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.

VENDORS FOR CHALE WOTE 2014

 

Chale Wote 2014 wants you.

Chale Wote 2014 wants you.

We are looking to exhibit designs from the best fashion houses in the city at this year’s festival so hit us up if you want to be part of the circuit. Join us at the ACCRA COOKOUT on both days of Chale Wote and sell your gourmet cuisine in a park with retro Highlife music and bass heavy DJ sets. Artists with projects they would like to exhibit or sell can also send their details to accra.alt@gmail.com . The Chale Wote Street Art Festival is on August 23-24th 2014.

E.L SAYS HE IS THE BEST RAPPER IN AFRICA

Ghanaian HipHop artist E.L says he is the best in Africa

Ghanaian HipHop artist E.L says he is the best in Africa | Photo courtesy of the artist

Ghanaian hip hop artist E.L has crowned himself as the best rapper on the continent with the release of The B.A.R. Mixtape two days ago. That’s a ballsy proclamation. But it’s also the kind of confidence African music needs at this moment. A time where music makers across the continent are trending more and more on global, and particularly western, radars.

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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

THE TALK PARTY SERIES: LAWN JAM

 

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We’re back this March with a special TALK PARTY SERIES event to celebrate International Women’s Month. We’re bringing the ever-dope LAWN JAM to Trade Fair, in collaboration with Fashionista GH.

We’ve got a bangin’ SUN-day party planned with two of our favorite DJs – DJ Pam Bam + DJ Keyzzz – who will keep backsides bumping all afternoon long. Stop over on Sunday, 30th March from 3- 6pm at the Fashionista Pavilion [Event Haven], Trade Fair and jam with us small.

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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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

PLAY WANA SOUND LOUD: STEREO LOVE [review]

Story by MOLLY SULLIVAN I Photography by SELORMJAY

Seth (James Brown) unsuccessfully attempts to charm Jane (Bridget Cudjoe)

I had the privilege of seeing Accra Theatre Workshop [ATW] in action, debuting their most recent piece, Stereo Love, a new play directed by Elisabeth Sutherland [ATW Founder] and written by Emmanuel Deegbe.

Emmanuel Deegbe (playwright)

Emmanuel Deegbe (playwright) giving a  post-show talk

Stereo Love, an appropriately timed romantic comedy, takes place on Valentine’s Day and follows a day in the life of best friends Seth (James Brown) and Francis (Benjamin Appiah). The two run an online-radio station from the living room of Jane (Seth’s girlfriend) and are in the midst of their Valentine’s Day special when Seth discovers he has somehow offended Jane (Bridget Cudjoe). Seth is then given the task of figuring out what he has done by the end of the day, a situation only complicated by the arrival of Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Bernard (Jamal Shaibu). What ensues is a series of comedic missteps for Seth as he tries to finish his broadcast, fight off Bernard, and ultimately salvage his relationship with Jane.

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