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

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

Ghanaian Artist El Anatsui, First African Appointed at London’s Royal Academy

Ghanaian Artist El Anatsui, First African Appointed at London’s Royal Academy

via Ghanaian Artist El Anatsui, First African Appointed at London’s Royal Academy.

TALK PARTY SERIES Returns Tonight with INVISIBLE BORDERS

Accra ProjectThis month we’re teaming up with INVISIBLE BORDERS, an amazing cadre of photographers from Nigeria and other countries across the continent, as a part of The Accra Project. The group is stopping through town to show some of their work, share with us a short film about the project and participate in a chill conversation about art and photography.

Join us TONIGHT Friday, 19th July from 6-9pm for the Talk Party Series. We’re meeting up at the WEB DuBois Centre in Cantonments [behind the U.S. Embassy], Multipurpose Space.

Kobby Graham will be our moderator. DJ K3V is on the 1s and 2s. Live poetry, Cocktails provided by Absolut Vodka and Comfort food by Roots Restaurant. A smashing good time, indeed.

FOKN BOIS: The FOKN Interview

by AIGERIM SAPAROVA | photos by MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE

[Double-click on images to enlarge]

the FOKN BOIS at home in Accra | April 2013

the FOKN BOIS at home in Accra | April 2013

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.

Continue reading

Somewhere OUT There: Ghostpoet’s Gamut

by AIGERIM SAPAROVA

GHOSTPOET via The Guardian

GHOSTPOET via The Guardian

Let it be known that Obaro Ejumiwe better known as Ghostpoet carries a power to hypnotize. This discovery was made whilst listening to the sounds of his debut album Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam, released back in February 2011.

Ghostpoet’s music weaves a mellow yet magnetic mumble-speak with the penetrating backdrop of beats, rhythms, and sounds to create his unique noise. His music speaks of the bare-bone reality of getting through life – falling in love, paying the rent, battling the fear of loneliness, and the melancholic tick of time.

Although born & raised a London boy, the down-to-earth artist traces his roots back to Nigeria and Dominica. He first made his mark on the UK music scene with the release of his first EP, The Sound of Strangers (2010).

GhostPoet 101: Here are three tracks that you’ll want to keep on loop.

Continue reading

GHANA Fashion + Design Week 2012: KACHI DESIGNS

ACCRA [dot] ALT was on the scene for Ghana Fashion + Design Week last weekend in Accra. We took photos of some of the illest designs in the house. Have a look for yourself!

Kachi Designs: Vintage pop art fashion meets bold sensual silhouettes [by Nigerian designer Chigozie "Chichi" Anaele]

Kachi Designs – GH Fashion Week 2012 – photo by ACCRA dot Alt

Kachi Designs – GH Fashion Week 2012 – photo by ACCRA dot Alt

Kachi Designs – GH Fashion Week 2012 – photo by ACCRA dot Alt

Kachi Designs – GH Fashion Week 2012 – photo by ACCRA dot Alt

Continue reading

LOOK SHARP: Accra Street Style

Image

WELCOME TO ACCRA. | TJ + AJEPOMAA | photo by ACCRA dot ALT

ACCRA‘s got serious style. Folks here love to look good but they keep it low and undercover. But it’s about to get hi-def.

This was more than apparent at the first-ever Ghana Fashion + Design Week held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel over the weekend. The affair brought some of the coolest young designers to strut their stuff on the catwalk including our favorites – Duaba Serwa (Ghana), Sarah Duah (Ghana/Germany), Orange Culture (Nigeria), Coccolily (Ghana/Canada) and Christie Brown (UK/Ghana). These style stars have some bright destinies ahead. Can’t wait to see what they cook up next.

In the meantime and in-between time, peruse through this garden of images. We thought these cool kids had fashion worth stopping to take a picture for. We also decided to do something fun while waiting two hours for the show to finally start. Gotta love our people.

Tune in tomorrow to see photos from the catwalk.

BAYO of Orange Culture | photo by ACCRA dot ALT

Continue reading

NNEKA and the WARM WOBBLY

AN ACCRA [dot] ALT FEATURE INTERVIEW

NNEKA AT HIGH VIBES FESTIVAL, ACCRA GHANA | photo by ACCRA dot ALT

If you’ve ever seen Nneka perform, you’d remember. Like tell-your-grand kiddies-one-day type remember. Her presence just sticks with you.

You get the impression that she’s just being herself. Onstage and off. Dressed down, hair pulled back, comfortable in her own skin. When Nneka performs, she gets free. She strips herself bare to the bone for strangers in crowded rooms to see across the world.

This is what keeps us glued. This self-reflection society music and her unique ability to cull out the good, the bad and the DAMN-you-ugly! parts of our selves. Nneka’s sound bends soul, folk, AfroBeat, hip hop and reggae together into spaceships of human possibility. Her voice is an amplifying swirl of thunder and lightning – a blue shadow draped across the front door, the delicate cool taste of coconut water, the rake of the comb through tightly coiled hair – that strides out making you wanna run and hide. Nneka’s music makes you uncomfortable enough to confront your secret hiding places, dig out those dungeons of doom and reckon with your lingering ghosts.

NNEKA AT HIGH VIBES | photo by ACCRA dot ALT

Continue reading

BUKI AKIB: Go Big or Go Home

FELA KUTI IN LONDON, 1989

Nigerian fashion designer Buki Akib knows how to get your attention and keep it. Her latest collections – FELA and Wives – is just what it sounds like. Enter the wonderful, magical world of Akib’s head as she cuts and tweaks life in The Shrine + Kalakuta Republic into luxurious fabrics and a hypnotic chorus of color. Akib is a master storyteller, spinning webs of waterfall patterns, heavy bold lines, and cool geometric motifs with interwoven yarn into handbags and men’s clothing.

Akib’s eye-catching designs caused a “reading” to go down between folks on our FB page last week testing the elasticity between artistic license and historical accuracy. The question was posed, Would Fela actually wear Akib’s collection? The argument pointed out that the sheer bulk of Akib’s work would not be ideal in a tropical climate and as Fela got older he eschewed western dress in favor of little to no clothing.

But who knows? Let the dialogue rip. Peep Buki Akib’s inspired designs below and how she describes her conceptual process for the Fela 2011 and Wives S/S 2012 collections:

NAIJA IN THE BLDG: “The FELA collection is ‘Quintessentially Nigerian’ which constitutes beautiful bright shiny colours, heavy texture and outlandish silhouettes which represents true Africanism.”

AFROPOP NOSTALGIA: “The way Fela’s music spoke to me with such authority and excitement is the way I want my collection to speak to people.”

THE GENTLEMEN BAG (2012)

THE GENTLEMEN BAG (2012)

INSPIRATION: “There is no other way to capture the essence of Lagos but through this collection – the classic fixtures of colonial houses engaging with the hustle of Lagos city life, to the vibrant juxtaposed markets scattered on top of each other. Growing up in the city was an introduction to fashion itself.”

HEATWAVE: “A mixture of colours such as orange cotton and purple silk yarns with dusty bronze lurex were an obvious palette as a back drop of the heat and sweat of the Lagos music scene.”

LOOKBOOK: “unconventional and luxurious fabrics…bold high waisted trousers, extravagant knitted swimming trunks and virile trousers”

WIVES COLLECTION S/S 2012

27 QUEENS: “My fascination on Fela’s wives grew into an admiration of their lustrous world inside the shrine. I interpret their beauty and sexuality as a form of empowerment.”

FELA FEMINISM: “There was more to Fela then just having 27 wives; he gave them a sense of identity in a society that made them invisible.”

THE WIVES COLLECTION:A world of queens, sirens and seductive silhouettes. A celebration of female sensuality and identity.”