KING AYISOBA’s Kologo Music | photo by Sionne Neely
The first time I heard KING AYISOBA’s sound, I was hypnotized. It was at ADA’s Masquerade Jam last month. With only his kologo [a banjo-like instrument] and a raw oscillating voice, King Ayisoba commanded the stage and had the audience jumping and singing with vim.
Watching him perform live takes the northern musician’s mystic prowess to a whole new level. The King of Kologo music has been making waves on the Ghana and international music scene for close to a decade, bringing traditional flavor to the forefront of pop culture. Always cool and collected, King Ayisoba distinct, electric voice carries a timeless message backed by music that’s too good to shake down. Continue reading →
MARIE-Ange BORDAS: “I was too young” | photo courtesy of Addis Foto Fest 2012
AIDA MULUNEH is definitely a force to be reckoned with. The photographer and filmmaker heads up ADDIS FOTO FEST – a biannual, international photography festival in Addis Ababa that brings a diverse cadre of African photographers together to showcase their work [the third installation is Dec 2014]. In direct response to how Ethiopia has been popularly imagined by western development + media agencies since the 1980s, Aida is building an appreciation for photography among the Ethiopian public by re-working how photography takes shape in the country. The festival develops the capacity of emerging Ethiopian photographers to tell their own compelling stories.
I caught up with my fellow Howard U Film Dept. comrade on a recent trip to Accra. Here we rap about Addis Foto Fest and how emerging Ethiopian photographers are in a unique position to transform the country’s visual future.
If you’re ever lucky enough to meet Ghana’s very own FOKN BOIS aka Foes of Kwame Nkrumah, you’d immediately know one thing: they are both a bit bizarre. Not the deranged, repulsive kind of bizarre. More like a magnetic and high-energy hypnotic that comes from the MCs’ fearless humor.
This is Part Two of the interview with JANE ODARTEY, creator of MAWUSI, an eclectic collection of abstract wearable Ghanaian art. Jane is also a photographer, writer and model. Jane talks to ACCRA [dot] ALT about finding bliss thru crafting, building community far from home in Queens NY and how using Ghanaian prints proves to be solid as a rock.
Interview with Sionne Neely | photos by Mantse Aryeequaye + Abass Ismail for REDD Kat Pictures
TAWIAH releases FREEdom Drop on April 30th | photo by REDD Kat Pictures [Dec 2012]
ADA: During your set at IND!E FUSE 2012 you talked a bit about love. We can’t assume everyone defines it the same way. What are your thoughts on love?
T: You have encounters with love everyday – with friends, family, lovers. Love is one of the most important things. . I think I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic. I love love. It’s an extremely complex thing but do we make it complex with our mortal thoughts and ways? Is love an act or is it a feeling? Surely love is ever present – it’s there before we manifested into our physical bodies. It’s always there, innit? It definitely should feel good and not judge or discriminate. But we put our own thing on what love is and what it should be.
PROF. JOHN COLLINS at the University of Ghana-Legon, April 2013 | photo by Aigerim Saparova
Growing up in England, Dr. John Collins felt like a black sheep. The other sheep were tightly packed with screws, bolts and a craving for the materialistic. To him, they’d been unknowingly brainwashed amidst a western hierarchical class system.
JOHN COLLINS with members of Ghana’s National Folklore Board, 1997 via BAPMAF
This is part two of an interview with JOHN COLLINS – professor, musician and historian of Ghanaian popular music for over forty years. Check out some of Prof. Collins’ essays here – downloadable for free – after reading the interview below.
DJ JULShas been on the grind in 2013. It’s only April and the UK-based Ghanaian producer has dropped three mixtapes so far – the V-Day lovers joint, The Cupid Shot Mix [Feb. 14th], the dancehall fever anthems on Di Bubble Mix [March 11th] and the redhot follow-up to last summer’s Afrobeat fix, DJ Jul’s AfroBeat Mix Volume 2 [released this Monday, April 8th]. Over the last several years, Juls has worked with all the Ghana greats from FOKN BOIS [Wanlov the Kubolor x M3NSA] to E.L., Yaa Pono, Sarkodie, Efya, M.anifest and more.
GYEDU-BLAY AMBOLLEY | photo by MANTSE Aryeequaye [March 2013]
I was first introduced to GYEDU-BLAY AMBOLLEY’s music within the first few weeks of my arrival in Ghana at Accra’s +233 Jazz Bar + Grill. I can hardly fathom a more appropriate introduction into the Ghanaian music scene. After all, he is one of the fathers of rap, the man behind highlife, and a globally-travelled musician.
Even before discovering the constant heat that has surrounded him since the 1973 release of “Simigwado,” I could sense something special about Mr. Ambolley—a swagger that transcends time. Now in his immediate presence, I couldn’t help but feel inclined to recognize this musical mastermind.