Press Release: KayMad Present ”BOUGAINVILLEA”

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KayMad is a rapper and creative artiste at dZZZdope, Inc. who wrote and recorded “Bougainvillea”, a neo-soul tape. According to him, ”Bougainvillea’ expresses my thoughts on life, psycho social pressure, Afro-socialization, depression and suicide: which has a period of time, developed into a bigger body of work to be exhibited this month. The project covers very sensitive topics and features a number of writers and content creators from Ghana and a feature by South African painter, Yolanda “Yodaart” Mazwana”.

In its entirety, Bougainvillea will feature a “five-song tape”, over 25 frames of Writings, paintings, photo sets and a big installation by myself.

Overview of Project

“Bougainvillea”, is an art installation and exhibition by Justice “KayMad” Biney of dZZZdope, Inc. The installation features 20+ framed pieces, 10+ paintings and 2 installations. The exhibition will be headlined by the “Flower Talk”, a three day session that will run from 3-5 PM at the Garden Madiba (African Ark) in Dawhenya.

The gallery will open at 9 A.M on the 13th of December, and would host the exhibition and talk sessions and will close on the 15th of December. As curated by dZZZdope and Garden Madiba, the exhibition will feature writings and paintings by Calvin Ayivie, Otema Yirenkyi, Norvi Esther, Jeffery Agyemang, Fafanyo, Abubakar Lykay, Yolanda Mazwana, Ella Woode and a host of writers and content creators across the continent.

Goals of Project

i. The installations and art pieces should be able to revive energies and create an environment for deeper thinking and self-evaluation as well as resounding assurance for the youth.

ii. To assist individuals facing psychosocial pressure and to suppress suicidal thoughts and create a positive impression about journeys.

Specifications

The exhibition will follow time allocations strictly on set dates. Visitors are allowed to watch, interpret and share across all Social Media but touching, physical altering or removal of any installation or art piece is prohibited.

All Talk Sessions begin at 3PM to 5PM on all days. The entrance toll will be communicated via crew and media representatives across all Social Media.

DAY 1 (13th December, 2017)

“We have come to inspire, to push a generation of geniuses into solutions way sober, to enlighten mankind and to embrace love” – KayMad

Opening Days ans Set

The exhibition will open at 12 P.M. on the 13th of December

Opening Brief + Flower Talk

The opening address and first Flower Talk session will start at 3 P.M. followed by the first performance of the BOUGAINVILLEA TAPE and interpretive conversations.

DAY 2 (14th December, 2017)

The exhibition will resume at 9 A.M. for visitors. The Flower Talk (Soul House Edition) will follow through at 3P.M with another performance of the ‘’Bougainvillea Tape’’. (Sales will be open for buyers to place orders)

DAY 3 (15th December, 2017)

The exhibition opens for sales of ordered prints and Auction Sale of “Dear 5 – 21,” starting at 3,500 Ghana Cedis. The Flower Talk will feature other speakers sharing their personal stories and guidance trails to assist other travelers.

The DJ Set starts from 10 P.M. on Friday, the 15th.

Location Details

The Garden is situated on the right side of the Tema – Aflao (on the left from Aflao -Tema), a few meters before the Dawhenya Entrance Bridge.

Please use the name “Terrazzo” for public commuting to the Garden.

 

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Concert Review: M3nsa thrilled at ‘Accra Hip Hop Festival’

One can easily tell an experienced artist from an amateur by how they carry themselves on stage when performing. Their stage movement, sequencing of songs and overall act- ability to find balance between performance and audience interaction. This divide becomes more apparent when they are performing with a live band.

These were on display last night when rapper, producer, singer, M3nsa headlined the ‘Accra Hip Hop Festival’ at Alliance Francaise, Accra.

With his four man band- a drummer, two guitarists and a keyboardist- M3nsa, known also as one half of the FOKN Bois (with Wanlov) and Red Red (with DJ ELO), proved once again that, he isn’t only a great musician, but a performer who can sell an experience.

Scheduled to begin at 8 PM, the show kicked off half an hour late; a situation Wanlov, who was the MC for the evening, humorously ascribed to the massive traffic that engulfed the city during the visit of French President, Emmanuel Macron.

It was sound check when I got to the Alliance Francaise a little after 8PM. The band and the sound man where working on the sound frequency and quality. When all was set, M3nsa joined the band on stage for mic check.

As a curtain raiser, M3nsa returned back on stage to begin the show. Wanlov (MC for the event) introduced three artists who took turns to rap on fresh made M3nsa beats. First act was 7:30, a 17 year old rapper who won a rap competition the FOKN Bois had organized three years ago. Now under the care of Wanlov, he earned his name after scoring 7 out of 30 in a French exams.

Hip-hop act, Lykay performed a series of verses over beats by M3nsa. His composure and confidence on stage was incredible. Sister Deborah came next to perform the famous ‘Ghana Jollof’ track. Wanlov took over and rhymed out lyrics of ‘Super Chompia’, off his debut ”Green Card” album.

When M3nsa came back on stage to perform his set with his band, The Light Off, the sizeable crowd were ready to be thrilled. In his ash T-shirt over a coffee dark khaki pants and black sneakers, he wasted no time in adding to the positive energy swirling among the audience .

Most of the songs performed were from his album, ”No. 1 Mango Street” as well as singles from the DJ Elo collaborative ‘Red Red’ album. ‘Anaa’ set the tone for what was to come. ‘Fante Love Song’, ‘How Far’, and ‘Kelewele Pimping’ got the crowd singing aong with gusto. So impressed was he with the crowd during the performance of Fante Love Song that he shared his surprise with ‘I love the GH boys romantic style’

‘Gimme Pinch’ got people playfully pinching each other as the song demanded. M3nsa rolled back the years to the excitement of fans by performing the classic ‘If You Don’t Know’.

A hilarious conversation ensued between M3nsa and Wanlov during the performance of ‘Gimme Pinch’- they both showed what the phrase could mean (Pin chow (noodles) and Pee In Chow all sound like Gimme Pinch o but mean different things).

The throwback set continued with the performance of VIP’s ‘Ahomka Wo Mu’ and the surprise appearance of Reggie Rockstone, who together with M3nsa (who as produced for Regg in his younger years) performed including ‘Men Sesa Da’ and ‘Sweetie Sweetie’.

The curtain finally came down (so we thought) after the performance of ‘Adwuma’ (Work). The crowd who had gathered in front of the stage matched the energy behind the performance. So thrilled was one of the guitarist that, he forgot to strum a solo section when M3nsa signalled.

A.I, who was scheduled to perform earlier showed up after M3nsa’s set, but got the audience to stay for the ‘after party’. He got the crowd to sing and dance along to his set of songs like ‘Grind’, ‘Burn Fat’, ‘Paper’, ‘Moving On’, ‘Marry Jane’ and ‘Anger Management’. Even though he didn’t perform with a band, he didn’t mime either. He sang over instrumentals of his songs.

The event didn’t attract a full house. There were a lot of empty pews at the concert venue. The reasons for that was obvious: the event wasn’t promoted that much and again, there were a lot of events in the city that evening.

The size of crowd, however provided an intimacy that ‘filled to rafters’ events often don’t offer. Also, the sound was great and the performances were well sequenced and coveted no dull moment.

As M3nsa indicated at the end of his satisfying performance, he was the only act (from FOKN Bois) out that night. And he held his own. Imagine the two of them on December 9th at the ‘FOKN Party’. Be prepared.

Songs Performed by M3nsa

Anaa

If You Don’t Know

Fante Love Song

Kelewele Pimping

No One Knows Tomorrow

Gimmie Pinch,

How Far,

Show Me How

VIPs Ahomka Would Mu,

Mensesa Da & Agoo (with Reggie Rockstone)

Adwuma

Artist HANSON AKATTI to Host Three Experiential Art Exhibitions

With a name carved out in the sphere of digital art and album art creation, Hanson Akatti’s first art exhibition promises to be other-directed.

Digital Artists, Hanson Akatti, shares dates for his premiere art exhibition, “Stargate Odyssey”. Created in the same structure as a Hip Hop LP, the 16-piece exhibition offers a one-of-a-kind art experience

for each of the three different locations it will occur.

“Stargate Odyssey” is structured around minor elements that have helped Hanson hone his creativity, the most prominent being a hip hop EP. With Sixteen pieces, representing 16 tracks of a typical hip hop album, Stargate Odyssey was created surrounding the themes of androgyny, alternate realities, identity, inter-cultural influence and feminity.

The exhibition also takes the form of a small intimate concerts, each day with a different mood, setting and experience from the next.

The exhibition also takes the form of a small intimate concerts, each day with a different mood, setting and experience from the next.

The first exhibition takes place at Untamed Empire Concept Store in Ridge on 19th November, 2017 at 4pm.

The second exhibition is happening on 24th November, 2017 at 4pm at Elle Lokko Warehouse, Osu.

The third and final exhibition happens at The Shop Accra in Osu on 2nd December, 2017 at 5pm.

Born on January 21st 1989 in Accra, Ghana, Hanson Akatti has helped shape the growing art form in Accra. His whimsical yet pseudo-realistic artwork changed the face of digital art and animation in the country, with the introduction of intricate design and attention to detail. He again flipped the cards with his digitally designed magazine covers of Canoe, Dust and A.20 magazines.

Hanson’s artwork has been influential in transforming the direction of album arts in Ghana and Africa at large. His brilliant work for DJ Juls’, Fokn Bois, EL and Efya has been a determining factor for the effort now ascribed to album artworks in Africa.

See more of Hanson’s on his website www.hansonakatti.com . Follow the artist on Twitter at @TheDZfa and Instagram at @HansonAkatti

Home Isn’t Where Love Is: A look at the stabbing attempt on Stonebwoy.

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If Julius Caesar knew what fate had in store for him on the Ides of March, I’m sure he’d have had both Mark Anthony and Cassius arrested or barred from entering the chamber of the Senate. Despite the premonitions of his wife about him, Julius Caesar dismissed it, wore his robe and like the Emperor he was, walked into that chamber to conduct daily affairs. But, instead of him coming out impressed by the day’s proceedings, it was his lifeless body that was carried out. The man who loved Rome had been murdered in cold blood.

I first saw a link to the story about the stabbing of the wife of dancehall artist Stonebwoy on a website I’ve come to dismiss as peddlers of sensationalism. (I’ve fallen for their click bait headlines on a few occasions). It wasn’t until I saw a friend comment on a link to the story that I decided to click. It was true. Stonebwoy’s wife, Dr. Louisa Ansong was stabbed on Saturday during the ‘Ashaiman To The World Concert’ put together and headlined by Stonebwoy. A night that was to be a celebration ended up being bloody.

My first reaction was: Who Wanted to Stab Stonebwoy? More importantly: WHY?

Stonebwoy is one of the few artistes who is loved by all, not because of the incredible music he does (there are awards to show), or his amazing performances but, his respectful demeanor, a trait many who have met him reference. Stonebwoy’s rise to the top echelon of dancehall hasn’t been an easy one. His rag to riches story is inspiring. And as someone who distanced himself from the acrimonious ‘Who’s The Best Dancehall Act’ debate,  I wonder who was out there to get Stonebwoy.

‘The Ashaiman To The World Concert’ (ATTWC) was staged to celebrate his success with his home town folks. A proud Ashaiman lad, Stonebwoy hasn’t hidden his love for his hometown. Ashaiman is where his heart lies. Ashaiman is the town he bleeds. Ashaiman gave him what he has now (success, fame, respect). Ashaiman, like many ‘ghetto’ towns has earned a reputation as a tough town, where the animal kingdom rule prevails. Stonebwoy is one of the few public figures whose success attests to the fact that, the town does produce good people as well; that it’s not all gloom and doom in Ashaiman. So, going back after all these years to celebrate with them was a good thing.

According to reports, the event was a success until that point when the stabbing incident was reported. Apparently, the stabber(s) had split through the tent that was serving as the ‘room’ of Stonebwoy. According to the artiste, the knife was meant for him. Unfortunately, his wife rather became the victim.

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At this point, I asked myself: How was it possible for someone (or a group of people) to have access to Stonebwoy’s tent? Where was security?

Maintaining security has always been a challenge for event organizers, especially in Ghana when it comes to both indoor and outdoor events. It’s even worse when it’s a free outdoor concert. The crowd is mostly huge, making crowd control a nightmare. The venue for the concert obviously is an open ground, and judging by the turnout, it was free for all. Security may have been procured but may not have been adequate to control and pick out individuals who are there for mischief purposes. Don’t forget, provision of security comes at a cost too.

I recall in 2013 when Guinness Ghana hosted Akon, Big Sean and Wizkid at a concert at the Accra Sports Stadium. The security in place was enough, yet they got overwhelmed at certain points. The crowd even defied directives not to move closer to the stage. Even if Guinness Ghana, who are very resourceful (financially) had security officers stretched by the crowd, how much more Stonebwoy who may not have enough resources and hosting an event in Ashaiman? (I don’t mean no disrespect Ashaiman folks).

If security couldn’t be adequately provided by the organizers, personal security shouldn’t be taken lightly, even when at home (Ashaiman). Home love (protection) is no substitute for effective security albeit it could be of help. And when it comes to such free, open air concert, excitement does turn into mayhem at times. I’m often amazed at how fans easily jump on stage during performances with little resistance from the security. Sometimes, it’s a whole mob of fans; a dangerous situation if you ask me since anybody with ill intent could cause harm to the artiste.

According to reports, the stabbing occurred few moments before Stonebwoy took to the stage. Instead of cancelling it as many in his position would do (hi Kanye West), he went on stage to perform; to entertain the thousands who have supported his growth from his days as a young underground act trying to find his feet. The decision showed his mental toughness and how much he cherishes his fans.

There are obviously more questions to be asked from this incident. How did the assailant(s) get to his locker room or tent? What kind of security arrangements were in place to protect him, his family and friends? Who were these assailant(s) and what motivated them to cause such harm? These are questions police investigations may provide answers to.

This unfortunate and sad incident may influence other artistes to consider their personal security arrangements again and be extra cautious especially during open air concerts. Of course it may be costly but would you rather get maimed or killed when you could spend a bit more to secure your own life?

Stonebwoy may not know who was out there to get him. His wife was affected. This definitely would impact his future decisions. He undoubtedly loves Ashaiman. It’s where he comes from. It’s the place he calls home.

But, it’s worth reminding him and others that, the place we call home, where we go seeking for solace, where our hearts feel at ease may be a hydra headed dome. After all, home is where the love resides. It is also where hate lives.

 

 

 

Prof. Ladé Wosornu is guest reader for the month of September.

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In our final public reading in the 2017 series, Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe Institute, Accra proudly present for the month of September, a reading with surgeon and poet, Professor Ladé Wosornu.

Ladé Wosornu, professor in surgery (retired), is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and a poet, essayist and columnist for The Ghanaian Times, writing on health and wellness issues. He has had a distinguished professional and academic career in surgery, practicing in Ghana, Zambia and Saudi Arabia. He is a a founding Fellow of the Ghana College of Surgeons and formerly a member of the National Council for Higher Education.

Professor Ladé Wosrnu’s specialty training was in chest surgery. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed scientific journals, reflecting his input to surgical research and practice. During the Second Gulf War, he played a key role in triage for mass casualties. His expertise in the field of quality management was recognized by the W.H.O. which invited him to assist Sierra Leone with their strategic plan for postgraduate medical education. He was the first African to win the coveted Brunton Memorial Prize. As a poet, he won the V.A.L.C.O. literary award. His most abiding poems are Desert Rivers and The Master Brewer.

Professor Ladé Wosornu attended both P.R.E.S.E.C. and St. Augustine’s College and is a graduate of Glasgow University with Honours. He has Fellowships from the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Edinburgh & England.

He will be reading from his works, including the poetry collections Journey Without End and Other Poems and Celestial Bride and other Poems.

Join us as we host Professor Ladé Wosornu on September 27th for an informative and interactive reading. Copies of his books will be on sale.

Date: Wednesday, 27th September, 2017

Time: 7.00 PM – 8.30 PM

Venue: Goethe Institute, 30 Kakramadu Close, East Cantonments, Accra

Admittance is Free.

 

Press Release: UNCOLONISED Concert VOL.3 featuring VILLY & The Xtreme Volumes

VILLY   &  The  Xtreme  Volumes  are  back  with their  annual   concert   theme  ‘Uncolonised’.

Regarded  to   be   amongst   the   most   successful   concert   series   in   Accra, ‘Uncolonised’said is  expected  to  be  filled  with energy; to  be  filled  with  questions  and to  push the  boundaries of music and performance.  

We  are  dedicating   this   year   to   the   one   who   kickstarted   the   fire   for   us:   FELA KUTI, marking  his  20th   year  since  he  left   the  fight for  us  to  continue.  

THE  ONE  GROUP  SHOW,  WILL  BE UNFORGETABLE.

Date:  Saturday, 30th September, 2017

Venue: Alliance Francaise, Accra

Gate Fee:  30  Ghana Cedis 

Time:   8PM  Sharp.  

This event is powered by Blank   Creation   Entertainment  

Sister Deborah to Perform at ‘Life Is Eazi Culture Fest’, London

Ghanaian Afropop artist, Sister Deborah, will be performing at the maiden edition of ‘Life Is Eazi Culture Fest’, at Roundhouse, London on 23rd September, 2017.

Sister Derby, as her fans love to call her, captured global attention following the release of her sensational single ‘Uncle Obama’. With her mesmerizing stagecraft, funny and easy to sing along songs, The African Mermaid continues to excite fans through the release of songs such as ‘Ghana Jollof’, ‘Sampanana’, and her latest, ‘Never Leave You’.

Headlined by Afropop sensation, Mr. Eazi (who is the founder of the festival), according to Roundhouse, will showcase the art, dance, fashion and music curated by Mr. Eazi, culminating in a full-blown concert by the pioneering artist himself’. 

The ‘Life Is Eazi Culture Fest’ is an opportunity to witness what defines ‘Afropop culture’.

Listen to Sister Deborah’s latest single, ‘Never Leave You’, where she sings in Pidgin, Ga and Twi here:

by: Rahim M (@swayekidd)