THE CUTS: EP 04 VOL. 4

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


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EL – Thinkin’

Rapper EL released the first single off his anticipated ‘’BAR V’’ mixtape today. The single ‘Thinkin’ carries a striking trap bounce and has E.L singing mostly on the track. Just like the title suggest, ‘Thinkin’ reflect the musings of a girl who has had enough of her man’s ‘trashy’ ways; and is considering packing out of it. ‘’I heard you nu nu with your bae, ay, ay/ now you party every weekend/popping bottles with your new friends’, he sings in his rasping voice.

The gulf between the two lovers appears distant as the ‘switching on me/ you’ve been distant’ lyric reveal. To keep herself occupied, she resort to drinking and hanging out with her friends- a situation which is far from what it was previously.

The Nabeyin produced ‘’Thinking’ bears similarities to ‘’Hotline Bling’ by Drake, in terms of E.L’s cadence and flow. There’s energy behind his singing -perhaps out of rage instead of vulnerability or melancholy. The production can’t be faulted -its mid-tempo feel is infectious. ‘Thinkin’ seems like the kind of song that grows on you after a couple of plays, even if you are dismissive of it -because of its ordinariness – on first listen.

M.anifest feat Olamide – Fine Fine

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“I come GH they say my style not in fashion/I’m in the picture now/I don’t care about the caption’. A statement that attest to hard work, staying unique and betting on oneself. “Fine Fine” is the new single from M.anifest and features Nigeria’s biggest rapper, Olamide, who plays hook duties.

Produced by Kuvie, “Fine Fine” is M.anifest’s epistle on love, fame, celebration and shot taking at unknown rivals. “Fine Fine” may not garner the same level of interest among music fans (besides his fans) as ” Okay” for two reasons: first, Sarkodie’s “My Advice” blighted its hype; second, this isn’t a ‘street record’, despite featuring Olamide (who has a strong street appeal). I had high expectations when I learnt the two were on a track weeks before it was announced. “Fine Fine” didn’t blow me away

Kwabena Kwabena – M’atwen Abre

It’s a fact that, Kwabena Kwabena is counted among the top crop of musicians out of this country. The crooner has a gift for crafting beautiful, melodious songs – and when it comes to love songs, he ranks a few steps below the legendary Kojo Antwi.

Spending time with his records these past days, one song caught my attention. It’s one I’ve never heard before. It’s one of those songs that, despite its brilliance, an artist would let his true fans, and those who care about good compositions to find and appreciate its beauty.

“M’atwen Abre” is crafted in the mould of true, authentic highlife tradition. The instrumentation carries an adowa groove with a unmistakable Yaa Amponsah (or is it seprewa?) guitar strings warping through. The song is also built around the 4-beat foundation of all highlife songs. “M’atwen Abre” (translate as I’m Tired of Waiting) is a man’s tale about the ordeal of waiting on someone you love to accept your proposal. “M’atwen Abre” ranks among some of his best songs and is found on his Ahyesi (The Begining) album released in 2017.

Y.N.A & Lykay – Two Three Three

First, the title of this three song EP- ‘’Two Three Three’’- highlights the country code of Ghana. It gives you an idea of where these two individuals hail. Y.N.A is a music producer and songwriter. Lykay is the MC who paint pictures through lyrics.

‘’Two Three Three’’ is an exhibition of Lykay’s lyrical abilities – and broaches the topics of politics, self-motivation and love. The project also offers a glimpse into the production skills of Y.N.A, who chops up samples of classic African grooves and hand them a contemporary feel.

This is evident on the first song, ‘Ghana Be Hard’ where he infuses chopped up sections of Ebo Taylor’s “Heaven” with trap drums. “Ghana Be Hard” tackles the subject of politics and how politicians are taking citizens for a ride despite the resources we have. On ‘Till Death’, Y.N.A finds inspiration in the classic Youssou N’Dour tune ‘Birima’. ‘A legend in the making/ wo gyimi di a no shaking/I no go disappoint you/ I go make you proud so patience be something/ this music journey show me’’, Lykay raps; re-enforcing his DIY mentality.

There’s this quality about Lykay’s raps that always excites me. His deep voice, laid back, old school New York hip hop aura reminds me of what hip hop sounded like back then. The closing track ‘Yaa S33’, a sex-themed song featuring Tony Dickson on hook bubbles with afrobeat vibe . “Two Three Three” EP is a short project with a total running time of exactly 4 minutes, which means you can rewind the track and enjoy the refreshing sound it offers.

Yinda Oshodi – Continue

Yinda Oshodi’s latest release bask in the soothing vibe of afropop rhythms. The melody is enchanting; her voice remarkable; and the lyrics are easy to sing along. “Continue”, according to her ‘is a playful song that explores the inexplicable emotion/passion we feel for a lover/crush. Nonetheless, we don’t want them to stop what they’re doing to make us feel this way, despite not being able to explain it’.

Nxwrth feat Darkovibes – Cupid

Nxwrth has produced a host of songs for LaMeme Gang, the music collective he belongs to. But, for me, two of his works standout: “Godzilla” and “Cupid” “Cupid” finally get a video treatment from BZDRKO.

On the song, Darkovibes expresses disbelief about the purity of love he’s experiencing. But, like all good things, it ends too suddenly, sometimes tragically.. These feelings and questions is what BZDRKO explored in this silent movie styled video.

Nxwrth plays cupid, who shoot down the blissful relationship of these two individuals. The guy dies and the girl goes through a bout of emotional and mental burnout. No matter how hard she tries, the memories of her lover lingers. BZDRKO brave attempt at visual experimentation is worth applauding. In all the visual ‘chaos’, especially towards the end of video, she still told an excellent story that mirrors the idea behind the song.

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Video: Sarkodie Has An Advice For Shatta Wale

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When the frog ingest too much water, it dies. So goes a very popular Akan proverb. The inference is that, when someone seems to have had enough of a situation, the person react; sometimes with very grievous outcomes.

Ghana’s foremost rap act, Sarkodie seem to have had enough of the antics of fellow artist, and friend, Shatta Wale. The self-acclaimed ‘dancehall king’ has been casting insinuations and sometimes, outrageous commentary about Sarkodie during radio interviews ahead of the release of his third studio album, ‘’The Reign’’, this month.

Shatta Wale has been throwing jabs at Sarkodie and others for not being smart or business conscious, resulting in them walloping in poverty. Known for his love for banters, Shatta Wale name calling and beefs with the likes of Samini, Yaa Pono and Kwaw Kese is well documented. The three have responded equally through songs radio interviews and on social media. Sarkodie is the only one who had remained silent during Shatta Wale’s recent tirades.

But, the silence lasted just for some few weeks. Sarkodie has clapped back in a freestyle video aptly titled ‘’My Advice’’. Rapping over Joey B’s ‘’Stables’’ instrumentals (produced by Altar Nova), the 3 minutes and six seconds, black-and-white video has Sarkodie addressing some of Shatta Wale’s assertions; throwing back some diss remarks; and offering a piece of advice on how to brand his image.

Dressed in a white shirt, with a glass of wine in hand, Sarkodie raps with the tone of a parent offering advice to an unruly child. There’s no inkling of anger in his voice, like those he exhibited when he went rogue on fellow rapper, M.anifest during their godMC-Kanta rap exchanges.

‘Me on this beat, e go cost you some damages’, Sark opens up his verse. He proceeds to talk about how his daughter would never go broke if he should pass on at this moment: ‘’If I die, Titi alone would inherit/spend my publishing (money)’. He describes Shatta Wale’s frequently cited properties as evidence of his wealth as ‘chicken change properties’ before adding ‘if being poor be like me/ then father, abeg you, bless me with poverty”.

From questioning his bank account balance to the quality of chains Shatta Wale wears (which Sarkodie describes as ‘aluminium’ or fake), coupled with the fake hype he rides on, Sarkodie intones how he doesn’t need all that to be great since; ‘I stay mute 1 year sef/ still full support’- an humble brag about how formidable his legacy and support is. He offers a very thoughtful advice: ‘Confidence is when you able to compliment people without you feeling insecure’.

Sarkodie establishes why he is addressing Shatta Wale towards the end of the freestyle: ‘I gave you a long rope/ so just enjoy it/ I was waiting for you to snap out of it’. In his estimation, one has to use his fame to push the industry forward by helping rather than bickering with colleagues. And, also, nobody would dare feature Mugeez (of R2Bees) on a record if social media trends was synonymous with fame. The lack of a bona fide successor, according to Sark, is the reason he can’t retire now.

Sarkodie’s approach to spend 3 minutes on a freestyle to address this seeming tiff between him and Shatta Wale further confirms how much of an OG he is. This new act is something out of the book of the legendary Jay Z; a rapper Sarkodie considers a mentor.

The lyrics of “My Advice” are nothing short of biting. And the demeanour of Sarkodie reflect that of a guy who’s not only confident in his skin but, sending out a warning to Shatta to keep his name out of his mouth.

THE CUTS: EP 04 VOL. 3

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


Omar Sterling – Death Before Dishonor

“Death before dishonour/I promise on my honour/Do what you want/ but remember life’s full of karma”. With these opening lines, Omar Sterling set the tone for what passes as part musings- part sage tips about life, love and friendship.

Set against a lean piano chord from the fingertips of longtime producer, Killbeatz, Omar Sterling drops his epistles in a rap- spoken word fashion. To call Omar Sterling (aka Paedeezy) a philosopher- poet won’t be a contestable claim. Over the years, Omar Sterling has become something like a rainbow: he gets fans elated whenever he drops a new material, even after a long period of silence.

Kay – T feat Ayat – Gyae Me

“Gyae Me” translates as ‘leave me alone’ or ‘let me be’. This sentiment is prominent on ‘Gyae Me’; a bouncy single produced by Perry Mingle. Kay- T, along with Ayat have a message for all: they don’t want handouts; they want to work for their own success. Employing both hausa, pidgin and twi in their lyrics, Kay- T raps: ‘when i tell you i need help/nah, fuck it/ Imma do it by myself”. Ayat comes in on the second verse to emphasize the theme of the song; his voice inflections sparkling throughout. “Gyae Me” is stewed in hip hop and trap elements.

DeanKelly – Ogogoro

DeanKelly has earned some platitudes he should be happy about: his song, “Ogogoro” became the first afrobeat song to sit at top of UK based Ujima Radio’s chart show. And it’s not difficult to note why: the mid-tempo song carries a good melody with DeanKelly’s voice adding to its attractiveness.

The newly released video for Ogogoro takes place at a club, where a lady (whom he sings about) does a stripper-style dance that get him all mushy. It’s a simple video that clearly brings out the meaning behind ‘Ogogoro’

King Joey, Copta, Moor Sound feat Slim Drmz- Dor So

The second single, “Dor So”, off their collaborative album, ICYMI has been released, this time featuring Slim Drumz. Over Moor Sound’s unmistakable trap beat- with its appealing bounce- Slim Drumz lays a catchy, fante hook. (He sounds full over the song despite his lean frame).

Copta drops a fiery, punch line heavy verse (“i put work on my head like twist, no be club we go”). King Joey dots the beat with his sing-rap style. If the upcoming ICYI is going to sound like the two singles out now (“Obsessed” came out two weeks ago), then, we better brace up for anthems.

Listen to the third single “Champagne Showers”, an afrotrap record jointly produced by Moor Sound

“Things We Do For Love” Portrays The Beauty of Vintage And Modern Art.

“Things We Do For Love”, was the gold dust that stood out on “Pen & Paper”; the joint album that Ko-Jo Cue and Lil’ Shaker released last year. With its infectious and glittering highlife groove, the song captivates the listener.

So, when a remix, featuring Sarkodie was announced a couple of months ago, it was clear to see what the plan was: to promote the music to where it was supposed to have been from the beginning. The remix of the song- which had Lil Shaker dropping a new verse and Sarkodie handing in a verse, a video has been released to boost the prominence of the song.

The Babs directed video drips with incandescence. It’s regal, lush and aesthetically enchanting. The video is an appreciation of vintage arts and modern culture through Ghanaian (or African) fashion sense. The choice of Osu based The Shop, Accra – a vintage art dealing shop and restaurant- as location for the shoot didn’t only accentuate the story being portrayed but also, had the exact props for such a video.

The colour grading, the camera angles, the resplendent costume worn by the four main actors – Lil’ Shaker, Ko-Jo Cue, Sarkodie and KiDi- along with the female cast can’t go unnoticed.

Babs’ technical skill at expertly piecing together the frames of the video to add a degree of depth underscores why he’s one of the sort after music video directors around.

“Things We Do For Love” creatively portrays the overlapping beauty that vintage art and modern cultural trends evoke.

The video reflects- and continues in the creative path their previous videos like the Esianyo Kumordzi directed “Untitled” and “Pen & Paper” had established. (Pen & Paper would go on to win Best Special Effect Video at the 2017 Edition of 4Syte Video Awards).

Watch the aesthetically pleasing video below:

Spotlight: Meet Dylan Hansen; The Brilliant Mind Behind Serallio

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How does a man who doesn’t enjoy parties and being in the midst of many people, end up running one of the most exciting nightlife spots in the city of Accra? ‘’The idea was not what it is now. I wanted to create a space where a few friends and I could hang out and have a good time’’.

The idea of close circle of friends hanging out soon grew into large numbers- friends brought along their friends. And in 2017, Serallio was born. Serallio has become, within a year and few months, a shrine for people seeking to have exciting experiences.

The mastermind behind Serallio, Dylan Hansen, has always had a knack for entrepreneurship. In 2014, he, along with some friends began ‘#GetFamiliar’, a social media marketing company which hosted #FridayFriends-an award winning weekly event at the Silver Lounge, Accra Mall. But, he soon realized the business was unsustainable due to its lack of diversification into other ventures.

“We were making money but not so much at the end of the day. The venue wasn’t ours. That meant, all the drinks bought went to the owners. We made money from the gates. But again, half of those who patronized the place were friends we couldn’t charge on each occasion they patronized our event.”

That realization got Dylan to consider other options- majorly, securing an excellent venue. His plan was pitched to his partners. It was, however, was not acted upon. He decided to do it on his own. He began by scouting for a place at a good location- a search that took him a year. Dylan finally got a place in Osu, an area he has lived most of his life. (He is a proud Osu boy and won’t trade it for anywhere else).

Located at Papaye Down, Serallio is a simple place which could be missed by a first timer on a weekday thanks to its simple frontal. It’s however, easy to locate on Sundays because of the music that would be blasting from the place. Serallio is an open air space with a makeshift frontal and lush green grass covering a large portion of the ground. The other part of the ground has been converted into an eatery section.

“The idea for Serallio is to serve as a meeting ground for people to hangout over food and drinks whiles enjoying good music and conversations”.

”It took me a year to finally get the landlord to offer me the place. It had two old houses sitting on the land”, Dylan told me, pointing to the exact spot the houses stood, which now serve as the DJ booth. ‘I couldn’t initially raise the funds the landlord was asking.

But after a year, the landlord called me out of the blue and asked if I still wanted the space. I said yes and here we are today’. Although Dylan hadn’t raised the required amount for the grounds at that time, the landlord felt it a good idea for the space to be utilized than to sit idle.

Serallio Sunday

As it is with Dylan, every move he makes is calculated. His initial idea was to convert the space into a lounge but soon realized that would take time. With an open space, he decided to start hosting parties, thus the birth of “Serallio Sunday”. The first edition of “Serallio Sunday” was held on April 2, 2017. The official launch was preceded by a pop-up party in December, 2016.

According to Dylan, Sunday was considered ideal ‘because there isn’t much activity to be done on Sunday after church’. As it is with most Ghanaians, Sundays are mostly rest days for many, thus an ideal day to unwind with friends. The idea for Serallio is to serve as a meeting ground for people to hangout over food and drinks whiles enjoying good music and conversations.

Like most start-ups, the few weeks following its opening didn’t go as expected. As Dylan recounts, the first night ended with debt on his books; something he considers part of running a new business.

‘Many friends came out and weren’t ready to spend money on drinks. We had to give out the stocked crates of drinks for free’, he disclosed with this ‘it’s a new business bug’ smirk across his chubby face.

Since ‘’Serallio Sunday’’ is about music, he recruited three of the city’s best DJs and an MC to provide the best music to clients. But first, he needed to explain his ideas to them. He believes in letting whoever comes on board to know exactly what his vision and plans are. ‘’That way, they’d be able to contribute meaningfully to whatever you are building”. With DJ K3V, Eff TheDJ and DJ Putin as DJs and Jonny Stone as MC, the jam was sorted out.

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If there’s one thing Dylan is proud about, it’s the breakthroughs the DJs and Jonny are chalking. Jonny is now one of the sort after MCs in the city- he host a radio show on Y FM as well- and the DJs have branded themselves as professionals; playing at some of the biggest musical events across the city.

Within one year, Serallio has, via ‘’Serallio Sundays’’, offered its platform to many of today’s young and exciting artists to bond with and earn new fans. This guest features has over the period become an iconic segment in the Serallio vault. The success however didn’t happen overnight. Dylan told me how awful the first performance was.

The first featured artist was Kayso, a producer and artist. ‘’Guess how many people were in attendance?’ He rhetorically posed the question amidst a chuckle. ‘Four people. Four!’, he counted his fingers as he repeated the number.

Other Events

Music is just one segment in the offering vault of Serallio. Dylan and his team-which include Jonny Stone, Eddy, Desmond aka Spyda, Omni The Hommie, DJ K3V, Eff, Putin, DJ Endowed and Gideon Kutsi-had provided other interesting events like open air movie screenings to clients. According to Dylan, they had to scale back when others began saturating the market with what they were doing with movies. Aside the movie screening, Serallio has been hosting Comedy Bar and other events occasionally.

Like the astute entrepreneur he is, Dylan knows when to pull back from the services he offers his clients before it becomes a ‘common thing’. He is a man of exclusivity and the saturation of any of his business ideas means providing new experience to his clients- food services.

“Most people simply copy or replicate what they see others do. They see it thriving and think a generic plan is all that it takes”

When I asked him what were the major challenges young entrepreneurs face in Ghana, he pointed to lack of finance and education in entrepreneurship. ‘It wasn’t until I started this business that I realized how tough it is financially’, he confessed. ‘You don’t recoup your money in the short term and that’s a huge disincentive’’.

The reason many startups fold few months after opening hinges on lack of education in chosen business area. From his observations, ‘most people simply copy or replicate what they see others do’. Elaborating further, Dylan stated that, some people don’t take time to understand the fundamental pillars of that successful enterprise. ‘They see it thriving and think a generic plan is all that it takes’; citing their open air movie screening as an example.

Challenges:

Despite the success it has chalked within one year, the open air nature of Serallio, coupled with the long hours of partying – 12 hours – and loudness of music has received complaints from people in the neighborhood. The outcome of these complaints are numerous visits to the premises by officials of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.

‘I’ve had to deal with a lot of them – city authorities – due to complaints from neighbors over noise’, he confirms. ‘Some even come when the party is going on’, he indicated. He recalled a day when four heavily built men came threatening to shut down the place.

Acknowledging the inconvenience the noise sometimes causes his neighbors, he also thinks it’s overly exaggerated. Dylan wonders if the many pubs within his operational enclave, blasting music at higher decibels compared to the measured noise from Serallio also get complaints filed against the business operators.

This point notwithstanding, Dylan is putting measures to control the noise levels. Currently, a wall is being built around the property. Also, there’s a plan to procure new set of speakers that would not cause too much noise to his neighbors.

In 2018, Serallio plans to roll out some interesting events, including an entrepreneurial fair. This is geared towards offering start-up and entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their products and/or services to the public. ‘We are not only going to host them (entrepreneurs). We are going to do more than that’, he says without divulging much information. Also, the grounds would be opened to people to host their private events.

Ask Dylan what he cherishes about Serallio, he’d be quick to point to how he and his team are helping people to de-stress each week. He told me about a middle aged man (probably in his early to his mid-40s) who comes a couple of weeks to have fun. ‘This guy would, after a few drinks, go topless and jam. He thanks us each time for helping his destressing process. And we won’t see him again for a couple of weeks’.

There are those who come to Serallio to enjoy the music, especially the warmup sets by the DJs, before the actual party begin around 9 PM. The warmups, which begins at 6 PM, are when the DJs- K3V, Eff The DJ and DJ Putin- play songs that aren’t your typical mainstream records. He cites a lady who comes to listen to these songs, leaving when the crowd start to build up.

Serallio has run for one year and has since grown into one of the ‘shrines’ of nightlife in the city; providing the right vibe which merges business, pleasure with building relationship among people. And that has been the mission of Serallio and Dylan’s idea for venturing into this kind of business.


This article was first written in 2017 and as such, has been edited to reflect the current state of affairs at Serallio. The famed ‘Serallio Sunday” has not been running for a while now. Dylan and his crew have been hosting pop-up events in place of Serllio Sundays. Never miss any of their events.

Throwback: Omahene Pozo featuring Ewurama Badu – Medofo Adada Me

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First, Rest In Peace Omanhene Pozo. Despite your physical absence, you are still here with us. As the Twi proverbs rightly say, the tongue never rots. Your words- via your music- shall forever live.

Omanhene Pozo was one of the stalwarts of hiplife. He was counted among the early stalwarts of hiplife music. A founding member of the rap group, Nananom, Omanhene Pozo helped the group score some of its earlier hits like ‘Wo Kyere Wo Ho” and “Ofie Ne Fie’’, off their debut album “Nana Kasa” in 1997. Other notable songs from their sophomore album ”Nana Nono”(1999) included “Alright” and “Washeda Anaa?”. ‘’Nananom’’ consisting on Omanhene Pozo, Okyeame Sydney and Queen Jyoti were first featured on Reggie Rockstone’s 1997 album “Maaka Maka”.

Omanhene Pozo would later exit the group to build a solo career. That move resulted in him releasing three albums (according to information I gathered for this article namely ‘’Aye D3 Vol.1’’, ‘Aye D3 Vol. 2’. My research failed to find the title of his third album). But, for many followers of music from the periods 2000 to 2005, Pozo would be remembered for the touch of freshness he brought to some old classic highlife tunes he flipped by remixing, sampling or collaborating with the original creators of these highlife classics.

His catalogue boasted collaborations with renowned highlife legends like C.K. Mann (on ‘Asafo Baason’), Alhaji K. Frimpong (‘Kyenkyen Bi’), Kofi Sammy (‘Yellow Sisi’) and flipped the known Sir Victor Uwaifo tune ‘Joromi’ his own way on ‘’Nye Menkoaa Na Mepe’’. Omahene Pozo earned notoriety as the flipper of old classic records into modern day hits.

One song that stood tall among his musical repertoire was ‘Medofo Adada Me’ on ‘Aye D3 Vol. 1’, originally performed by the legendary Ewurama Badu. The original song recounted the wailing of a woman ditched by her husband despite her contributions to his success. Pozo flipped the narrative on its head by discussing the theme from the standpoint of a male. For what made Ewurama Badu’s version remarkable was the familiar story told that reflected the reality of many women and the display of all types of emotions on the record. The gloss on Omanhene Pozo’s record was its preservation of the original song, the distinct Yaa Amponsah guitar rhythms that burrowed throughout the song and of course, the all too familiar tale of unrequited love.

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“Medofo Adada Me” was the leading single from his album ”Ay3 D3 Vol.1” (Happiness or Joy). The 13 track album also boasted another hit ”W’asei” (Ratchet); a song about the dangers of young girls dressing provocatively and refusing to act their age. Around the year 2002 and mid-2005, the wearing of miniskirt was considered taboo for girls by their conservative parents and the Ghanaian society. And like most of his remixes, Omanhene Pozo would only sample a record if the original composer was dead or hard to find. Otherwise, he’d get the artist in the studio and record their music anew.

ReadWhen The Curtain Closes: The Ungraceful Ending Of Once Vibrant Entertainers

On ”Medofo Adada Me”, Omanhene Pozo rapped over the captivating fusion of highlife and hip hop beats. The Yaa Amponsah guitar solo and Ewuraba Badu’s old yet vintage vocals reverbed across the song. Over three verses – Ewuraba Badu was kept on hook- he spoked about how he was blinded by what he thought was genuine love (“thought I was the only one you loved/ but, it appears it was all phony”); her social habits and how he went the extra mile to make her happy (stealing from my parents to satisfy your lifestyle). The last verse was about failing to listen to advice from the start and how he she’s denying him of certain privileges – like intimacy.

‘’Ay3 D3 Vol.1’ spurned other records like ‘W’asei’, ‘Ade Yi Beku Wo’ and the unapologetically sexually toned ‘Me Yi Bi Akye’ with Chico Dawuni whose soundscape traversed contemporary highlife, RnB and hip hop; a true timestamp of the era the album was crafted. (Maybe I may end up writing about the ‘Aye D3’ album). The ‘Sarkin Adenta’ was really helping entrench the ‘true highlife sound of the time.

It was unfortunate the way Omanhene Pozo exited this world. He was battling his last days, he was battling with brain tumor, which ultimately took his life. But, like his unmistakable fashion trademark of white apparels- from his shirt, durag, shoes and trousers- Omanhene Pozo may remain incandescent on the music sphere. May his soul smile whenever his name or music is played.

Video: Watch Juls Video ‘Saa Ara’ featuring Kwesi Arthur & Akan

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The long shot towards the end of video looks like a scene from one of those medieval Hollywood movies or better still, from the hit-TV series ”Game of Thrones’‘. The dark clouds, the beautiful yet haunting coastline; the isolated white castle with stained walls and the sea whose waves slap continuously against its bedrocks hold a lot of history and memories. The scene is as cinematic as it could get.

For renowned music producer Juls, choosing to shoot his latest video for ”Saa Ara’‘ at the Elmina Castle makes sense in two ways: the production on the song quintessentially reflect the richness of traditional Ghanaian highlife music; and the title of the song- ”Saa Ara”- also translate, from the hook ‘We are pushing ahead till the break of down’. This captures the spirit and resilience of our ancestors and today’s generation.

The BABS directed video is shot mainly in black-and-white, and carries scenes of the iconic landmark-Elmina Castle built and named by the Portuguese in 1482 as São Jorge da Mina Castle. The castle became a prominent slave holding point in the 1800s. The video also provides a snapshot of the courtyard, the canons and its iron balls, and scenes of some chambers within the castle. (It’s not surprising at all to see Juls sitting next to a canon, staring into the ocean before him in a contemplative mood. He has to make manifest his love for his favourite football club Arsenal).

Juls, Kwesi Arthur and Akan, exuding confidence in their traditional/street ware outfits walk through the various spaces in the castle; exhibiting both their reflective and buoyant spirits. The drone shots of the coastline with canoes anchored and the nearby fishing community with kids having a fun day is appealing to watch.

As someone who grew up partly in Elmina and visited the fishing harbor almost every weekend with my aunties, watching as Juls take a stroll around the place and scenes of large fishing pans and fishermen mending their nets is a nostalgia filling moment.

Read: Juls Portrays Ghana In ‘Agoro’

If there was a scene I’d have loved to see, it would be that of the gates to the Castle being opened for some of the kids shown in the video to troop into the courtyard just to further the historical narrative: the kids whose ancestors were captured and sold into bondage are claiming the castle as their own place for a new beginning. Perhaps, this idea was considered but never saw it come alive.

History. Tradition. People. Inspiration. These are the ethos of our being as Ghanaians. And Juls, through the lens of BABS captured it as they deemed fit in the visuals below: