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

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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RECALLING INDIE FUSE 2013: DAYS 2 AND 3

Story by BILLIE MCTERNAN | Photography by SELORM JAY

JAYSO 3 - INDIE FUSE - 2014-10

JAYSO, rapper, producer, CEO of Skillions Records, at IND!E FUSE.

DAY 2

On the second day, i.e. the SABOLAI RADIO Street Party, hordes of music lovers gathered at The Republic Bar & Grill in Osu to witness what some have called the “outdooring” of the new guard. Between the soulful folk bangers of Drunk Beggar Thief, the heavy drum and horn tunes from Fatau Keita and the HighLife-Flamenco fusion mashup of Kyekyeku – the Republic became a dance portal with bodies spiraling everywhere.

Drunk Beggar Thief tunes up-

Drunk Beggar Thief tunes up-

Kwame Write- takes us to 'church'.

Kwame Write- takes us to ‘church’.

Afua Asona -

Afua Asona -

China man Azonto

China man Azonto

Dj Steloo up close and mixing it up.

Dj Steloo up close and mixing it up.

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RECALLING INDIE FUSE 2013: DAY 1

Story by BILLIE MCTERNAN | Photography by SELORM JAY

For those that are unfamiliar with IND!E FUSE, you should know that it is the country’s largest concert of independent artists that falls slap-bang in the middle of Ghana’s December party season.

MENSA 2 - INDIE FUSE - 2014

Mensa of FOKN BOIS with the crowd.

When I came to Ghana in December 2012 it had been four years since I’d last visited the country. Up until that time I had been under the guardianship of family, shuttling from one family house to another, missing out on the vibrancy the city had to offer. I was looking forward to discovering an alternative experience.  Continue reading

IND!E FUSE 2013: Dec. 13 + 14 Lineup

See DRUNK BEGGAR THIEF live tonight at The Republic #IND!FUSE2013 #SabolaiRadioStreetParty

See DRUNK BEGGAR THIEF live tonight at The Republic #IND!FUSE2013 #SabolaiRadioStreetParty

The LABS went down yesterday and it was so massive. More than 200 people flowed in throughout the day catching sessions and filling the vibe of a music community taking real shape.

Shout out to our Chemists who kept the crowds hanging onto every word:
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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.

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IND!E FUSE 2013: Ko-Jo Cue

Story by NANA OSEI KWADWO | Photos by MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE

It's certified. Ko-Jo Cue is a star.

It’s certified. Ko-Jo Cue is a star.

In the early days of 2013, Kojo Amankwah a.k.a Ko-Jo Cue a.k.a Punch Line King (PLK) had Ghanaians jamming to conscious hip-hop songs from his seventh mixtape, Before We Shine 2 (BWS2). Ko-Jo Cue entered the Ghanaian music scene with a mentality to convert conservative music lovers making the country skip to his lou and jump to something new. With BWS2, Ko-Jo Cue achieved just that.

They don’t call him the Kumasi King for nothing, either. Months after releasing BWS2, we still hear boomboxes and wireless radios blaring his sounds.

Kojo Cue 5 - Accra [dot] Alt

His fellow rappers – after listening to his mixtapes – christened Ko-Jo Cue the “Punch Line King” (PLK).

This music dopeness has earned the MC a spot on the Ind!e Fuse 2013 stage. After his energetic performance at this year’s Chale Wote Street Art Festival in James Town, alternative music lovers keep asking for more of the Kumasi hitman.

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#theLABS are in Session this Thursday DEC.12th

KYEKYEKU chills in Accra central |Catch him live at IND!E FUSE on Dec 13 | photo by Mantse Aryeequaye

KYEKYEKU chills in Accra central |Catch him live at IND!E FUSE on Dec 13                              photo by Mantse Aryeequaye

We are so AMPED about this new edition to IND!E FUSE. For the fourth time round, our team thought it necessary to include what we call The LABS – interactive and creative sessions with artists, industry personnel and audiences on how to grow your music game way up.

We’ll provide critical information for musicians on how to build your brand and develop an artistic sound. Learn how to maximize digital networking and expand your fan base internationally.

See the full schedule for The LABS here. The free event kicks off the start of the 3-day IND!E FUSE party on Thursday, December 12th from 8am – 4pm, Alliance Francaise Exhibition Hall.

Sankwas BOIS = Simpol Tinz x Mutombo da Poet. The duo will return as hosts for the final show, Sat. Dec 14

Sankwas BOIS = Simpol Tinz x Mutombo da Poet. The duo will return as hosts for the final show, Sat. Dec 14 | photo by Mantse Aryeequaye

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