It seems we are in that era where producers don’t want to be in the shadows any longer-producing music for artistes and having their signature name on the songs. Producers seem to be desiring the bright lights of stardom. Some are brave to make their presence known and felt beyond their core fans to a broader audience. They are doing this by producing their own music.
A few days ago, two of Ghana’s known producers-Kuvie and Mike Millz On’Em released four self-produced singles and a beat tape respectively. First is Kuvie (of Villain Sounds) whose four singles named Senses have the prospects of making waves across the radio. Here is the breakdown of the songs:
HIGH: The first single ‘High’ featuring KiDi and Cina Soul with its up-tempo afrobeat influence rides heavy on what is gradually becoming Kuvie’s sonic signature: strings, piano chimes, low thumping drum in minimal tones. KiDi and Cina Soul sing about how they get high on love. The melody is catchy and the lyrics very simple. Cina Soul adds the desired dose of soulfulness to the tune for balance. This isn’t the first time KiDi and Cina have been on a song together. She featured him on ‘Baddo’ off her 2016 EP Metanoia
DEEP (Into You): For many, Zepora and Darko Vibes may be unfamiliar names but they are on course to becoming known voices on the music scene. On Deep, another love themed song, the two croon about being too deep in love. Kuvie’s Deep is an EDM crafted tune embedded with African sound elements like xylophones and atumpan. Whereas Zapora begs her man not to leave her because ‘I’m so into you’, Darko vibes, with his deep voice (slightly auto-tuned a la PND) assures his love that ‘all my heart is for you’. The 808 sounds like guitar made. (Note: Zapora was featured on the DJ Kess produced track Pilolo).
DUMB: I haven’t heard a raunchy song delivered in such smoothness like on this Ria Boss featured song Dumb in a while. Assuming different characters/persona, Ria Boss, in a style reminiscent of Missy Elliott projects her ‘bad girl’ side. Lyrics such as ‘beat it up/dripping wet just enough/talking that dirty shit’ and ‘I’ll be talkin’ nasty you know/ but I come with the action’ gives you a sense of what the song is about.
LOST: Kidd Black is one of the highly regarded hip hop rappers around and on this tune Lost, along with BS and Spacely (Villain Sound artistes) talk about their love interest. This time Kidd Black raps about his faithfulness ‘so many women around me but they ain’t you’. Kidd was on the hook as well. BS did four lines in Spacelyz’ verse to complete the story they began over trap beats. (Kuvie will be releasing his debut LP in April, 2017).
MIKE MILLZ ON’EM
The first time I saw Mike Millz was at YoyoTinz Block Party where he made a beat live at the sidelines of the 2016 Chalewote festival. After producing songs for almost every big name artistes around, he has turned his attention to creating something different. On his Trap life Beat Tape III, Mike Millz is balming 5 classic highlife tunes along modern trap influences.
The richness in Ghanaian music https://t.co/VSarwAreax
— Mr Epic🏌 ®™ (@MikeMillzOnEm) February 20, 2017
The reworked songs are Abofra (kojo Antwi), Obiara, Sii Nana (Bessa Simon), Dedeede (Dr. K. Gyasi) and Obi Abayewa (Geroge Darko). Mike Millz samples known sections of these songs (hooks, bridges and Yaa Amponsah riffs) and lays them over trap beats. Another technique he employs is to fade at intervals, sections of the songs (I think the fading was too much). The vocals despite made to sound ‘distant’ and hazy, didn’t take anything away from the compositions. Based on the title of this tape, one realizes that Mike Millz’ major focus is towards balming these songs in trap vibes rather than recreate the songs in full. In Mike Millz and Yung Fly, these old classic highlife tunes are getting a re-make to sit with the current trap wave. Check it out.