Behind The Scenes: BLITZ THE AMBASSADOR’S “Make You No Forget”

Story by NANA OSEI KWADWO | Photography by MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE 

Ghanaian-born Brooklyn-based rapper Blitz the Ambassador is out with a new banger, “Make You Know Forget” featuring Seun Kuti – son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti.

Blitz leads a pack with "Boys Abr3"

Blitz leads a pack with “Boys Abr3″

“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.

Blitz rides with the 'Visionary"

Blitz rides with the ‘Visionary”

 

These guys are by far the fiercest bikers in Accra

These guys are by far the fiercest bikers in Accra

FLAT LAND BOYS take it up

FLAT LAND BOYS take it up

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.

Continue reading

HOME FOR INSPIRATION: TAWIAH’S ACCRA REUNION

Tawiah - Accra dot Alt

Stopping traffic in Downtown Accra

by MOLLY SULLIVAN | photos by ABASS ISMAIL and MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE

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)

Accra dot Alt

Posing with a thrift store owner in Downtown Accra

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”.

Tawiah 7 - Accra do Alt

Posting up outside a clothing stall in Northridge

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.

Continue reading

2/28: TAWIAH x The Talk Party Series

Meet us at Friday's Talk Party, 6:30 - 9:30pm

Meet us at Friday’s Talk Party, 6:30 – 9:30pm

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.

Continue reading

BLITZ THE AMBASSADOR HAS ACCRA CITY DREAMING AGAIN

Blitz takes in all the #Accra love

Blitz takes in all the #Accra love

Going in red and deep. Blitz #AfropolitanDreams concert

Going in red and deep. BlitzTaking it all in- #AfropolitanDreams concert #Accra Taking it all in- #AfropolitanDreams concert #Accra 

 In the shadows. #AfropolitanDreams comncert

In the shadows. #AfropolitanDreams comncert

Afrobeat/Jazz lengend Gyedu Blay Ambolley brought his illest Sax game to the jam. #AfropolitanDreams concert #Accra

Afrobeat/Jazz lengend Gyedu Blay Ambolley brought his illest Sax game to the jam. #AfropolitanDreams concert #Accra

Jamming with the drummer Syd- Embassy MVMT. #Accra

Jamming with the drummer Syd- Embassy MVMT. #Accra

Continue reading

IND!E FUSE 2013: Meet Meche KORRECT

Meche Korrect strikes a pose in Accra central

Meche Korrect strikes a pose in Accra central

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.

indie fuse- james town- accradotalt 2013- michi - 46

Continue reading

IND!E FUSE Kicks Off This Week – DEC 12 to 14th

FOKN BOIS + crew close down IND!E FUSE 2012 | photo by OneFotos

FOKN BOIS + crew close down IND!E FUSE 2012 | photo by OneFotos

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.

IND!E FUSE 2013: The Official Poster

IND!E FUSE 2013 PosterHot off the presses…the official poster for the 4th Annual IND!E FUSE 2013 – this December 12 – 14th. Meet the artists at this Friday’s Talk Party Series and find out all about the show before we take off next month.

IND!E FUSE 2012: The ReCAP

Image

 

We certainly had a grand time at IND!E FUSE 2012. Live performances by Tawiah, FOKN BOIS, Yaa Pono, Lady Jay, Lyrical Wanzam, Jojo Abot, Rumor and so much more deliciousness. Well, the good times have rolled around again and we are counting down to IND!E FUSE 2013.

This time, we’re bringing you a 3-day music event! Boy, do we have some goodies in store. While we are still in the kitchen whipping that brew, feast on this video recap of IND!E FUSE 2012. Let us know what you’re looking forward to at this year’s show.

The 4th Annual INDI!E FUSE features the coolest artists from Ghana and beyond in an exciting live music concert event. 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.

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2013: THE GIRL WHO BROUGHT YOU KWAKU ANANSE

words by NANA OSEI KWADWO | images by MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE

The Kwaku Ananse premier in July was everything a film loving crowd would hope for ; great turn out, a participatory crowd and fierce music. The 26 minute short immortalizes the mythical spider by constructing a fresh narrative that retells this famous Ananse tale with multilayered, moody, elliptical shots of a wandering Jojo Abot, who plays Ananse’s daughter. The film suggests that stories normally seen through the lens of post-colonialism could just as easily be seen in existential or mythic terms.

For the record this film had the biggest turn out for an experimental Ghanaian picture, which is a refreshing start. Ghana isn’t known for experimental artsy movies and over the years John Akomfrah has been the only reference when such conversations came up. Our lame claim to his notoriety can stop now.

Adoma at the numbers station.

Adoma at the numbers station.

Akosua Adoma - James Town - 2013 Tagged 8Akosua Adoma Owusu represents a new wave of filmmakers making bold attempts at disrupting the Ghanaian narrative in order to create new forms of story telling that involve risk taking. Hopefully these risks will explore new audiences and markets that would in turn create Ghanaian cinema the world looks forward to. This Kwaku Ananse story feeds our curiosities and creative interpretations made by the audacious individuals it features.

Grace Omaboe who plays Ananse’s wife has not been in a Ghanaian movie for years. At the height of her career, she was in a very popular TV drama series ‘OBRA’. Then through the mid to late 90′s she had a TV show “By The Fire Side” where she told Ananse stories to children. For the people old enough to remember, this film is like a time machine that travels into that past but tells the story in a sequence far removed from what a Ghanaian audience might be used to.

Another character worth mentioning in the movie is Highlife living legend Agya Koo Nimo who played Kweku Ananse. Koo Nimo brought such character volume to the 26 minute picture, it begged further exploration. That was four months ago, Adoma has since gone on to start new projects, but this is certainly worth the reminder.

We caught up with Akosua Adoma Owusu recently during our STROLLING GOATS episode and talked about film and her new projects.

AKOSUA ADOMA OWUSU hangs low on James Town Beach

AKOSUA ADOMA OWUSU hangs low on James Town Beach

What first interested you in film?

Well, my background was in the fine arts, specifically, printmaking and sculpture. I discovered my interest in filmmaking after studying 16mm Cinematography at the University of Virginia with an African American filmmaker, Kevin Jerome Everson. Kevin came from a working-class background – I identified with this in Virginia – and his work in experimental short films and traveling to film festivals really inspired me. So I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Film/Video and Art at CalArts against my parents’ wishes. They wanted me to be more practical and pursue a career in medicine like basically all Ghanaian parents. But creating art through a cinematic medium really spoke to me and impassioned me far more than any “practical” choice could have.

Continue reading

The OFFICIAL CHALE WOTE 2013 Poster

CHALE WOTE 2013 official poster

CHALE WOTE 2013 official poster

Hot off the presses!