by Aigerim Saparova + Sionne Neely | photos by Mantse Aryeequaye
BADBOY STELOO + YAW P chill in Ga Mashie | photo by Mantse Aryeequaye
To be totally frank, Ghana’s music identity is experiencing a sort of puberty – an awkward growing state on the verge of a uniquely full-fledged confidence. The country’s sonic youth are flipping through radio and TV stations, smartphone apps and digital downloads to hear the latest and greatest West African bass music from Ghana’s urban centers and Naija, U.K. grime and dub step from the U.K. and the U.S. hip hop pop sound, among others. Ironically, gospel highlife pop music is tuning the ears + pockets of most Ghanaians, including young folks who make up a swelling majority of the country’s Christian congregations.
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.
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.