THE CUTS: EP 02 VOL. 13: Joey B’s “Sweetie Pie” and videos from other artists

THE CUTS is your weekly round-up of songs and videos-and anything that has caught our attention and think you must hear or see. The music featured here aren’t genre specific. ——————————————— Joey B feat King Promise – Sweetie Pie Joey B is lately not just dropping singles but visuals to accompany the songs; sometimes at the same time or within 24 hours of release. That trend began with the release of the nostalgia evoking ’89’ earlier this year. He followed the template with singles off the Darryl EP- ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Ranger’, and now, his new smooth and groovy ‘Sweetie Pie’ doesn’t depart from this trend. I love Joey B when he sing-raps. His thin voice and laid back persona permeates the song, giving it a feeling of appeal and coziness. These are what ‘Sweetie Pie’ boast. Featuring singer King Promise (who one YouTube comment described as a ‘virus’ for his recent musical ubiquitousness), the two trade voices and exalt the lovely virtues of their lovers: ‘your sugary lips are the sweetest’, For non- Ghanaian readers, ‘Sweetie Pie’ is a slang used to describe a very lovely or special person in one’s life. In the context of this song, Joey B, along with King Promise are telling the world how much they value the women in their lives. What makes this song such a potential hit (it’s Joey B anyway) is it’s feet moving groove, sing along hook, simple lyrics and the nostalgic feeling it offers, courtesy that Kofi Nti and Ofori Amponsah ‘Odo Ndwom’ interpolation. (He applauds them highly in the videos closing comments). The influence of legendary highlife crooner, Ofori Amponsah on Joey B is becoming apparent, and it’s something to be proud about. Joey is acknowledging a brilliant veteran artist and also helping re-introduce these old classics to a new and younger generation. Joey B enlisted Yaw Skyface for directorial duties for the video for ‘Sweetie Pie’. And like the experienced videographer he is, he let the location, coordination and the joyous intimacy breeze through the video. The location is absolutely stunning, especially the drone view of the valley of township and greenery nature of the location. The dance scene between King Promise and Joey B towards the end of the video looked superb, the costuming and the seeming playfulness adds to the video’s appeal. https://youtu.be/zY-NLE0SwLI GURU – Only You https://youtu.be/5grim0-GGe8 Guru qualifies as one of the most hardworking artists in the country, judging by the number of songs and videos he has released this year alone. His new video for ‘Only You’, a betrayal of love themed song is all glossy and pristine. Salifu Abdul Hafiz shows captures Guru riding through streets of Dubai, in a Rolls Royce, with the thoughts of a cheating wife playing in his mind. Unsure of his wife’s fidelity, he plants a secret camera (in the eye of a teddy bear) which confirmed his suspicions. It’s not a Dubai shot video if one of the city’s iconic landmarks , The Burj Al Arab and, at least a belly dancing scene isn’t featured. One curious question worth asking is how Guru continues to be regarded a ‘second tier’ artist despite his enormous catalogue- songs and videos? Diamond Platnumz feat Rick RossWaka https://youtu.be/q1iHgDTplfw Tanzanian act, Diamond Plantnuz is the latest African artist to join forces with American hip hop act Rick Ross on a song. ‘Waka’ carries an R&B tinge and is a celebration of life and success song, which are well reflected in the video. Diamond is seen in a party mood- enjoying the company of women-both indoors and by the pool, popping Bellaire bottles and teaching Rick Ross some dance moves. The video appears to have been shot in Miami and boast of elements visible in most Moe Musa directed videos. Hopefully, this collaboration with Rick Ross may get the ‘Sikomi’ hitmaker visible in the Americas. OTI- Lost https://youtu.be/6b2SxS-40qA Rapper OTI remains a fascinating figure to me since I first saw him. My interest led me to listen to ‘Truth’, off his mixtape “Untold Story”. Two things piqued my interest: his ability to lace a story and his consistent spread of positivism on wax. ‘Lost’ is his recent work. He shot the video in New York. ‘Lost’ talks about life, friendship and daily hustle. With a style reflective of hip hop icon, Notorious BIG (whose painting hanged from a restaurant wall OTI was relaxing), OTI paints a picture of his struggles: ‘Oh God, I was down on my last/Looking around for the cash’. He touches on about untrustworthiness: ‘the same ones who clown with you and laugh/ be the niggas who’ll be scheming/turn around and blast’, although he believes your problem’s my problem/ we y’all in deep’. He’s shown watching old tapes of himself rapping during his time in Ghana.

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THE CUTS: EP 02 Vol. 12

THE CUTS is your weekly round-up of songs and videos that has caught our attention and think you must hear or see. The music featured aren’t genre specific. THE CUTS is delivered every FRIDAY.

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Ria Boss – lo-fi Experiment Vol.1

Ria Boss couldn’t have chosen a better day to release her self-produced, three track EP, ‘lo-fi Experiment’. It’s her birthday and the EP is her gift to fans. Under 8 minutes, she takes listeners into a zone of pure experimentation. The songs feel like a studio practice sessions where she’s trying to find the perfect melody for a song. All the songs are skeletal and piano driven. Juice + Lovers Mantra is like a cry of a jilted lover who’s still basking under the illusion of being in love (or is she reminding someone that she’s still his love?). On the final track, Nirvana, Ria Boss details her meeting with her lover, throwing in the ‘you know you’re mine’ reminder. Healer is a poem about identity, chasing dreams, hope, and self-love, recited by a young girl. She urges all black people to strive for the best. ‘Hey Black, do you know you can do what you want to do if you try to do what you can do’, the young black girl reminds us.

Cwesi Oteng feat Flo’Riva Inc – Next In Line

Cwesi Oteng’s new single ‘Next In Line’ is a song about hope and faith. It’s a call on all not to despair for they are next in line to witness the miracle of God. Fusing live elements of pop rock, techno and hip-hop, Cwesi Oteng serves another praise song that calls for all to sing and dance along. ‘Next In Line’ is the first single off ‘Anthems’, his album to be released in January, 2018. According to Cwesi Oteng who made a name off the back of his hip-hop driven God Dey Bless Me, the confessional ‘Next In Line’ introduces the sound carved for the ‘Anthems’ album- a global sound and essence of congregational worship and praise as greats like Hillsong and Bethel Music have contributed to the world’

King Promise – Selfish

A slow burner with the trappings of a hit song is what King Promise offers on ‘Selfish’. With it’s highlife groove laced exquisitely by Killbeatz, King Promise showcase once more why he’s among the best vocalist around. On this song, he doesn’t mind looking into the eyes of his lover from dusk to dawn. He doesn’t want to leave her side. King Promise is proving the depth of his love by being selfish (all pun). ‘Oh Yeah’ earned him commercial success. His gorgeous delivery on M.anifest’s ‘Me Ne Woa’ showcased his vocal range. Selfish is definitely one to take him to the next level. By the way, Killbeatz and King Promise evidently create something great when they join forces. A tape between the two won’t be a bad idea. Or?

Bowale – Afro Love

Bowale’s (real name Adebowale Adelegan) Afro Love is a slow burning, attractive song thanks to it’s afrobeat and highlife rhythms. His vocals are soft and tender, and on his new song, he serenades a potential lover in English, pidgin and Yoruba. Signed to Dream Chaser Management, Bowale is an afropop/jazz singer and songwriter who believes in the power of versatility: I believe versatility is a tool that every artist should have’.

Denzel Roberts – One Day Chale

Just from the title, one could discern what the song is about: keeping faith and waiting for your big break one day. Denzel Roberts is earning a reputation as a sharer of hopeful messages. As he points out, the road to success isn’t always a smooth sailing one. There are obstacles and hindrances that could suck away ones confidence. But, giving up isn’t an option. Keeping a positive mindset is what separate winners from losers. Produced by Nixie, One Day Chale’s magic lies in the well laid highlife beat.

THE CUTS: EP 02 Vol. 11

THE CUTS is your weekly round-up of songs and videos that has caught our attention and think you must hear or see. The music featured aren’t genre specificTHE CUTS is delivered every FRIDAY.    


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Kula – Don’t Do It

Subs! Subs!! Subs!!! The two versed ‘Don’t Do’ It is full of subliminal shots at people of all shades- self styled social media critics, bullies, corrupt folks and those who engage in vicious political debates respectively. The beat, produced by Timmy (he produced Don’t Blow It) is hip hop in tone; instantly drawing one to nod his head to its rhythms. Kula, on the first verse attack the often displayed facade of many on twitter who ‘disrespect people for 10 retweets’ despite ‘making zero income’ as well as internet bullies. Kula is one of the most talented young artistes around. His versatility is confirmed by his ability to live perfectly within the walls of today’s new pop wave and good old hip-hop. For what makes Kula a favourite his social consciousness: his ability to observe and ran rap commentary on social issues. And on ‘Don’t Do It’, he exhibits that.

 

 

Kuvie feat RJZ, $pacely, Kiddblack –Fine Girl

Villain Sounds producer Kuvie steps away from his infectiously mellow and instru clanking productions for a stripped down, fast paced, azonto flavoured beat on ‘Fine Girl’. Featuring RJZ, $pacely and KiddBalck, three of the many prominent upcoming collaborators tipped for greater things, they take turns to express their affection for a ‘fine lady’. The entire song is simply fun – courtesy its body wiggling effect and simple lyrics. ‘I only hope that you can please me/ Covered up but you look so revealing’ fittingly describes the fine girl in question. The chorus could mean anything from her being requested to shake her bum or flex her posterior.

 

HK – Somebody

We all need to mind our own business. People should be allowed to grow at their own pace. That’s the message singer HK is sending on his song ‘Somebody’. The song’s strength lies in the mellow, soft drum perforated beat and the soothing vocals dripping over the beat. Singing mostly in pidgin, HK reminds us ‘everybody get ein shine’ and that ‘we all, we be somebody’. Sam Sowah, popularly known by his stage name HK, is a Ghanaian Afro-fusion artist and producer. He began doing music in college despite the fact that the ability and enthusiasm for music has for some time, been there since he was young. HK featured on the ‘Acoustic Night Show’ with Berla Mundi on Live 91.9 FM. He has since worked with other artist and producers including Kuvie, in the creation of “Before I Say Yes” by Mimi Elsa. “My inspiration and drive comes from two AVMB’s quotes which says ‘Your mental picture is your actual future’ and ‘Success is Mediocrity'”, he said. “I just want to inspire the world through my music and be a major contributor to the global proliferation of Afro music.” He added in his interview with Berla Mundi on Live FM. Those horns are nothing but heavenly.

 

PapaChie – Why You Wan Hate?

The message is summed up by the song title. ‘Why You Wan Hate’ admonishes people to stay positive, encourage others to do better rather than adopting a crab in a bucket behaviour. Produced by Kayso, Why You Wan Hate? carries an afro- dance feel, a genre PapaChie is determined to make his own.  And it is inspired by real life events too.

 

THE CUTS: EP 02 VOL 10

THE CUTS is your weekly round-up of songs and videos that has caught our attention and think you must hear or see. The music featured aren’t genre specific. THE CUTS is delivered every FRIDAY.              ———————————————-

Akan – aBUSUAPanyini
Akan continues to prove why he’s one of the most valuable rappers around. A gifted lyricist with a grip on the twi language, he has overtime grown a fanbase who get mesmerized by his talent. With news of a full debut album on the way, Akan has embarked on a string of releases or freestyles where he not only excites his fans, but win new fans. His new single is ‘aBusuaPanyin’ (Clan Head), he lays down his credentials as a rapper, jabs and threaten competitors in a tone that reeks of respect than contempt. ‘aBusuaPanyin’ is a two part track with similar running theme. The first part samples Rapsody’s ‘2AM’ (produced by 9th Wonder).  The second part is from Elli Sostres’ ‘New Perilo’. The dusty sounding, 808 slapping 9th Wonder beat perfectly brings out the ‘evil’ in Akan with bars like ‘your favourite rapper wants a verse/ no problem/ hope he’s saved enough for his funeral’. Since his emergence on the scene, Akan has earned comparison with some hiplife legends.


Here, he speaks of being the embodiment of Obrafour (for his mastery of language and depth), Komfo Kwadei (for his creativity) and Lord Kenya (for his skills and energy). Despite the expression of love by fans on social media, he has kept a low profile. His reason is captured in this bar: ‘I’m always indoors/No attention/No likes/Hand them to social media rappers’. ‘The the beat ended. Not his lyrics’, the skit before the “New Perilo’ beat drop sums up Akan. ‘I’m more popular in Kumasi than your favourite Kumasi rapper’, cold blooded boast.

AYO!9:TRO – Coltears

Soulful hip hop beat, good flow and storyline is what is heard on ‘Coltears’, a song by AYO!9:TR. ‘Coltears’ is the first song by dZZZdope, a collective consisting of AYo!9:TRo and T3rrific and O.N.E, off their soon to be released “The BLVCK SOLE Collection’ project, which they describe as ‘observations made as being Ghanaians, on our journey to appreciating our roots, longevity and future of music, feminine abstractions, our dreams as young, regular Ghanaians as well as marriage. 


The EP received production works from WebieJustDidIt and OdeeOne (North Bridge Studios, T3rrific, Nixie (Will Nation/White Wolf), WvD and Fantom. They released their first project ”The Classic Nights’ in 2015. Below is the link to the EP


Elsa – Before I Say

I got to know if I’m ready for this journey/ if it’s right for me’. The ‘journey’ referred to in the lyrics is one of commitment to love. Loving someone is easy. The difficult bit is deciding if the person is the right one. That is Elsa’s dilemma as expressed on ‘Before I Say’, a love ballad which has her weighing the various nuances of love before committing to it, including going ‘down on my knees to the Lord in prayers to ask for directions’. ‘Before I Say’ is a series of contemplations over love even when you love the person. Produced by Kuvie and HK, ‘Before I Say’ has Elsa burrowing through the heavy piano chords that drives the song. The infusion of those bird chirps gives it that ‘outpour of thoughts at dawn’ feel. Elsa is a singer, a stylist and a designer. Her love for music began early although she decided to hone her talent after Senior High School. Despite her exhibition of talent, ‘Before I Say’ has few technical flaws. She struggles singing in falsetto, she loses breath and her voice is piercing. The mastering isn’t all smooth. With the quote ‘Your potentials are potent enough to propel you into prosperity’ as a guiding principle, Elsa should polish the few black spots on her vocals and she’ll be great.

Abonda feat Alexia – To You

‘To You’ is a confession of two hearts in love who are also aware of their own flaws. With its mellow-tempo tone, good singing, clear expression of emotions (where necessary), Abonda and Alexia pour out their hearts over a broody productions by Epidemix. Listening to the song, it’s clear Abonda isn’t a singer, yet hold his own against the vocalist, Alexia. There’s sincere weariness in his tone when he sings ‘I can’t make you fall in love… but I can make you feel the feeling right’. Dropping a rap verse on the song was the mistake he made. Sometimes, singing your way till the song fade is the best option. Dropping a rap verse is a bad idea unless it’s a memorable one.

THE CUTS: EP 02 VOL 09

THE CUTS is your weekly round-up of songs and videos that has caught our attention and think you must hear or see. The music featured aren’t genre specific. THE CUTS is delivered every FRIDAY


             Sammy Forson – I’m Tired

It was a matter of time before he made his formal entry into the music space by having his credits on a song. The pull factor to be an ‘artiste’ grows very strong especially when you’ve been around artistes and music for decades. For radio presenter and artiste manager Sammy Forson, ‘I’m Tired’ is his first official record. The Live FM Mid-morning radio host goes for some top cherry MCs like Cabum, EL, Kojo-Cue, Obibini and LJ on this hard hitting hip-hop beat. And they both slayed, with each teasing out some identifiable tiring experiences. 

Thebeat is too inviting for any MC not to dream of hopping on. Obibini and LJ (his name isn’t familiar to many) were incredible, holding their own against the other three certified MCs. ‘ I taya say underground MCs just dey suffer/ the money dey but Miss. Malaika s)) dem dey sponsor’, Obinini makes his tiredness known. As Sammy Forson himself did intimate before the beat kicked in: ‘The people all around the world try to make a difference. Just like me, they’re tired’. THIS IS HIP-HOP

Adomaa – BRA

Watching this video, I kept wondering what could top having your girl invite you to an afternoon date where she offers not food but some nice musical performance as a way of assuring you of her love. That’s precisely what Adomaa did in the video for ‘Bra’. Shot entirely at the Kona Cafe, Osu, Adomaa takes centre stage and croons to her boyfriend whose identity is hidden for a few minutes. The video is simple, appealing and colourful. It’s very clear that the three (Adomaa, her boyfriend and the saxophonist) had extreme fun on set. It’s also a nice advert for Kona Cafe. If you’ve not been there, better check it out. 

Juls feat Nonso Amadi & Maleek Berry – Early

There couldn’t have been a better first video after the release of ‘Leap of Faith’ EP than this standout track ‘Early’. A warm, well toasted love song has a video that carries such same clout. It’s another date themed video with Juls and Maleek Berry on what appears like a vacation trip to the beach with girls they picked up a night ago. Even though the visuals isn’t as evocative as the song, seeing the characters in full bliss is in itself superb. Makes you want to take a trip at the beach with the one(s) you love for a good time.

Eboo – Good Life

https://www.audiomack.com/song/teameboogmailcom/good-life

It’sbeen almost a decade since afro dancehall artist Eboo captured the attention of Ghanaians with his debut single. Many may remember the hook to ‘Once, Twice’. After a very long hiatus, Eboo makes a return a new single ‘Good Life’, a dancehall, tune with a this-is-why-I-love-you theme. ‘Good Life’ is an average yet decent output (compared to his decade old single). It’s a forgettable song.  Wth backing from Empire Entertainment (which his big brother media mogul Bola Ray runs) you may find yourself singing along to it before long.


Tony Bryte ft Serge – Aaliyah

If you are expecting some crazy, ‘put me in my feelings’ type of lyrics due to the title of the single, sorry for leaping before watching. Tony Bryte abandons his R&B scales for something far off his comfort zone. For what the lyrics fail to offer, the beat provides thanks to it’s spikey, experimental sound. ‘Aaliyah’ is a love song where Tony Bryte and Serge serenade and confess their love to their ‘Aaliyah’. Forgive me Tony for thinking you were a Nigerian all along. Just got to know you are Takoradi abrantie. 

THE CUTS: EP 02 Vol. 8

THE CUTS is your weekly round-up of songs and videos that has caught our attention and think you must hear or see. The music featured aren’t genre specific. THE CUTS is delivered every FRIDAY.                                                                            ——————————————————–

M.anifest feat Mi Casa – Be My Woman
M.anifest seems to be strengthening ties with South Africa as a country and her artistes in recent times. And the reason isn’t far-fetched (it’s all about economics).  With the rise in brand comes the need to enter new markets and no music market in Africa comes bigger than South Africa –if we are talking about the existence of a formidable music industry.  From shooting videos in South Africa to featuring her artistes like HHP (on Jigga) and ProVerbs, M.Dot recently featured South African vocalist Nomisupasta on ‘’Cupid’s Crooked Bow’’ off his “No Where Cool” LP. 

On his new single ‘Be My Woman’, M.anifest drafts the three-man music collective Mi Casa. In this video, viewers are given a snapshot into the daily life of Humeleng SOLAR Modise (the crush he wants as his woman) from when she wakes up in the morning through to her yoga session to when she takes her bath to when she picks her clothes and steps out.  In the end, we see she’s indeed his. The song carries an unmistakable house music vibe (those superlative guitar chimes). One major classic song kept ringing in my ears listening to “Be My Woman”: Paul Simon’s ‘Diamonds On The Sole of Her Shoes’. Drafting Mi Casa on this song is indeed a smart move. They indeed spread that soulful magic over it. 

Reynolds TheGentleman– Ole

Need to say this: the video for “Ole” emit a stronger sense of loss that matches those heard on the audio. There are moments in the video where you feel such strong sense of sadness for Reynolds, and wish you could call Adomaa to forgo everything and take him back. The sadness in his voice isn’t as painful as the emotions across his face when singing those burning lyrics. The greyish tone of the entire video, the almost empty room, the painful strumming of the guitar chords and those crushing waves towards the end of the video as captured by the video director Ben Bold, sum up the feeling of hurt engulfing Reynolds, who interestingly remained a gentleman despite the chaos within.

Fuse ODG – No Daylight

‘No Daylight’ is a summer hit without a doubt. From its fast paced rhythms to its afro dance vibe, this Killbeatz produced, Fuse ODG song has everything to love about it. ‘No Daylight’ is a song that fit every occasion: gym sessions, raves, carnival. Its afro dance vibe (popularly called kolomashie in Ghana) hands it a joyous and vibrant outlook as expressed in the video- the well-choreographed dance moves by dancers of various creed and ages. I must admit that, I’ve never heard many afro dance tunes with so many lyrics like ‘No Daylight’. It’s becoming apparent that Fuse ODG’s list of big records as seen with “Azonto” and ‘Antenna” and “Million Pound Girl” (Badder Than Bad) is growing. “No Daylight” is definitely making that list. It could even surpass them in terms of global reach. 

B4Bonah feat King Promise – Girl

Don’t let your wave die!! That’s exactly the life B4Bonah is living, musically. Having caught attention with his hit single “Dear God”, which has since received two official remixes, dropping another banger is the smartest thing to do. “Girl” seems to be another song destined to propel him further. What’s highly impressive about the video is the choice of location for the video- The Tema Harbour. Apart from Kojo Antwi who shot a video at the docks for “Bra”, not many artistes/directors have done it. For choosing such a spot, David Nichol-Sey and his scouts deserve thumbs up. Don’t be surprised to see other artistes/video directors creating something at the docks soon. B4bonah is among a legion of new artistes pushing the envelope with their music. Putting another promising (pun) act, King Promise on ‘Girl’ wasn’t a mistak-King Promise is receiving tones of love lately. If there’s something I love about King Promise more than his singing, it’s his dance moves. Goodness!! 

    

THE CUTS : EP 02 Vol. 8

                   Ko-Jo Cue: Me Dat

Banging hip hop beats. Great delivery. Well measured boast. All these embalm the new single from Ko-Jo Cue. The BBnZ artiste has, for a while, been swinging from activeness (drop a tune or verse on a feature) to inactiveness (silence). The clamour for a new tape from YDL (Cue’s other moniker) has been on, but, Cue isn’t really bent on dropping any material soon, it seems. 

As he explained in an interview with BeatPhreak, he’s taking his time to create music he truly want to make. The pressure from fans won’t sway him. ‘Me Dat’ could be the precursor to a project from him. It could be just a single to assure fans he’s still here. ‘Now, I may not have a million dollars sitting in the bank but I surely feel like it’, Ko-Jo Cue opens his verse on this Sam 1 produced single. 

Reynolds (The Gentleman) – Ole

When I saw the tweet announcing “Ole”, I was expecting a pop song (that’s the kind of songs I’ve associated Reynolds with). Not only has ‘Ole’ influenced a mind change, it has introduced another side of Reynolds- his versatility and ability to hit notes pretty well. “Ole” is a ballad about a lost lover. The vulnerability and the ache associated with such a loss is present in the song. Reynolds, who doubles as the in-house producer for VI (Vision Inspired) Music, has moved from the third to the second spot on my artiste roaster for his label. The songwriting is beautiful, emotive and poetic as evidenced by this lyric: ‘The night was cold and my night stood still/ The minute she said that our love wasn’t real/ A tortured mind and a lonely face/ I’m fading away in this empty space‘.

Kuvie – Updated Catalogue

Music producer, Kuvie’s production catalogue is a tall one (if you compare it to his active years as a producer). Having worked with some of the biggest artistes around and releasing his own works, Kuvie shared link to his updated SoundCloud page. From old songs such as “Awo’a” to self produced songs like “Deep” and Joey B’s “Chorkor Special” (from the Darryl EP), the 32 tracks with a running time of 2:30:13 minutes is for everyone’s enjoyment.