing Chale Wote 2014 production team.
Yoyo Tinz: Gbobalor
opposite Mantse Agbonaa
Gbobalor evokes the reincarnation of newborns in Ga. In the same way, Yoyo Tinz presents the evolution of hip hop culture in Ghana. This event will take hip hop lovers, spectators, community members, artists and art lovers on a journey into how broad and diverse Ghanaian hip hop culture truly is. On the bill: interactive freestyles, rap battles, dance, graffiti, beatmaking and much more. Continue reading
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.