Boomplay Reaches 10 Million Installations on Google Play Store & 29 Million Total User Base

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As a further testament to its leadership and popular acceptance as the foremost music content distribution platform, Boomplay Music, Africa’s fastest growing music streaming and download platform has recorded a milestone 10 million installations off Google Play store.

Boomplay Music’s unique and user-friendly application has made it a top choice for consumers of music and entertainment content. The platform has given millions of Africans unfettered access to millions of songs, videos and entertainment trending news.

It has also provided a rallying point in the digital music ecosystem by driving more customers to mobile music consumption. Boomplay Music’s international best practice in ensuring providers make revenues off their content has made it the toast of local and international artistes and content providers. This is in addition to making sure that intellectual property is protected using the best tech innovations.

It would be recalled that the music content platform was adjudged the ‘Best African App’ at the AppsAfrica Awards, which held in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2017. Boomplay emerged as the number one app in Africa from a category strongly contested by other popular apps including Carter – SA, Asorbia – Ghana, Truecaller Africa and Feastfox – SA.

About the new milestone, Sadiq Abdulai Abu, -Boomplay Country Manager, Ghana, said, “This is an important achievement as we work towards entrenching the power of Africa’s No. 1 music app in Ghana. Boomplay provides a refreshingly different experience for music talents and their fans and we look forward to creating a mutually rewarding relationship with the entire Ghanaian music and entertainment ecosystem.

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L–R : Yemi Akinigbabe (Content Acquisition Manager, W/A), Iredumare Opeyemi (Global Head, Legal Content Acquisition & Finance), Ms. Tosin Sorinola (Global Head, Public Relations & Snr. Marketing Manager W/A), Dapo Asekun (Global Head, Content Admin & Customer Service), Oye Akideinde (Regional Director, W/A)

On how the platform has maintained its top position, Mr Oye Akideinde, Regional Director (West Africa), said, “Single companies do not build great ecosystems. Thank you to all the individuals and partners who contributed to Boomplay Music’s 10 Million Installs on Google Play Store. We couldn’t have done it without you. We keep improving based on your feedback, which is so vital for our service’s growth. This new milestone is a step closer to building the largest and most sustainable music ecosystem for artist and fans in Africa’’.

Rising from a modest number of installs when it launched in Google Play store in 2016, the platform rose to 1 million installations in January 2017 and by November of same year, it had risen to 5 million. Its fast-growing streak of installations doubled in June, 2018 to 10 million installations making its total user base 29 million. Boomplay Music is now tipped to reach the 40 million total user base by December 2018 confirming the streaming service as Africa’s fastest rising music service.

The platform parades content from multiple genres such as Highlife, Hiplife, Hip-Hop, Afropop, Reggae and Gospel among others. Some of the biggest names on the platforms include Shatta Wale, Sarkodie, Efya, Stonebwoy, King Promise, Kuame Eugene, Kidi, MzVee, Kwesi Arthur, Daddy Lumba, Wizkid, R2bees, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage Chris Brown, Cardi B amongst others.

The app comes pre-installed on TECNO, Infinix & itel Android devices and is available on Google Play Store for all Android users. iOS version will be made available later in the year 2018.

 

 

 

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Concert Review: “JulyFest” Lived Up To Expectation

There are increasing avenues for artists to connect with their fans in recent times. One new addition to the growing list is ”JulyFest”; an assemblage of some notable and alternative music acts making waves within the music scene in Ghana at present.

After weeks of promoting the event, which was staged to commemorate Ghana’s Republic Day, “JulyFest” lived to the billing as hundreds of people trooped to Crystal Park, East Legon to witness the unfolding event.

I arrived at the grounds when the energy god, AYAT was on stage. Performing songs from his well recieved “Zamani EP”, a bare chested, face painted with Adinkra symbols AYAT exuded the kind of energy that has become a trademark. After a set of performances, he brought out Raph Enzee and KiddBlack and together performed their collaborative tune ‘Pioto’ and “Barisujey” respectively. AYAT capped his performance with ‘IDKY’ to the approval of gathered crowd. It was revealing to see AYAT perform to a live band; a move which I reckon is the new direction he’s going.

AYAT by @flynimaboy

The eclectic Wanlov and his sister, Deborah took the stage to render their anti- plastic campaign song in which they entreat all to ‘refuse, reuse and recycle’ plastics in Ghana. The two have been prominent advocates for a ban on plastic. With only a guitar, Wanlov also performed his sexually expressive tune ‘Toto’ which elicited an unsurprising response from fans.

Wanlov shot by Yoyotinz

Sister Deborah

By the time the MC for the night, Official Kwame introduced Akan to the stage, the hype was reaching a crescendo. Beginning with ‘Me Sika Aduro’, and ‘Akoma No Abuagumu’, Akan oozing with the confidence of a kung-fu master, was a delight to watch. He brought out Worlasi and together performed ‘Helebaba’ before veering into his ‘Konnichiwa Freestyle’. He capped his set with the palmwine highlife tune ‘3huru A 3b3dwo’.

Akan and Worlasi. photo by Yoyotinz

The DJs of the evening, Eff The DJ, DJ Mitchy and Moorsounds took turns to shift the needle of excitement upwards; turning the grounds from a concert session to a club scene with songs from every top acts in the country.

The cheers was loud when M.anifest took over the stage and began dishing out verses of songs from his ‘Nowhere Cool’ album. With his DJ and producer, R^dical shifting through his extensive catalogue, he performed his King Promise assisted ‘Me Ne Woa’ to loud applauds. M.anifest hasn’t been an ebullient figure on stage. His performances have always been calm and it showed on the stage. On the night, many will remember him mounting the stage but not selling an experience which an artist of his calibre was expected, in my estimation, to deliver in abundance.

M.anifest

M.anifest

Looking all spruce up and bubbling with energy from the start, Amaarae was ready to thrill. And that, she did. With songs from her ‘Passionfruit Summers’ EP filling her set, she converted a couple of people who didn’t know her into fans. At a turn in her set, she invited a young boy on stage to sing. (The boy left the stage teary eyed from emotions or was it stage fright?).

Backed by a three male back up singers and live band, she switched the tempo up, traded call and response with the crowd and requested a volunteer on stage to do the asorkpor dance with her. As a first timer witnessing her performance, I guess the columns of my expectations were boldly ticked. She was vibrant, engaging, sometimes wild and full of positive energy that you couldn’t afford not to tag along.

Amaarae photo by Yoyotinz

B4bonah and Medikal were the last acts of the night; continuing with the good energy Amaarae had left prior. Performing all his hit singles like ‘Devil Is A Liar’ with M.anifest and ‘My Girl’, the MimLife Records act, despite winning the crowd over with the songs, pulled an average score for performance. His act wasn’t coordinated – he had too many people on stage, crowding him out at point.

Like Medikal who followed next, they each fed off the energy of the crowd. Medikal at one point had the crowd rapping line by line to his verses on ‘Grind Day Remix’ and ‘Otedola Remix’ respectively. (I was there for those specific performances). As the performances progressed, tiredness did set in. Both B4bonah and Medikal were gasping for breath, considering they were on stage for less than an hour.

Medikal

Platforms like “JulyFest” should be the ‘rehearsal’ stage for artists to experiment with stagecraft as well as test their breathing, confidence and energy levels as they look forward to the big gigs.

The organizers of “JulyFest” did well with security. The use of both live band music and DJs ensured we got a right mix of sound and entertainment. The crowd at the event were also responsive, according each performer great reception. There are a lot of positives and negatives to be picked and hopefully next year’s event would be much grander and exciting. On the whole, the event lived to its expectations.

Writers Project of Ghana Host Author Dannabang Kuwabong At June Book Reading

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Writers Project of Ghana and Goethe-Institute Ghana present writer, poet and professor of Carribean Literature and Culture, Dannabang Kuwabong as the author for the month of June, 2018. Dannabang Kuwabong is a Ghanaian-Canadian writer and professor at the University of Puerto Rico, San Juan. He is the author of several collections of poetry.

Dannabang is author of the collections of poetry Visions of Venom (Woeli Publishers, 1995), Echoes from Dusty Rivers (Capricornus Enterprises, 1999), Caribbean Blues & Loves Genealogy (TSAR Publications, 2008), Voices from Kibuli Country (TSAR Publications, 2013), and a collection of folktales, Naa Konga and other Dagaaba Folktales (Woeli Publishing Services, 1992).

He has taught in several institutions of higher learning, including Rivers State College of Education, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria, University of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria, University of Ghana and McMaster University, Canada. He is also widely published in academic journals and has contributed numerous essays in books, and is on the editorial boards of various journals.

Dr. Kuwabong obtained a B.A. (Hons) degree in English from the University of Ghana, Legon, a Magisteriate in Environmental Studies (MES) in Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada, a Master of Letters (MLITT) in Modern Poetry in English, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK and obtained his doctoral degree in English, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

Join us for an exciting evening of readings. Books will be on sale at the WPG book stand.

Date: Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

Time: 7.00 PM – 8.30 PM

Admittance is Free.

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

 

Stills From Hanson Akatti’s ‘Untitled Exhibition’

On Thursday, June 7, one of Ghana’s esteemed digital artist, illustrator and graphic designer, Hanson Akatti hosted the ‘Hanson Akatti’s Untitled Exhibition’ at Container, Labone, Nyaniba Estates.

The Exhibition mainly featured sketches of some of the country’s exciting young music talents such as Lil’ Shaker & Kojo-Cue (known collectively as Pen & Paper), Kwesi Arthur, Cina Soul, AYAT, LaMeme Gang, Bryan The Mensah, Tinuke, Amaarae and many others.

The opening night of the exhibition witnessed a packed house, mainly of friends, fans, art lovers, pop culture enthusiasts and some of the artists whose frames adorned the walls of the exhibition floor.

The Untitled Exhibition is the second that Hanson Akatti’s has staged after “Stargate Odyssey”, a three part pop-up exhibition event that focused on pop culture, movies, fashion.

Our camera was there to capture some of the exciting event on the day.


 

 

Meet Hanson Akatti: Your Artistes Fav Artist!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nubuke Foundation Present ”PaintSculpt Trailblazers” Exhibition

Nubuke Foundation & Takoradi Technical University present PaintSculpt Trailblazers Nubuke Foundation in collaboration with Takoradi Technical University is pleased to present a group exhibition featuring 13 commendable final year students from the Department of Painting & Department of Sculpture.

It’s so beautiful for Nubuke Foundation to provide a platform that profiles the potential of the final year students from the Department of Painting & Department of Sculpture. It’s an exciting time in Ghana, and there’s no denying the growth of our creative landscape across the country. Nubuke is dedicated to capturing the excellence of artists and talent across our country. This exhibition will be the first of many in collaboration with Takoradi Technical University. Come and celebrate an assortment of compositions, techniques and concepts with us; it is a real delight- Bianca Ama Manu, Curator – Nubuke Foundation

The selected artists are Jerry Amoah, Moses Seth Osei, Anita Cudjoe, Adu Doku Twum, Barnabas Ahialey, David Otoo, Gideon Adu-Bannor, Evans Quansah, Yaw Agyenim Boateng, Ebenezer Otoo, Kwabena Amoako Obeng, Jonathan Sonkola Andivi and Samuel Yeboah Afrifa.

With artworks from artist & lecturers Dr Wolter Heidrun, Sampong Ofori-Ayinam and Patrick Tagoe-Turkson.

The shortlisted works explore Morphosis: documenting the impact of change on issues such as politics, culture, social and economic development in Ghana. The overall theme has been interpreted by each artist to highlight their reflection on change.

Many of the artworks use nature as a muse, exploring the environment and landscape through unconventional materials such as castaway jute sacks, palm chaffing, plastics, found metals and reclaimed wood.

For this exhibition, castaway materials become commodities, as a range of artists skillfully transform found objects to creations of value and interest. Anita Cudjoe manipulates plastic rice sacks to create a kaleidoscopic mosaic. Each piece is meticulously cut and collaged, with each colourful square celebrating the vibrancy of market life. Equally, the mixed media sculpture of Barnabas Ahialey is an amalgamation of driftwood and metal titled Kluvi (Slave), addressing labour practices and socio-economic issues of contemporary capitalist societies.

PaintSculpt Trailblazers will run from 12th May – 1st July 2018 in the main gallery space of Nubuke Foundation, located in East Legon, Accra.

About Nubuke Foundation

Nubuke Foundation is a visual art and cultural institution based in East Legon, Accra, Ghana. Founded in 2006, it serves as a nexus for arts and culture across the country while supporting the artistic practice of Ghanaians: young, mid-career and experienced.

About Takoradi Technical University Takoradi Technical University is dedicated to high-quality education in engineering and applied sciences and also creative arts, business and technology-based research disciplines with strong industry links that contribute to the advancement of the Western Region, and Ghana as a whole.

The Department of Painting and The Sculpture Department are two of the seven departments under the School of Applied Arts. Both departments are a platform for the enhancement of artistic talents and the training of students to enable them to acquire creative and technical proficiency necessary to stimulate confidence, enthusiasm and a sense of achievement.

Cina Soul Gets Emotional At “We Are Universal” Private Concert

After signing to Universal Music Nigeria (UMN) and releasing an Afro Dance Music (ADM) remix of her soulful ballad 00:01, now 12:01, along with a video, Cina Soul chose to formally announce the deal with an short, intimate, mini-concert.

Hosted by La Villa Boutique at Osu, the evening saw her perform songs from her 2016 Metanoia EP and her recent single(12:01).

Backed by the Senku Band – a drummer, a keyboardist and guitarist who were incredible on the night-they ensured the evening was more of a party jam than a soulful rendition of tunes.

Cina Soul performed songs like her breakthrough single ‘Awo‘ and ‘Julor‘, where she rapped portions of M.anifest’s verse. She then performed a yet to be released song.

For what was to be a happy event took an emotional turn when Cina Soul sent out an emotional thanks to her mum and family for their support and love. Teary eyed, she introduced her sister ‘who sacrificed her singing career for me’ on stage.

On the idea for her new moniker, Kla Manye, she explained that ‘I add soul to everything (music) I do… Kla Manye means ‘Queen of Soul’. And that’s ‘my alter ego‘. In what could be described as a move to confirm her new alias, she performed a song that drips in traditional Ga folk influence, which she credited her Jamestown roots for. ‘This is to my Jamestown people’, she indicated.

After an encore performance of ’12:01′, the Universal Music Nigeria representative who was enchanted by a Cina Soul song during her time in Ghana announced a surprise: Cina will be getting an album deal rather than a single deal. This drew resounding applauds from those present.

For a show that started two hours late (it was scheduled at 6pm), and lasted for an hour, it was hugely successful. Cina entertained and the invited guests left with memories of history being made.

Now that her dream of getting signed by a major label has been fulfilled in ‘this short time’, the enormity of the pressure to live up to expectations are not lost on her. ‘I want you to know Cina won’t disgrace you‘. Cina looks prepared to make her fans and the industry proud.

Concert Review: The “Connection Concert” Was a Trip Down Two Time Spaces

20th April ’18. There were a series of Global happenings on this day – Arsene Wenger finally announces he’s leaving Arsenal FC, J. Cole Released K.O.D, Cina Soul also released new video under Universal Music and Avicii passed away, RIP Champ. – And also there was the ‘Connection Concert‘ that took place at Alliance Francaise.

A memorable evening where both the old and the young; highlife, hiphop (hiplife) and afrobeat (the real afrobeat) exploded into one beautiful, pleasurable experience. What was envisaged based off the names on the concert posture truly manifested in reality.

When the OBY (led by legendary Kwame Yeboah) took over the stage, along with Dele Sosimi, you instinctively knew it was going to be a great night. And so it did.

Dele Sosimi, once the music director for Fela Kuti took the stage, serving wonderful renditions of songs by the ace afrobeat king. He performed songs like ‘Expensive Shit’ and ‘Colonial Mentality’. Mr. Sosimi burst out singing in Twi in the course of his performance; a move that got the audience singing along. ‘I’ve not been to Ghana in over 20 years’, he revealed. But, his Twi still sounds fairly good.

When Fela Kuti said music shouldn’t be joked with because it’s a ‘spiritual thing’, I understood what he meant last night during those renditions. The beat dynamics of afrobeat elevates you into a different realm, the horns and bass guitar put you in a trance. By the time the vocals come in, you are floating away.

Dele Sosimi’s set followed that of kologo playing artist, Steve Atambire and others who had serenaded the audience with their genre of music. If you’ve seen Steve in concert, you’d love his kologo playing abilities and life borrowing anecdotes in his songs.

It’s not always that you get to see some of the legends whose music you grew up on live in concert. One of these legends, Pat Thomas, took the audience back into the 70s and 80s. He opened his set with songs from his recent albums, before closing on a high with the classics ‘Sika Yε Mogya’ and ‘Mo ma me nka Bi’.

It was incredible to see many filed out of the pews to join the few on the dancefloor when Kwame Yeboah and his band began playing the beat for ‘Sika Y3 Mogya’. It was as if the audience had been instructed to get to the dancefloor by the count of three.

Pat Thomas, once described as the ‘Golden Voice of Africa’, still has a voice that’s golden. Old age, it appears hasn’t robbed him of its pristineness. And on the night, it was evident.

Pat Thomas was followed by “RedRed”, a group fronted by Mensa. Minutes before his set, he was among the fans wilding out during Uncle Pat Thomas’s set. Backed by a three man band- a keyboardist, drummer and DJ Elo (one half of RedRed) on drum machine and synthesizers, ‘RedRed’ were a delight. He performed songs like the patriotic cum political anthem ‘How Far’, ‘It Works’ and ‘Extra Large’ with Sena Dagadu. They were joined by Wanlov to perform ‘Pass It On’, ‘My Skin’ (a song about colourism and racial bias) and ‘Aha Aha’.

The RedRed set segued into a FOKN Bois performance where Mensa and Wanlov performed songs like ‘Mendoh’ and ‘Fokn Future’. The adrenaline on the night was at an all time high.

Wanlov and one of his proteges, Efo Chameleon took the stage after “RedRed” and the FOKN Bois. Efo Chameleon performed an anti-filth song to the crowds admiration. Wanlov and his guitar performed his irreverent tune ‘Toto’ and afro-futurist song ‘Supa Chompia’. Worlasi took over and did two songs- ‘Too High’ and crowd favorite ‘Nukuta’. His composure on stage was one of self-assurance.

“RedRed” returned to the stage for the second time to empty their catalogue- at least to a degree- with performances of songs suc as ‘Can’t Complain’, ‘Sisimbo’, and ‘Finders Keepers’ with Sena Dagadu.

The last leg of performances had Sena Dagadu inviting Pappy Kojo on stage to perform in her words ‘a new song only three people have heard’. After delivery her two verses of ‘Come Alive’, Pappy Kojo laid his ‘Realer No’ verse rather than the new verse we expected. But, the audience really didn’t care. She also performed her new Sarkodie assisted single, ‘Yo Chale’, where Sena effortlessly rapped Sark’s verse.

Mensa, Sena, Worlasi, Wanlov, Pappy Kojo and Efo Chameleon took to the stage towards the end of the concert to perform ‘Tactics’. This was after renditions of ‘Skolom’ and ‘Ghetto’ by Sena and Mensa respectively. It was ‘madness’ when Pappy introduced ‘Akwaaba’ into the mix, deliberately performing (or it was the fans?) Pataapa’s ‘Olale’ verse. Everybody did the rub hands, move the feet and raise one hand up dance step. You needn’t be told to.


Small Moments Mattered

As the performances enchanted audience, there were moments that stood out for me on the night. First, Kwame Yeboah and his “OBY” (Ohia B3y3 Ya) band were fantastic. They played every note of the songs of the artists they backed with precision. And watching him on stage is like watching a master at his craft. I couldn’t believe he was live recording sections of the guitar riffs he was dishing out, perhaps for future use.

The three man bad that backed “RedRed”, Sena Dagadu and FOKN Bois were amazing as well. The coordination and experience was apparent. A bad band could ruin well conceived set. On the night, their input was compelling.

Back stories to how songs were written and recorded by artists have always excited me. So, hearing Dele Sosimi recount the circumstances that inspired Fela Kuti to record ‘Expensive Shit’ and ‘Colonial Mentality’ was refreshing. The stories, no matter how many times you’ve heard or read them, still sounded funny-especially that of ‘Expensive Shit’. And the crowd loved it.

Worlasi’s exit from the stage after his session was a moment. Instead of following the ‘traditional’ way of bowing out, he hanged up the mic and walked off the stage, like Soulja Boy during the BET Tribute Performance for Michael Jackson in 2012.


The Connection Concert, organized by the Hungarian Embassy and Alliance Francaise to commemorate Hungarian Cultural Week is the second to be staged in Accra. And for the many who trooped to the Allaince Francaise Amphitheatre, they would have memories to share-at least till next year. Memories of not only good music and performances but that, there are Ghanaian artists who can hold their own against some of these renowned acts in the world.

Again, it showed that our legends, who blazed the trail decades ago, still have in them the same enthusiasm they had when they started out. And through such performances, they are not only entertaining people, but, are passing on their works to the next generation, offering us an opportunity to witness why they were heralded as great performers during their hey days.

What can Alliance Francaise do to improve on the quality of sound during events? What about the lightening systems? Despite the efforts of the sound guys to provide excellent sound throughout the four hours, it was evident that, the quality wasn’t the best.