THE CUTS: EP 05 VOL. 7

THE CUTS reviews songs, videos or albums we think deserves your attention. The songs or videos covered are not genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it would be reviewed or featured. THE CUTS is available every FRIDAY

J. Derobie – Irie

Often, when one triumphs over the initial hurdle impeding their dreams a celebration is in order. The joy and excitement that success, even if negligible, fills you must not be overlooked. For J.Derobie, ”Irie”, the second single under his #emPawa deal is the perfect song to cap an eventful four months following the release of his street anthem ”Poverty”

“Irie” is a smoking roots rock reggae tune that grabs you at first listen. The Juls produced reggae beat with its excellently placed horn sections is nothing short of perfect. Juls continues to showcase his versatility with the quality of work he produces. The beat on “Irie” sounds like a cross between Bob Marley’s “War” and something that Damian Jr. Gong Marley would request from his producer. Simple, catchy, traditionally reggae.

J.Derobie’s vocals is smooth and relaxing. He sings about overcoming one’s fears and doubts- an Irie feeling. The Hafiz directed video for “Irie” is people centered: going about their business, making merry. And like the conscious advice/prayer the brethren gave J.Derobie towards the end of the video that is exactly what many, I believe, wish for the young reggae- dancehall artist.

BiQo feat Asi Rene – For You

BiQo is the kind of artist who goes about his business quietly. Except for when he’s making music, performing at shows and sharing a few photos online, BiQo barely exist. But his music is one worth paying attention to. On “For You”, his new single with Asi Rene- who delivered a noteworthy performance on Joojo Addison’s “Guy Man”- the two express affection towards one another: “Even when the sky is falling I”ll stand by you”, BiQo intones on the afropop draped tune produced by Epidemix.

Pappy Kojo ft $pacely – Blessing

Truth be told, $pacely’s ad-libs on “Balance”, the endearing hip hop Pappy Kojo track which featured Joey B gave the song one of its spark. It’s therefore unsurprising to see Pappy invite him for another bite on a song. This time, the LaMeme Gang-er was assigned hook duties on ‘’Blessing’’.

Over a hip hop beat, Pappy Kojo talks about Ewura Efua and how everything about her is a blessing. In typical Pappy Kojo fashion, the lyrics are unfiltered (too raw, like he said on “Realer No”). “Blessing” lacks the exuberance and allure of “Balance”, meaning the new song won’t earn the same currency like his previous single.

LaMeme Gang ft Kuami Eugene – This Year

Three members of the LaMeme Gang collective, Darkovibes, $pacely and RJZ are joined by Kuami Eugene on “This Year”. The song is a declaration to make this year a successful one. Kuami Eugene takes up hook duties with Darkovibes and $pacely dropping a verse each. RJZ adds his own feel to the song, a display that is underwhelming to say the least. The afropop sounding “This Year “deviates from the trap heavy template LaMeme Gang is noted for. It’s as if the collective is making known their musical range with “This Year”.

Tripp Nie – Misunderstood

Tripp Nie is being slept on, unfortunately. He is one of the few rappers who embody the spirit and tenets of hip hop and he confirms this on each record he releases. If all was fair, Tripp Nie should be enjoying the warmth and spoils that the game offers. But, alas, it’s a cold world.

This, however doesn’t seem to hinder the ambitions of the rapper. On his new single “Misunderstood”, he proves why people should pay attention to him. The song opens with a sample of Nina Simon’s 1964 song of the same title, which was sampled on “Perdon” by Efart. The track is about love and Tripp Nie comes clean on how feels about a girl. He presents both his dreams and fears to her in a way that’s deliberate, non-aggressive way. In short, Tripp Nie makes a pitch to this girl. His flow, delivery and soulful tone of “Misunderstood” calls for a reply after the first listen.

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When Veterans Leave Room For Mockery

The Ghanaian culture frowns on criticizing elders especially in public. It’s deemed reprehensible and uncouth. No matter how wrong or disingenuous the actions of the elder, it’s often the duty of the young person to keep quiet, tolerate their actions and go on as if nothing has ever happened. After all, an elder is wiser than a young person.

But, there are times when the elders make it impossible for the young ones to keep mute, tolerate and hold back their feelings. The famous Twi mantra ‘if you don’t speak your mind, you get treated with contempt’ becomes the truth in such situations.

Often, when you hear a record from a veteran or an old voice on the scene which falls below average, one gets worried. Questions swirls in your head like what’s amiss? Why did they put out such flaccid tune? Who advised them on such a move? In short, you blurt the ‘what the fuck is this?’ line.

These questions and more filled my head when I heard Gemini’s new song “Tempted”. Featuring the new sensation on the dancehall scene, J. Derobie, “Tempted”, compared to other songs by Gemini is, to be more charitable, sub-par.

The dancehall casted song has J.Derobie delivering a memorable hook and a verse. J.Derobie set up the perfect alley-hoop for the rapper courtesy his voice, cadence, and solid delivery. However, the shot flew faster than Gemi could stretch to grab.

A song about stealing and dating someone’s girl despite having a girlfriend, “Tempted”, spare the J.Derobie hook lacks verve, is slack and very disappointing. The first verse sounds like a verse a friend who’s trying to prove to a bunch of friends that he is cool would deliver. Gemini sounds unenthusiastic: his first verse, which sounds more like a freestyle leaves you shaking your head while listening.  A line like ‘’Play with me and when I say play with me/play with me/ don’t play games with me’’ is not a line you would wish to hear from a rapper like Gemini, who gave us verses like those heard on ‘’Dare To Dream’’ by EL, ‘’Go To Church’’ among other tunes.

Read: Tic Tac And The Case of Veteran Artists Attempting A Comeback

I’m not oblivious of the fact that a rapper might not always hit the mark with his music. There are days or times when their output is questioned, debated and trashed. Even the greats do suffer this kind of criticism. With these greats, the output is usually not as lame as the critics make it sound. Their crime is feeding the world with great songs or albums overtime. That high standard for which an artist is held must be maintained at worst, or improved at best. This was lacking in Gemini’s ‘’Tempted’’.

Why would an artist spend time and money to record a song and even shoot a video for the song if he knows he won’t put his best foot forward? Or was he dumping it down for his fans and listeners? ‘’Tempted’’ doesn’t follow the Gemini template: fast (sometimes with a tongue-twist), lyrically packed and interesting lines as well.

What such slack performance does is to open an artist up for mockery. And with how social media work nowadays, respect is valueless and your previous works won’t save you from savage remarks. It’s therefore incumbent on an artist with a reputation to protect to be very careful and calculative when dropping a song. Simply put: don’t be lame with it.

Sometimes, the pressure to ‘follow the trend’ does not always help an artist especially when he or she is not cut for the ‘mainstream’. Staying and playing to your strength is always the best option. There are times when one of your records would cross over into the mainstream. Gemini has enjoyed such success in the past with his pop, trendy songs ‘’Okay Okay’’ with Lousika and the E.L featured ‘I Will Do’’ released in 2012 and 2013 respectively. These songs embodied the azonto spirit and earned him radio rotation during the period.

If chasing a trend is what you are seeking, it behoves on the artist to do it with a touch of excellence. ‘’Tempted’’ is not an entirely bad song. What Gemini failed to do is proving that he wanted to make a very good record. J.Derobie did his best but Gemini let both himself and the young dancehall act down.  

Michael Afenfia, Author of “The Mechanics of Yenagoa” Reads At Writers Project of Ghana Event.

Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe-Institut Ghana proudly present Nigerian author and social commentator, Michael Afenfia at our regular monthly reading sessions. Michael Afenfia is the speechwriter to the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State and the author of four novels and a biography.

Afenfia is the author of When the Moon Caught Fire (2010), A Street Called Lonely (2011), Don’t Die on Wednesday (2014), and Paxoid, which he co-authored with his 12-year-old son. He has also written the biography of Gboribiogha John Jonah, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Currently he runs a weekly series ‘The Mechanics of Yenagoa’’ which has received a rousing reception. ‘’Mechanics of Yenagoa’’ (available here) tells the story of Ebinimi, the fascinating graduate mechanic character around whom the plot’s intrigues largely evolve.

Between 2014 and 2016, Michael served as chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Bayelsa State Chapter and currently is a Patron of Yenagoa Book Club (YBC).

Michael is also the speechwriter to the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Nigeria. He previously worked as Senior Special Assistant on Research in Nigeria’s presidency, and as Director, Government-to-Business in Bayelsa State’s Due Process and e-Governance Bureau, with experience in Construction, Real Estate, Banking and Public Service.

Michael has a Law Degree from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology Nigeria and an MBA from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

This will be a highly interactive reading and guests are requested to read from The Mechanics of Yenegoa before the event. Join us for an exciting evening of readings. Books will be on sale at the WPG book stand.

Date: Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

Time: 7.00 PM – 8.30 PM

Admittance is Free.

Venue: Goethe-Institut, 30 Kakramadu Close, East Cantonments, Accra.

Review: AYAT Celebrates Love On New EP

For what Ayat lacked on vocals, he made up with a strong production work and freely trading his macho side for an emotive side on ‘’Her Vibe Is Right’’

On his 2017 debut EP ”Zamani”, AYAT showed off his emotional side on two songs: “Play For Keeps” and “Changes”. On both records, the combustible vibrancy of the artist was replaced with soothing emotional feelings. Fast forward to 2019 when his collaborative effort with singer Efya ”For You” was released, AYAT took to Twitter to tell the world of his readiness to show-off his sensitive side on his next project. That is, he was going to replace his macho side with his emotive side.

The six track “Her Vibe Is Right” released a week ago is an exploration of love: its different shades, thrills and shocks from the perspective of AYAT. The tape is essentially an expose of AYAT’s lover boy character.

The warm, mid-tempo embers of “Surauniya” fill the tape from the start. AYAT singing in Husa assures his “Surauniya” (queen) of his undying love: “there’s no one aside you” and his willingness to “change your name”.  ‘’Surauniya zu chi yana’’ (the queen of my heart), AYAT sings to affirm his unconditional love for a partner. Joe Boy enters the fray with his butter-like crooning, expressing sentiments along the lines of undying love over the “apatampa” styled beat courtesy the gifted producer Uche B.

If “Sarauniya” is about undying love, “Kin Sa Ke”, a Hausa phrase meaning “You’ve Changed” is AYATt’s ‘I’m-Fed-Up’ cry. The SELVSSE produced track’s main attraction lies in the production. The drum roll spluttered beat had a ‘fit for a hit record’ hallmark than what came out. There is little wonder why AYAT chose to let the beat ride rather than packing lyrics or vocals over it.

The lead single, “For You” featuring Efya is an affirmation of love. Putting Efya does hand the track a complementary gloss despite a performance that is less than 30 seconds. For the lovers of palm wine highlife, AYAT serves you a calabash full on the acoustic version of “For You” on the closing track. The mood of the tape switches from the mid-tempo flavor to more up-tempo, aggressive tune on the TwistedWavex produced ‘’Shugah 2x’’.








Ayat

‘’Her Vibe Is Right’’ scores high on production with the likes of SELVSSE (‘’Kin Sa Ke’’), PlvgNSix (‘’For You’’), KaySo (‘’Honey’’) and TwistedWavex (‘’Shugah 2x’’) delivering some fine works over which Ayat shared his feelings about love and affection. By switching between Hausa, Twi, Ga and English, Ayat is affording his fans offering his diverse fans an opportunity to grasp the sentiments being expressed, even if little.

‘’Her Vibe Is Right’’ is Ayat exhibiting another side of his artistry and also shattering any form of labelling or stereotype by mainstream media. He wants to be seen as a complete artist and not only as the ‘’Hausa trap lord’, a pseudo title some of his fans have bestowed upon him. The EP is not vocally exhilarating but you cannot discount Ayat’s efforts at stepping out of his comfort zone to experiment with melody.

The Politics of Music In Ghana

Politics and music have been bedfellows for decades. From the late 50s when Ghana became an independent nation state to present, politicians have co-opted musicians or their songs to their advantage. Instances abound where artists go out of their way to compose songs for these politicians and political parties, sometimes at their own detriment. The case of the late highlife veteran, Jewel Ackah is a classic illustration.

In the 50s, when the political consciousness of Ghanaians was being sparked by pre-independence agitations, music- specifically highlife- became a vehicle for political agitation. Musicians crafted songs that reflected socio-political issues like newspapers do today. An example was E.T. Mensah and The Tempos Band’s ‘’Land of Freedom’’ that celebrated both the new dawn of independent Ghana and eulogized President Kwame Nkrumah.

From the post-colonial days of Ghana to this 4th Republican political dispensation, there has been a number of politically themed songs by artists who have either proclaimed support for a political party or felt the need to express their views. There have been instances where political parties have used popular songs for their campaigns. A case in point was in the year 2000 when the New Patriotic Party used Cindy Thompson’s ‘’Ewurade Kasa’’ as one of their rallying songs.

Aside from the co-opting of songs, there have been occasions when certain songs have been ascribed political meanings by the public when the real intentions of the artist were/are far off any political reason or purpose. In most instances, these songs coincided with certain political developments thus fueling these speculations.

Nana Ampadu, one of the many highlife musicians whose songs were banned because of its political message

This article is going to spotlight and explore some highlife (and hiplife) songs that assumed political connotations or captured some political developments in post-colonial Ghana.

Nana Ampadu – Ebi Te Yie

Nana Ampadu, regarded as the king of highlife is noted for his use of fables to speak on issues within the society. Like most highlife songs of the 60s, highlife was the vehicle used by artists to speak on issues of social, political and moral relevance. Nana Ampadu’s music embodied all these and more. A notable example was ‘’Ebi Tie Yie’’, released in 1967. The song was misconstrued as a chide to the military government that toppled Dr. Nkrumah in the 1966 coup.

‘’Ebi Te Yie’’ (Some Live Well) was a fable about a conference of animals on how to live in peace and harmony with one another. Even at the meeting, some of the weaker animals raised issues with how unfair they were treated. The meeting was subsequently called off.

Considering the political climate of the time and how members of the military junta were living, many construed the song as a criticism of the National Liberation Council (NLC). Nana Ampadu was invited before a military tribunal to explain the meaning behind the song. ”Ebi Te Yie” was banned on the radio but became part of Ghana’s phraseology, often used to describe the inequality between the rich and the poor in society.

Sir Victor Uwaifo – Guitar Boy

Sir Victor Uwaifo was a Nigerian highlife primus whose song ‘’Guitar Boy’’ gained traction in Ghana in 1967 when Lieutenant S.B. Arthur named his failed coup after the song. The narrative was that, the coup makers had arranged for the song to be played should the operation became successful.

However, that was not to be the case: the coup was aborted, the plotters arrested and summarily executed on the grounds of treason. The song was a call for people not to be afraid of Maami Water, the mythical sea goddess.

‘’Guitar Boy’’, the song was banned from the airways. Interestingly, a military band playing at an event (in) advertently played ‘’Uwaifo’s Guitar Boy’’ instead of the more popular, ‘apolitical’ ‘’Jorome’’. All the band members were arrested and threw into a guard room as a form of punishment.

Kofi Sammy – Tu Wo Bo Ase

Dr. Busia became prime minister of Ghana in 1969. But, his government would be overthrown by the General Kutu Acheampong led National Redemption Council (NRC) three years after assuming office. The NLC would go on to use Kofi Sammy’s (of Okukuseku Band II) ‘To Wo Bo Ase’’ which translate as ‘’Be Patience or Careful’’ to justify their actions.  The NLC junta used this song to slight Busia for what they considered as his arrogance and stubbornness.

Another song that incensed the Acheampong regime was ‘’Ye De Wo’’
(‘’You Are Born With It’’) by Alex Konadu, His song was interpreted as a dig at Acheampong’s corrupt regime. The lyrics of the song were considered as mocking General Acheampong’s poor English comprehension and political sophistication. The lyrics:

If you are speaking English/ Space your words properly

If you speak English/ Do not always talk about food/

If you are wise/ You are born with it/Wisdom cannot be bought.

The food reference was a shade to Lt. General Acheampong’s ‘’Operation Feed Yourself’’ programme which was aimed at increasing Ghana’s food stock. However, the programme failed in the 70s due to drought. Lt. Gen. Acheampong’s decision to ban this song could do little to ameliorate the sense of mockery the song had generated.

Another song that took a critical dig at the Acheampong regime was Nana Ampadu’s ‘’Aware Bo Ne’’. Similar to the (mis)interpretation the public gave to ‘’Ebi Te Yie’’ or ‘’Ye De Wo’’ by Alex Konadu, ‘’Aware Bo Ne’’ (which translated as bad marriage) pointed to the ‘’bad marriage’’ between the people of Ghana and the military junta. This critique was informed by the drought of 1970 which negatively impacted both his ‘’Operation Feed Yourself’’ initiative and on the overall economy.

E.K. Nyame – Nsuo Beto A Mframa Dzi Kan

There’s a storm before rainfall’. The translation of the song title from Twi. An innocuous song about the uncertainties of life, E.K Nyame’s song would be yanked from radio and seen within political lenses. The whole situation happened when Dr K.A. Busia, then Kwame Nkrumah’s political opponent requested the song on a Nigerian radio. ‘The song would become associated with Dr. Busia’s National Liberation Movement which would later contest Nkrumah in elections. The phrase was read by the public as a threat to Nkrumah’s regime.

Barima Sidney: Obia Nye Obia, Scent No, African Money and Sika Di Basabasa

No artist in the history of Ghanaian music at the turn of the millennium has been more political than arguably Barima Sidney. The rapper, who began his career as one-third of ‘Nananom’- with Omamhene Pozo (late) and Jyoti. The two male acts would go on to pursue successful solo careers. But, it was Barima Sidney who remained relevant, churning out hit songs that were both controversial and spoke truth to power.

From Sidney came songs like ‘’Obia Nye Obia’’, ‘’Scent No’’, ‘’Sika Di Basabasa’’ which caused a stir within the country. The controversy that Sidney caused with these songs were largely political as they were released at the height of political and economic hardships. It was regarded as songs composed to criticize, mostly the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which were the political power holders when these songs were released.

‘’Obia Nye Obia’’ (No One Is Untouchable) took aim at the political classism that was deepening between the ruling class and the proletariat at that time. The government of that era and its acolytes were regarded as ‘’disrespecting’’ the people who put them in power with their actions. Barima Sidney was therefore, reminding them that, they can say whatever they want but come Election Day, the voters would exhibit the power they hold.

A song like ‘’Scent No’’ (The Smell), ‘’African Money’’ and ‘’Sika Di” (Blowing Our Money) were his most political songs to date. Even though ‘’Scent No’’ (The Scent), his 2003 hit song bothered on personal hygiene, like many other songs that were released around an ‘eventful’ period came to denote corruption.

Unlike ‘’Scent No’’, his 2012 song, ‘’Sika Di ’’ was an open critique of the governing Mahama Administration whose tenure was accused of being corrupt. The critique was considered by some as a hatchet job for the then opposition NPP whom he had openly aligned himself with. Unlike ‘’Scent No’’ which became a viral hit, the latter’s reach paled in comparison with his previous release.

The relationship between politics and music has been as old as the founding of the country. Like all social activities in Ghana, music has become a rallying point and the politicians have been able to co-opt it to the advantage either through commissioning artists to make songs for their campaigns, or ambushing a hit song.

Unlike acts like the FOKN Bois who are known for their nuanced political songs, most artists try to ‘cash in’ when elections draw near. There are times when the intention of the artist is not to make a record with political undertones but coincidence between message and circumstances within the country make inferences quiet striking. The outcome is something no one has control over.

THE CUTS: EP 05 VOL 6

THE CUTS reviews songs, videos or albums we think deserve your attention. The songs or videos covered are not genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it would be reviewed or featured. THE CUTS is available every FRIDAY

 Lil Shaker – Throwback  

When it comes to Lil Shaker, you can always be assured of something interesting. He never fails with his humor and punchline. And staying on a theme is also one of his qualities. ‘’Throwback’’, his latest song encompasses all of that. On ‘’Throwback’’, Lil Shaker compares the late 90s and early 2000s to this current era, pointing out what this current generation are missing out. Shaker is literally shitting on this current generation and what they consider as ‘dope’.

In the video for the song, Lil Shaker is seen dance battling, referencing TV shows like Captain Planet, Things We Do For Love, writing letters instead of texting. The video director, Akwadaa Nyame (who is becoming a favourite director of ours) did excellent with his visuals especially the Captain Planet scene and the dance battling (the costume is straight on point). The simplicity and straight-forwardness of the video makes a fascinating watch.

KayMad – Oyain

A soulful beat. A laid back delivery.  An all important message. These are the highlights on KayMad’s ‘Oyain’. The song has many underlining topics, ranging from the raw deal served to the public by politicians, betting on oneself, chasing success and the potential stumbling blocks. ‘’Chale, free me, free me/spread love and harmony/ the hate be silly’’. KayMad raps on the song’s hook.  KayMad on ‘’Oyain’’ is urging us not to relax when there are things to do or dreams to chase.

Tonero X TrillXoe – Thunder

The artwork for this single has an arm holding on to lightning. If the artwork is fascinating, then you need to listen to the song to appreciate the melodic delivery and epistles that Nigerian singer Tonero and collaborator are serving on ‘’Thunder’’. Carrying an afro-dancehall feel, Tonero is ‘on my knees praying for salvation’’, anticipating a breakthrough that would see his career thud louder like a thunder. The song carries a catchy hook, a good melody as well as a mid-tempo aura that is geared at getting you tapping and moving to the song.

Manuel Ossei – Obaa

Misunderstandings can’t be ruled out in relationships. But when it arises, the parties involved must be ready to discuss it and find a common ground. This subject forms the theme on ‘’Obaa’’, a tune by Manuel Ossei. Carrying an R&B/Soul element, Manuel, along with Nii Vanderpuye request for a sit down with their lovers to discuss the cold treatment they are being handed. For them, time waits for no man thus the reason whatever is holding back their affair must be discussed and resolved. ‘’Obaa’’ is a beautiful composition not because of the message in the song, but the sonic fervor it emits.

                               

Jon Germain: Ten Years Ago “This Is Who I Am” Was Released

There are some things you cast doubt over even when the facts are presented to you. The facts may help resolve any hint of doubt. But, a little would still persist. That was exactly my sentiments when TV/Radio personality, Jon Germaine released his debut album ‘’This Is Who I Am’’ in 2009. The first time I heard the lead single ‘’In My Head’’ on radio, with him as the voice behind the record, I could not believe it. The video that came with the song did not entirely nail the coffin of doubt that I held. It took a while for me to accept the fact that Jon St. Germain was indeed an artist.

“This Is Who I Am” was a blend of pop, RnB and rock influences with love- its gifts and curses- as major themes. Jon Germain’s album was a cathartic trip as illustrated by the tales the songs evoked. The release of the album was Jon realizing one of his life goals. He also made a case for pop-rock within the Ghanaian music space.  His association with music did not come by way of hosting Metro TV’s flagship entertainment programme ‘’Allo Tigo’’. He was the former band leader of Van Greene, a UK band. Jon had to wait for almost 16 years to finally release ‘’This Is Who I Am’’, his debut album.

Produced by Kaywa and Jayso, ‘’This Is Who I Am’’ was an excellently crafted album, sonically. The album tilted towards rock- a deviation from the music enjoyed by Ghanaians. Another strong point of the album was in the area of song sequencing. Each track added to the overall ambience of the album.

‘’This is Who I Am’’ opened with ‘’Love Zone’’, a mid-tempo song that oozed with sublime RnB and rock elements. Built around an orchestra composition, ‘’Love Zone’’ was a celebration of his love object. The conspicuous orchestra sound gave way to the kind of kicks and bass drums that often surrounded R&B songs. Jon Germain made an entry with the words ‘’I can’t believe I’ve found love again”. This simple, confessional words offered a glimpse into the past love life of the singer – his past relationship did not work out as expected.

His voice swung between calmness and gruff, notably on the hook. On the Kaywa produce ‘’In My Head’’, Jon mused about an ex who had found ‘someone who loves you better’. The song captured the regret of losing her, lessons learned and hope of rewinding the clock. His musings felt like an apology letter or a WhatsApp text to an ex.

‘’Quiver’’ was a tale of two perspectives – love towards a lady and money rendered by Jon and rapper J-Town respectively. Whereas Jon quivered off his lover’s touch, J-Town, across two verses rapped about earning his quivers from the money he made. If there was a song that embraced the spirit of the album, per its sonic direction, then it was ‘Quiver’’. There was an umissable correlation between Jon’s ‘’Quiver’’ and ‘’In My Place’’ off Coldplay’s seminal album, ‘’A Rush of Blood In My Head’’ per the beat, song arrangement and manner in which the song was performed. The only difference was J-Town’s rap verses.

The closing three songs of the album were more R&B/Soul in composition. Both songs dealt with losing love. The piano-led, soulful ballad ‘’Set The Night’’ was about missing a lover. The R&B styled ‘’Holding On’’ was a call on his lover not to hold on to what they have.  The final track, ‘’Can’t Explain’’, examined the bond existing between the two lovers. These three song are modelled along the lines of late 90s R&B/Soul ballads that used to fill the airways during lunch time or late night.

‘’This Is Who I Am’ was a neatly tucked album. The tales shared came from a place of realness. Jon Germain’s debut was not superlative in terms of its lyrical depth. The couplets on the album were simple, relatable, less complex; making it easy to sing-along. Was it deliberate? Perhaps, so fans could sing along especially at the hooks. There were obvious points on the album where Jon Germain struggled or overdid things vocally as heard on the bridge of ‘’In My Head’’ and ‘’Love Zone’’.  

He should also be applauded for his approach and bravery- making an album that leaned heavily on rock despite the unpopularity of the genre in Ghana.

As a debut album, ‘’This Is Who I Am’’ hinged its allure on production and undeviating theme. It was an expression of the ups and downs of relationships. The album was not overly excessive. Jon Germain and his team of producers struck a fine balance between words and sounds to great effect. The album provided Jon Germain an opportunity to confront his emotions, in the process crafting an album he had always wanted to make.