THE ARTISTS BEHIND THE SCENES: CHALE WOTE 2014

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.

The Strolling Goats, DJ Steloo, Nii Aryittey, Abrokwah & Din.

The Strolling Goats in Accra, DJ Steloo, Nii Aryittey, Abrokwah & Din.

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.

Selorm Jay looking forward to the rebirth of GH Hiphop at Chale Wote 2014

Selorm Jay looking forward to the rebirth of GH Hiphop with Yoyo Tinz at Chale Wote 2014

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

CHALE WOTE 2014: THE OFFICIAL POSTER

Chale Wote 2014 poster!

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.

Icon From An African City: MaameYaa Boafo

New York based Ghanaian actress MaameYaa Boafo was in Accra a couple of months ago during the shooting of the web series, An African CityMantse 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.

MaameYaa finds home in Accra!

MaameYaa finds home in Accra!

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.

Taking a Royal walk on the highway!

Taking a Royal walk on the highway.

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

NAIJA FUNK JUNKIE: VILLY MAKES ACCRA HOME

As told to Molly Sullivan | Photography by Mantse Aryeequaye

Villy gets his first experience at the Old Accra harbor in James Town-Accra

Villy gets his first experience at the Old Accra harbor in James Town-Accra

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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