After their much talked about “Wave” single, Pappy Kojo and Joey B tag team on Pappy’s new single “Realer No”.  What stands out in the whole song is Pappy Kojo’s flow- We haven’t heard anyone make #Fante lyrics [spoken in the Western region of Ghana] sound so fresh since Kwaw Kese’s “Nonsense” circa 2004.  The blatant Hilfiger and New York Mets apparel is a bit confusing as Ghanaians don’t give a flying f*^@ about base ball let alone fashion by Hilfiger. Pappy and his gang could have gone for a much more interesting local aesthetic. The forced US HipHop tropes will throw you off but other than that, “Realer No” is a banger. Well to be fair some commentators online have mentioned how similar it sounds to “Wave”

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STELOO + YAW P Ride a New House Wave

by Aigerim Saparova + Sionne Neely | photos by Mantse Aryeequaye

BADBOY STELOO + YAW P chill in Ga Mashie | photo 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.

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@cvarin shares her supafresh photos with ACCRA [dot] ALT Radio

In an era where just being remembered is the average artist’s daily struggle, Zaki Ibrahim delivers Every Opposite, an album whose apocalyptic allure makes it impossible to forget. Producer Tiago Correia-Paulo attributes one thing. Her voice.

“Zaki has an extraordinary voice and no instrument – not even an orchestra – would be able to compete with it,” says Tiago who handled most of the musical direction for Every Opposite.

The two became acquainted in 2005 when his band Tumi and the Volume toured Canada, at the time Zaki’s abode. Elsewhere, they both are credited with building the score for award-winning South African film Otelo Burning. One of Zaki’s three songs for the soundtrack, produced by DJ Catalist, is also Every Opposite’s lead single Something in the Water.

A post-dubstep, synth-heavy, kalimba (thumb piano)-led track, it is at once futuristic and primal, and is now pulsating its way into radio’s mainstream having been championed by tastemakers such as 5 FM’s Catherine Grenfell who enthuses, “Amazing, soulful voice, beautiful songs! The gorgeous Zaki Ibrahim will move you in your body and soul and I look forward to watching her musical career grow as she rises above the rest.”

Recently, attendants at the house music mecca that is Miami’s Winter Music Conference reveled in multiple showcases given by the Canadian-born Ibrahim who was there to open the International Dance Music Awards thanks in no small part to her prominent associations within the genre: on long time collaborator Nick Holder’s Heartbeat, with DJ Kent on the soulful tech tune Sunrise, and on Culoe de Song’s album Elevation for instance. (Culoe also remixed Ansomnia, Zaki’s contribution to the soundtrack of Tyler Perry’s film For Colored Girls where Janelle Monae and Estelle among others also feature.)

You’ll hear strains of these dance formats deconstructed alongside pop, indie, soul, Hip-hop and afro beat sounds to create an utterly comprehensive album that is plural in its reach – (Every Opposite was recorded in eight different places) – and singular in its captivating effect.


Sade, Stevie Wonder, Zap Mama, Radiohead, and J. Dilla counting are just some of the icons Zaki names as life-long inspirations. “It’s told as a fable and is set in the future,” says the singer/song-writer who counts her fascination with science fiction as a major influence for her album’s loose narrative.

For her first full-length album, Zaki Ibrahim is impressively seasoned. With two preceding EPs she has galvanized her profile as a recording and performing artist sought after by celebrated contemporaries such as Spoek Mathambo with whom she has worked. One of them, 2008’s Eclectica: Episodes in Purple earned her a Juno Award nomination for Best R&B Recording in 2009 for the King Britt-produced Money.

Every Opposite’s diverse cast of producers – Kenyan producer Wawesh (Just a Band), South London production team LV, and Canada’s Ghanaian Rich Kidd (Drake, K-Os, Redman) – all help to consolidate a quality pan-global record set to raise the bar for South African cultural exports.

*Words from the official press release for Zaki Ibrahim’s Every Opposite Album Launch in Johannesburg, S.A. on June 4th, 2012.

For more dope photos by @cvarin, check out