Press Release: Producer DredW Announces ‘Learning Seasion’

Young Ghanaian producer, DredW has announced the release of his next project titled ”Learning Sessions”. Born Winfred Ametepe, the producer announced this via his Instagram page.

After releasing his first single ‘Choco Milo’ featuring WondaBoy, a record which did well, it’s only right that he drops another project.

Speaking to DredW, he said ”This project would be different from his other beat tapes released”. He also teased some unfinished tracks which would be released in due time. This year could be his year, so all readers should stay tuned for more information. ”This project will be full of banging beats and hooks”, he also added.

However, no date has been announced yet, but we are sure to have it soon.

DredW started making beats as a hobby in 2008 but turned professional in 2012. He has worked with artistes and producers like EL, Mr. Eazi, Richie Mensah, Gasmilla, FlowKingStone, David Jay, Zigi, Edem, Magnom, Juls, WondaBoy, Peeweezil, C-Real, J-Town, M3dal, Raquel to name a few.

https://soundcloud.com/dredw-producer/chocro-milo-prod-by-dredw

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DJ Juls Portrays The Ghana Life in “Agoro” Video

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Every day is a happy time for Ghanaians; our dire economic situations notwithstanding. That sense of camaraderie and joyousness is brilliantly captured in ‘Agoro’, new video by Juls featuring highlife acts Adekunle Gold (Nigeria) and Bisa K’Dei (Ghana).

What is striking about the video is the quality of colour grading. Its gold dust appeal cast the scenery of Gbese, Jamestown (formerly British Accra) in a stunning manner.

It follows the journey of Juls to his grandpa’s hometown (Gbese) and ends up having a jolly time with Adekunle Gold and Bisa K’Dei, along with fellow ‘Jamestowners’.

The video portrays the life daily of Ghanaians living in the inner cities and reflect some of the recreational activities common to them. The Willowbrook bus ride through the streets of Jamestown, strolling goats, (apologize to AccradotAlt), football games, kids playing ‘tomato’ (hop scorch) and ampe as well as ‘cloth parachutes’ are snapshot of daily lives.

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Then comes the party hour where Juls, Bisa K’Dei and Adekunle Gold joined others in a game of draughts, cards (spar) and palm wine drinking, amidst dance and merry making, feeding into the ‘Agoro’ theme (Agoro means play in Twi). Ko-Jo Cue, Shaker and Adomaa make cameo appearances.

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As his fame had soured, so has the quality of his videos. Juls is curating well-conceived visuals with incredible story lines that reflect his history (a Ghanaian and African) and status as a global and urban guy. ‘Agoro’ is the latest addition in a rich video vault.

Watch video below:

Watch M.anifest’s Artistic Dance Interpretation of ‘Simple Love’ (A Short Film)

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M.anifest has always been stylistic with his artistic creations. From his music to visual representation of songs, the rapper has found a way to showcase his art (videos) in different forms. His recently released short film ‘Simple Love’ attest to this observation.

‘Simple Love’ is a spectacular dance interpretation of the song. It follows the brilliant display of a female ballerina in search of love in a sea of people.

The video director, Makera Thekasi’s decision to film at the bustling Tema landing beach and capturing the excellently choreographed ballet dance in slow motion has the viewer following every inch of the dancer’s movement.

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A poignant scene in the video begins at the 3:23 second mark, where she finally finds her lover (or so she thought). After a moment of flirtation, and scrutiny, she gestures to him (played by M.anifest) to follow her lead, something he staunchly refuse.

 

Heartbroken, she ‘runs’, and ‘screams’ out her disappointment or pain, expressed through her stooping posture, hands and head to the sky and general body language. Her search for simple love has proven futile.

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Another interesting moment in the film was towards the end when a TMT (The Money Team) inscribed sandal is captured. I can’t tell if that shot was accidentally captured or it was scripted.

Whatever the case may be, the TMT sandals does contrast with a line in the song’s chorus: I want a Simple Love/Money cannot buy‘. Well, love is expensive and purchasable.

Watch video below

Writers Project Ghana Host Professor Carina Ray At a Special Reading

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In our second public event for 2018, Writers Project of Ghana presents author Carina Ray, associate professor of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University, at a public reading and interaction.

This will take place from 6.30 PM at the Writers Project of Ghana office, Haatso, Accra, on Friday, 23rd February, 2018.

Carina Ray is a scholar of race and sexuality, comparative colonialisms and nationalisms, migration and maritime history and the relationship between race, ethnicity, and political power. Carina’s research is primarily focused on Ghana and its diasporas.

Carina is the author of the book Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana, winner of the American Historical Association’s 2016 Wesley-Logan Book Prize, the African Studies Association’s 2017 Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, and finalist for the United Kingdom African Studies Association’s Fage and Oliver Book Prize.

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Carina’s new book project, a trilogy, engages conceptions of blackness, the body, and human difference, as well as processes of race making and identity transformation across the precolonial, colonial, and post-independence periods in Ghana. She is also the editor of the newly established Cambridge University Press book series, African Identities, editor of Ghana Studies, and member of the Board of Editors of The American Historical Review and History in Africa.

Join us as for an afternoon with Professor Carina Ray on February 23rd 2018 for an informative and interactive session. Copies of her books will be on sale.

Date: Friday, 23rd February, 2018

Time: 6.30 PM – 8.00 PM

Venue: WPG Office, Haatso, Accra. (Third junction to the right along the Agbogba – Ashongman Road, heading from Agbogba junction towards Ashongman).

Click here for a link to Google Maps.

Click here for a map.

Admittance is Free.

 

Tribute: “Super OD” Brought Happiness To Many Homes.

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The death of veteran actor and comedian, Asonaba Kweku Darko, known by many as “Super O. D.” was reported on Tuesday 12th February, 2018 at the Agona Swedru Government Hospital in the Central Region. He was 82 years.

The actor/comedian’s peerless screen performances brought torrents of happiness to many homes. His side-splitting jokes- which he got from his mother, known as ‘Jack Johnson’- earned was his endearing charm.

Super OD, who stumbled on acting by accident had always nurtured a dream of becoming a policeman. “Becoming a policeman had always been my wish and therefore there could not have been any better deal for me than this.”

But, twice he was rejected due to his lack of formal education, attributed to the early death of his father and his mother’s dire economic situation. His earlier job as a Native Authority Policeman (Ahenfie Police) in 1958 wasn’t enough guarantee into the police force.

In need of a trade, Super OD became a driver’s mate, acquiring of a driver’s license after six years of apprenticeship. He gained employment as a taxi driver. He however, lost that job after a while. That loss was a turning point in his life. It marked his entry into acting, which began whiles lodging with a friend at Labadi and working as a labourer for the company constructing the Cantonment Police Station.

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It was around that time that the ‘Appiah Agyekum Concert Party’ came to Labadi to perform. He joined the band as a backing vocalist. Sharing jokes during performances, Super OD soon realized his popularity was soaring. He began performing with different concert groups including Akwasi Effah’s Band, Happy Stars, Akomanyi’s Guitar Band and Oppong Kyekyeku Guitar Band which he stuck with.

Realizing the band owner was given them a raw deal, all the members of the Oppong Kyekyeku Band resigned from the band, leading to the formation of the S.K Oppong Drama Group. The group, comprising S.K Oppong, Super OD, Frimpong Manso, Fred Addae, Beatrice ‘Bea’ Kissi and Akua Boahemaa, the group became the resident drama group of the African Brothers Band led by highlife legend Nana Ampadu in the 1960s. It was uncommon for highlife bands of the 70s to have concert party groups attached to them. The concert party groups (theatre groups) acted as opening acts for the band during tours by staging sketches to entertain the audience.

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The group’s move from the stage to television happened during a performance of ‘Aku Sika’, a play by playwright Prof. Martin Owusu. A director at the state owned broadcaster (GBC) was thrilled by their performance. That led to the creation of the TV series ‘Akan Drama’ on GBC TV. The group’s name was changed from ‘Oppong Drama Group’ to ‘Osofo Dadzie’ Group (Pastor Dadzie) on the recommendation of the script writer of the series director, Joris Wartenberg.

Between the late 80s to the mid-90s, Super OD and members of Osofo Dadzie educated and entertained millions of Ghanaians through their enacted of real life situations geared mostly towards shaping morals of the citizenry. Those were the days when TV was a luxury and owned by the rich within the community. Whenever it was time for Osofo Dadzie, the homes of those with TV became a convergence point for people in the neighborhood.

Remembered for his stellar acting along with Kwadwo Kwakye and Fred Addae and his famous phrase: ‘This is fantastic’. (This phrase has been immortalized by M3nsa on his song “Kelewele Pimping”).

Despite his many memorable performance, one scene had stuck in my mind all these years. It was a scene in a movie where Super OD was sent to deliver a message to someone. As a custom, he was served water (ice water he preferred). Realizing how uncouth his slurping was, he turned to the lady who had served him the water and as an apology said ‘I am from far away’.

Super OD’s talent wasn’t only reserved for TV. His stellar performances led to him starring in movies like ‘Double Trouble’, ‘Crossfire’, all produced by HM Films. The movies further enhanced his status as a talented actor.

Super OD retired backed to his hometown of Abodom in the Agona Swedru District until his death. If you ever hear the assertion that Fantes are comedians, know that Super ODs exceptional performances helped in entrenching this erroneous notion.

May the man who brings joy to many be forever remembered.

SPOTLIGHT: Meet LYZA, The A&R Working With Your Favourite Artists

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Ask LyZa, born Elizabeth Ntiamoah, what her impressions are about the new wave of music in Ghana and the artists behind it and her response is nothing short than a quick rhetorical question. ‘Have you seen the new crop of artiste?’’ before adding ‘’GH music has always been good. The attention on these talented guys was just not there but now I think it’s looking really positive’’

Lyza is a professional Public Relation practitioner and an A&R (Artist and Repertoire) person. Entering into the A&R field was an unplanned decision. An honest expression of opinion on a song led to her entertaining the idea of becoming an A&R. At present, Lyza , who describes herself as one who ‘isn’t sure about her height’ was raised around music. From Michael Jackson to Alpha Blonde, rock music to blues, her father serenaded their home with music. This led to shaping her musical consciousness and her love for music, which in the process resulted in a sibling rivalry between herself and her brother.

‘When the adults weren’t home my brother had a way with operating the tape and VCD (if that’s what it’s called) he then started rapping and I thought I could beat him to it ‘’

Lyza now has two artists on her roster. They are the Nigerian singer BigBen and rapper Bryan The Mensah from Ghana. Her first client was BigBen whose music she heard after a friend put her on. In the case of Bryan, it was BigBen who asked her to take a listen. ‘’I had seen a couple of people retweet his (Bryan) stuff but I checked it out one time after he tweeted at BigBen, then Ben said I should listen’, she recalls.

A closet rapper who sometimes raps ‘for the fun of it and just to show people who doubt that I ever did’, Lyza in this interview, lift the veil on her experiences as an A&R, the challenges associated with her work-how she navigate the unavoidable conflicting views with artists, how having a good ear and exhibiting a high level of tolerance is crucial in her line of job. She also discusses how she juggles between her two jobs-a PR and an A&R. She also talks about life outside the domain of music and the skills needed to succeed in this business.


First off, may I ask: Who is LyZa?

So LyZa is a girl who isn’t sure about her height. But she’s fun size and I believe she is amusing with a little temper for garnishing.

Born and raised in Accra?

Born somewhere in the Eastern Region but raised in Accra

Do you remember how you got introduced to music? Did you grow up with music playing in your house?

Through my parents and my brother, who I suspect got introduced the same way I did. My parents were both Michael Jackson fans. (Might have been a thing during their time). I grew up listening and watching everything Michael Jackson but one amazing music my dad literally abused was by 10cc. The song was titled ‘’Dreadlock Holiday’’. My brother and I will mimic and mime the song for the greater part of our lives it had a good story to it, from then I was curious to find more music.

So, I guess they played different genres of music right?

Yes they did; from rock to blues to anything weird and a lot of Alpha Blondy too. It was played every day even when the adults weren’t home. My brother discovered more rap music and had a way with operating the tape or VCD (if that’s what it’s called). Later he would started rapping to every beat and I thought I could beat him to it.

A healthy sibling competition. Did you ever beat him?

I am pretty sure I did. He did his verses in Twi. I did mine in English. I always took my time because I always wanted to win. My parents never picked a winner though.

Your parents obviously didn’t want to cause any family feud

Looks like it. I would have won anyway.

Do you still rap?

Yes I do but for the fun of it. And just to show people who doubt that I ever did.

One place that also shape our music palate is Senior High School. How was your experience like, music wise?

I wrote more music in High School. It was such a confidence booster knowing people knew that I could actually rap. So, I wrote a lot to stay relevant and bar heavy. I got caught dropping a few bars to beats being played on the table and all. That’s how I became friends with (music producer) Fortune Dane (@fortunedane). He was really passionate about music back then as well so I became interested in doing more. Funny thing is I never wanted to perform (*Fortune Dane is a music producer who has worked with artistes Sarkodie, Kwaw Kesse, R2Bees, Efya among others).

Why didn’t you want to perform? Was it borne out of shyness or the ‘attention’?

Fame I believe. I have never wanted to be seen out there ‘cos I feel it will obstruct my ‘movement’ (endeavors).

Which SHS if I may ask?

Ghana Senior High School in Koftwon (Koftown is how many Ghanaians refer to Koforidua, the capital of Eastern Region).

Before I get into your job, how did you connect with Bryan The Mensah and bigBen?

I met bigBen through a friend who asked me to check out his music and as usual I gave my opinion. Bryan (The Mensah), I met on twitter. I had seen a couple of people retweet his stuff but checked it out one time after he tweeted at bigBen. Then Ben said I should listen. So yeah twitter.

What kind of opinion did you offer bigBen that got him to work with you? Curious to know.

(Laughs). I had two songs. I listened to the first and thought it was the usual nice singing, great voice, great tune but I wasn’t sold. I wanted to know what was different with him. (Then), I listened to his second song and he had written an amazing story with an awesome production by himself. It was organic. I loved it ‘cos it was different and there were more tunes and more stories and more vibes.

Was it the song he wrote about his father not in support of him making music? Do you by any chance remember the title?

Oh that’s a M.anifest song, “Do My Own”. And yeah Ben’s story on that was amazing too not forgetting his production.

My love for music had me talking with a few acts here and there about what could be done to push their art. I knew they had something special. That’s when I decided I really want to do this.

What about Bryan The Mensah. What attracted you?

He is different you know. I like that but honestly aside loving his sound, it was the way he pushed his music own music.

Did you approach Bryan or he approached you to work together?

Ok, so I started tweeting and talking about his songs a lot then I decided to connect him to the few friends I thought might like his sound. I asked him to forward his music to some radio stations I had spoken to. He was swift about it, so we took it from there. I then asked if he had a manager and he asked if I am serious about managing him. So, I had to get serious about managing him.

You have links. Very impressive

(Laughs). Just a few friends

Is that how you began as an A&R?

Officially yes, but my love for music had me talking with a few acts here and there about what could be done to push their art. I knew they had something special. That’s when I decided I really want to do this, plus I like being behind the scene anyway so that was it. I sort of promised myself I will do something with and for music. I really didn’t know what I was thinking

Explain who an A&R is & what the job entails?

A&R is responsible for the scouting of talents for record labels and assisting the artiste in his recording process like finding or suggesting the right feature, producer. You are basically the artiste go to person till a song or album is done and published. And to do this, you need to have an ear for music as well as know what’s really catchy or trendy. I don’t even need anyone to tell me that I do have that in me.

I win or I learn. I can’t seem to think about quitting. Whenever I get frustrated, I move on to the next task ahead or find a means around it. But, I made a joke about quitting one time and Bryan said “it’s too early or it’s too late” so I guess there is no coming out of this until we win.

How long have you been doing this?

I would say a year officially.

What are some of the challenges you face as an A&R?

Working around everybody’s ego; from your artist to the other artist and artist managers when it comes to getting a feature for yours. Working with up and coming artist is double the wahala (problems) because you need to convince the next artiste that your act is solid and even after convincing them, fixing a date to get the song done is another. Then there is trying to get it on radio. But, it’s all part of the job so we move. Other times you stay up with your artiste to get a work done and then you just not feeling it so there is a lot of back and forth going on. You literally can’t sleep on the job.

Have you ever had a situation where you and your artists went back and forth on a decision? Care to share?

(Another laugh). Yes. I think it was about a release date or the song choice but we did find a way around it. There was a lot of talking and a tantrum. That’s all I can say.

Ever been frustrated to the point of considering quitting?

I win or I learn. I can’t seem to think about quitting. Whenever I get frustrated, I move on to the next task ahead or find a means around it. But, I made a joke about quitting one time and Bryan said “it’s too early or it’s too late” so I guess there is no coming out of this until we win.

How will you judge the GH music scene at present? Both the good and bad

Have you seen the new crop of artistes? Ghana music has always been good. The attention on these talented guys was just not there but now I think it’s looking really positive. That’s good but that’s not to say we can’t always do better and push good music and these guys.

Good ears, negotiating and having links are skills worth having, any other thing?

Being tolerant even if that’s not who you actually are. You need to be, as well as having a good relationship with people, not use people for your gains. Give credit where it’s due. Always stay in touch and connected.

Do you feel like your gender impede your work with these artists?

Not really. Until I call or meet with a person, most don’t even know my gender and they get excited when they find out. I have been asked what I did to either get a feature or a favor because of my gender but the thing is I have been fortunate to have come across serious minded people (guys especially) that are all about work and mind their business. I believe I am putting in effort so nothing really obstructs me. If something doesn’t work for me I move on from there.

Being a PR is work on its own. How do to juggle both?

(Sighs). I go do my 9-5 as a PR but I am an A&R every time and every day. I just make time to fix in that every free chance I get. It’s tiring because my PR job is in another region and most times, the music business requires me moving around. The good thing is A&R requires communication and my PR instinct comes to the rescue all the time.

Do you help in writing songs for your artist?

No, except when bigBen wants to fix in some Twi then I have to translate his English verse to Twi. Aside that, both artistes are really good with everything they do musically, from writing to producing.

Which artist would you love to work with Reasons?

Wow I have a tall list, basically every artist in Ghana because we intend to do this for a long time. From mainstream to ground up so long as the sound fits. Wiyaala, Mensah, Mdot, Edem, Kubolor, Sark, Teephlow, Worlasi, Akan, Efya, R2bees. They all have been consistent in what they do and definitely artiste from other countries for sure too.

Aside music, what other things attract you?

Books. My favorite author must be John Grisham. First book I read by him was “The Client”. I wanted to be a lawyer before and even more so whenever I read his books. But yeah I read everything.

What do you think some of our artists need to improve on so as to compete on the global level.

They should keep the same energy they started with. They obviously don’t have the same resources with artiste elsewhere but they do have the content and will to stay pushing. There is no point in slowing down if you really want to compete worldwide. The hunger they started with needs to live.

“The Whole Truth” by Sizz The Truth Is Out

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“The Whole Truth. This work of art challenges all existing stereotypes on African music and presents a multifaceted artist who who’s a listener with his dynamic skill. From inspiration to references on pop
Ghanaian culture, a listener is taken across a wild ride!

SizzTheTruth presents new frontiers to music made in Africa with his iconic blend of highlife undertones, Hip-Hop and alternative beats. This project is inevitably one that will stay in minds and on playlists for years to come.

Sizz The Truth, a Ghanaian/Nigerian rapper & singer, has been on the Ghanaian alternative music scene for a while, carving his own niche and sound.

Earlier last year he announced his upcoming debut project and it’s finally here.

The project, “The Whole Truth”, is a mix of various sounds- a deliberate approach geared towards satisfying the music taste of for everyone (listeners). Only two guest artists- Ko-Jo Cue and Cina Soul are featured on the project.

Cue, as expected, finessed his verse on “fatality whiles the lovely Cina Soul bid us farewell on “Till We Finish” with her mellifluous voice.

Sizz the Truth definitely did take us on a journey and showed his versatility on this project.

The selected producers for the project were SoBeatz, Arrow (his partner), who produced 5 songs, Boye, K.Banks, PJ Katz and DJ
Kwamzy.

All songs except the feature verses were recorded and mixed at Xtreme Studios and mastered by Foreign Local at RGG Studios.

Get ‘The Whole Truth’ here by selecting your preferred streaming platform or store:

https://goo.gl/ez9b3N