New Music & Video: Safo, Anyemi & Kwame Nino – Trotro (# Allegation)

 

Trotro experiences are among the interesting moments one would have especially Accra residents. From the conversations- sometimes heated and/or fun across a myriad of topics; the stoking heat, the annoying stoppages and of course, the mates’ attempt to conveniently forget your change- all melt into moments of infuriation and/or excitements. Residents of Accra city and the many trotro (mini bus) commuters know that, trotro experiences are a trial. These experiences are what Safo, Anyemi and Kwame Nino have storified in their latest song ‘Trotro (#Allegation)’. With a sing-along hook, descriptive and relatable lyrics, the three rappers narrate their experiences in trotro rides over this horn Nel Magnum produced beat. To sum up the experience: ‘Accra dey be but the traffic dey bore’

The Experiences:

Anyemi (@AnyemiBone)

Papa trotro driver, aha na wo b3 loadi?”  is usually a common question one hear passengers ask drivers who flout road regulations with impunity. Anyemi also questions the driver in the same manner but he (driver) doesn’t seem to be bothered as his mate continues hollering for passengers. His trip doesn’t feel so bad compared to the other passengers at the back because unlike them who have altered seats and little spaces to occupy, he got to the front seat which was relatively comfortable than his co-passengers.

Safo (@forksafo)

Safo’s trip was to Botwe (the town and not the school). Entering the bus and heading straight to the backseat may have been a bad idea as he realized it wasn’t a comfy spot for a long legged fellows like himself. Amidst the feeling of discomfort, you realize you’re not that special when you get addressed by the amount you gave the mate; just like everyone else gets addressed (yes, yes Ghc 10). If you forget to beckon to the call, you lose your change. His trip was also filled with a many infuriating stops, which is very unusual.

Kwame Nino (@nino_GOT_game)

For Nino, he once got a troski (trotro) from Tetteh Quarshie to Abormi and he was already irritated before the trip; the deleterious heat in Accra and his empty pocket depriving him of comfort (an uber ride). His trip started on a bad note when a fat woman (obolo) sat beside to him. He was fuming with anger but not as bad as the fumes from this Obolo’s weave-on. The conductor (mate) also seemed to have made matters worse when he kept on stalling with his change. At this point, Nino decided he he’d had enough; deciding to get down at the next bus stop. To cap his frustrating experience, he had his white t-shirt ripped by poking metal from one of the seats when alighting. The Ga expletive ‘ony3 s*#mi’ was his way of saying thanks to the driver.

What a series of unfortunate events you might say? But this could be a pretty regular troski experience. You’ve probably not had a full trotro experience if your answer is NO to Anyemi and Safo’s questions: ‘trotro tear your shadda before? / You ever sleep wey them take you pass before? / The mate ever take your change before? / The driver never ever delay your time before?”

Despite the video being a low budgeted one, it had some good moments. Some of the visuals did match the lyrical narratives of the song-for example when Kwame Nino spoke about an obolo passenger sitting beside him. The drone shot of the Kwame Nkrumah Circle was also well done. Likewise, the spot of humor captured when a female slapped a guy who was harassing her. One can’t fail to realize how the lighting was from inside the trotro. The pictures were dark; making it hard to clearly make out the faces of the artistes. Also, the humorous moments were few. The director could have added a few funny shots which didn’t make the final to bring out the different worlds one witnesses in trotro rides.

And if you think the song title Allegation means the dictionary definition, do watch to the end of the video to get the full meaning as used in the streets.

Listen to song here

THE CUTS: EP 01 Vol. 5

juls

DJ Juls ft. Not3s, Kojo Funds, EUGY – BAD

As a friend put it, the productions of Juls Baby reflect the man. They are calm, smooth and of course charming. His latest outing further my friend’s observations. DJ Juls is obviously picking up from where he left off last year, as far as creating and producing ‘Summer Jams’ for the ravers. Bad drips of mellow dancehall vibes drenched in minimal elements of drums and snares. Not3s, Kojo Funds and Eugy deliver verses that equally match the tone of the production. Not3s drops a very catchy and easy to remember hook: ‘So babe, could you slow down or go low? /…If you want you could go down or go home? / Told you already love how you go down’, his words swimming through the melodic beat.

In the Mira Jebira directed video for Bad, DJ Juls and his boys are in what appears as a basement club vibing with the ladies-with Nots3, Kojo Funds and Eugy trying to woo the bar tender and other ladies in the club respectively. What is impressive about the video is the lightening-it added an incredible tone to the club setting. Any keen observer of DJ Juls and his works would realize how he keeps topping his own works with each new release. Last year, he gave us Teef Teef and Give Me Your Love, two big jams that helped grow Juls’ profile across globes. With Bad, DJ Juls has not only dropped a potential global tune but introduced Nots3 and Kojo Funds to new audiences- including Ghanaians.

wusu

WUSU feat Team Salut- Lumba

It’s always a great pleasure hearing new artiste sample works of old Ghanaian artistes. Over the years, we have had the likes of Joey B (Cigarettes, Otoolege), Ayat (Iron Boy), ASEM (Bye Bye), Reggie Rockstone (Keep Your Eyes On the Road) incorporate highlife samples or lyrics in their songs to great effects. WUSU, a UK based singer has joined the sample train with his fantastic tune that celebrate one of our beloved legend, Daddy Lumba. The song is well put together-from the catch hook which references Lumba’s dance moves (I don’t dance/ I daddy Lumba) to the piano rendition of the classic Lumba single Aben Wo Ha. The blend of highlife and trap beats aside, Wusu was smart to reference titles of very popular songs on this obvious hit track. If Adam Levine paid tribute to Mick Jagger’s dance skills on Dance Like Mick Jagger, seeing Wusu put respect on the name of Daddy Lumba deserves much praise. Still unfamiliar of what the ‘I don’t dance I daddy lumba’ reference is, watch it here

 

ad

ADOMAA – April Fool

Adomaa as appropriately titled, the video was released on April 1. Colourful, great camera angles and shots, nice costumes and location, the video had Adomaa, along with rapper Wan O playing hype man, trading the soulful ballads for bars (rap). With talk about (insert lyrics), Adomaa’s momentary veering off her lane of singing to rapping over the Drumroll laid beats might have caught many by surprise. Watching her reminded me of Efya when she started out on her smokey, heart is bleeding pain tune: ‘You think say I be stuck to jazz, then April Fool/ point to them rappers make I murder who?‘. One standout scene for me was her puppetry antics. Her body expressions and again, the colouring handed it this hell tomb sense. The song may perhaps grow on me. It was a good attempt by her at projecting another side of her. However, the video is very much memorable than the song

Watch the video below:

 

ed

EDI-YOUNG – Ginger

Edi Young is back with a wavy new song- Ginger!  The old Skillionaire and current Kings Capital Music Group singer delivered a smooth rhythmical song on a MonieBeatz instrumental. He talks passionately about how his lover ‘gingers’ him up to achieve a lot in life just to make her comfortable. After all, she’s the reason he’s grinding, so in the end she could be his: Sake of you I dey grind baby/ because of you I go go make money/ odoyewu ehh. His lover is the primary reason he’s working this hard and he recognizes this. If she’s nothing but daily inspiration/motivation, then the love here must be really strong. If that’s how it goes, it wouldn’t be bad to love this hard then? After all it’s a win- win situation. Ginger has the bounce to make you do some few body wiggles.

 

Video Review: Sister Deborah ‘Sampanana’ feat. Medikal

DE

Word of mouth information is very important since one can’t put a thumb on everything happening around us in this fast pacing universe. Through word of mouth, lives has been impacted; both positively and otherwise. When it comes to music, a friend’s vote of confidence is enough to get you to press play or listen to an artiste(s). In this era of social media and easy access to music and videos, a tag is the new word of mouth.

I’m not one who get sold on music or videos by others especially when the person who’s making the recommendation is the artiste’s stan or belong to the circles of the artiste; either via direct or distant association. So, when I heard @officialKWAME on his show on YFM this past Sunday raving, throwing the ‘I live for this’ mantra about Sister Debbie’s new video, I was indifferent towards checking it out. Monday morning came and as I settled on scrolling through my twitter feed, I chanced on the link. Clicking on the link doesn’t take much to do, only your data would be wasted if the video or music isn’t as good as you might have heard or envisaged. Thank Lord, the wi-fi is paid for by someone.

Sampanana by Sister Deborah featuring Medikal was worth the data spent watching it. The video is simple, ornate, stylistic and very conventional. The seam between these qualities came out with perfection. Sampanana was shot in an uncompleted storey building; with the camera following Debbie within the building. The camera does switch from her to Medikal, who also cut across various floors of the ‘house’. The simplicity of the video was in the choice of building and the colourful textile curtains used – a common feature of squatter homes. Shooting it at one place meant whoever is watching won’t be excessively distracted by many shots from different locations. If there was one scene I loved, it was how Wanlov’s feet made a cameo when Debbie played on the name Wanlov) and Fokn Bois in her verse.

Of course, Wanlov directed the video. You may not like Wanlov for whatever plausible reason but when it comes to his concepts for videos, you can bet on him to create something arty out of the ordinary. Unlike some of these video directors who are associated with glossy and big budget videos; where often the unnecessary excesses overshadow the necessary, the Wanlov Kubolor Cini crew do much more with relatively small budget. Not really puzzling since their greatest gift lies in keeping it simple, raw, organic and relatable. The crown jewel of his video concepts are that, the art is paramountly represented.

Writer Eli Tetteh talks his chapbook ‘Ellipses’ and other issues

If you have been a regular on Ghana twitter, the handle @elidot may have appeared on your timeline at a point. 

The handle belongs Eli Tetteh, a man who wears many hats- a lecturer, music head, writer, poet and geek. His broad knowledge base and intelligence on myriad subjects has made him a favourite of many people on both social media and in real life.

After years of writing for a number of publications and blogs-notably Nkenten (@nkenten), an art focused blog which he curates- Eli has finally documented his thoughts in ‘Ellipses‘, a chapbook which will be launched on Saturday, April 1 (check poster above for details)

Ellipses‘-filed in both poetry and journal form- harped on critical issues which he considers worth addressing. Ahead of the launch of his chapbook, Eli Tetteh has released a video in which he answer questions about ‘Ellipses‘. The video is a collaboration between @nkenten and @culartblog

Watch the video below: 

Singer SUTRA talks about her visual narrative film Waves/The Water

su

London based Ghanaian soul/jazz singer SUTRA, on Friday (10th March) released visuals for her songs Waves/The Water to critical commendation. Waves/The Water (#W) is a visual narrative or film that merges two songs off her 2016 mixtape The Art of Being (listen here).

Shot in Ghana, specifically Aburi Botanical Gardens, the aesthetically endowed film is laden with both cultural (death, dance) and spiritual (growth, womanhood, newness) references which reflect certain identity traits within the Ghanaian society especially as espoused in Akan culture.

Directed by SUTRA and Edem Dotse, the video, just like the songs carry a very solemn yet gaudy appeal; reflecting moments of feminine strength (the Earth has weight; as seen in the beginning of the video) and rebirth (reconciliation (with the past) preceding the video for ‘The Waters’).

Two days after the release of #W, SUTRA was on twitter to answer questions from fans about her narrative film. The questions bothered on the inspiration for the film, the symbolism reflected and the challenges she encountered working on the film.

Below are some of the questions and her responses to them. Since the responses were sometimes in short hand and in pieces (twitter and its 140 character rule), we have merged the responses together for easy read and also rewritten in full, some of the shorthand writings.

Thanks for this. The idea of telling two contrasting stories/narratives in one – it isn’t something that has been done before in my opinion. I felt the need to show everyone else what I saw in my head when I created Waves and The Water: different ends of a spectrum of pain. I couldn’t imagine telling the story of one song without contrasting it w/ the other.  There are references to a lot that is important to me: Ghanaian culture (adinkra/funeral dances/colour), water (healing, duality) + womanhood (so yeah!) Also, I wanted to create a living masterpiece that brought different forms of art/creation together. Music, film, photography, dance.

It was super exciting and scary to be vulnerable in new ways to what I was used to. Challenges were present but not many. I think this was because I had 3 conditions: i.e. to work with people I felt I could trust, who were passionate and unashamedly creative. Also, to add that this was why I knew I had to reach out to my friend David Dotse (@DavidEdem_). We’ve worked together before on music. We make a good team because of what we each bring to the table, and seem to have a similar drive and seriousness to what we do when we do it. There were logistical challenges but family and my friends came through. Main challenge was with self and again, choosing vulnerability.

To understand that, the question is ‘what do the flowers represent’? The child represents the cycle of womanhood. The same flower she sees being buried is one she will carry herself as a woman. The flowers mean whatever pain/struggle each of the women has faced. The loss of a child; loss of innocence; of freedom; of love and loss of sanity, even. It was important to me that attention was paid to the pains women carry, and also to the importance of reconciling by burying and moving on. Last thing: the idea of burial isn’t a new one. Burial and healing go in hand. I’ll tell you that this is why when a woman loses an unborn child for example, she’s encouraged to have a burial for it, to mourn and make peace for her spirit. Burial matters.

sutt

Ah, good thought. No, Waves and The Water are two separate stories with a common main character: me. Costume changes because song, mood and story do. First video (Waves) is dark. The Waters is light. Put together show the ends of a spectrum and their relation. Women wear white in to imply the sanctity of burial. I wanted to convey that idea of burial as also holy, necessary and healing.

I think that people do not talk enough about their stories. But our stories are valid and important, what heal and bring community and save. Pain is a major part of the reason people do not share their stories. By demonstrating that sharing heals, the power of pain is dismantled. This is literally chanted in waves “The agony no more has won.” I think the realisation that we can rise from our experiences is freeing. Our ancestors would gather round a fire to share stories, lessons. There was a power in that, not present at all now. I use creativity as a means to tell stories and encourage others to do the same. Storytellers can change the dynamic, if they don’t fear pain.

 The story of acknowledging pain and rising despite it, becoming enlightened by it. I want to leave you to interpret, but these will help. In Waves, a community/family of people invite you to listen to a story they are telling i.e. first group shot (which returns at end). The video then progresses to tell you the story of how one of their own was separated from them & taken on a journey (hence me walking). The family/tribe become the story in order to share it with you.We move from them narrating to becoming. Cue dance, visual triggers. But the central story is of one of them breaking away (“captured by the chains” i.e. pulled away by a force and finding herself becoming who she was created to be. Hence the showing of that symbol on her back at the end which was hidden before.

The symbols give a clue. The ladder on the men’s chests is what she wears around her neck. It translates to “ladder of death”. The symbol at the beginning translates to “the earth has weight” this is a saying that is wise, about the gravity of being rooted. The character is taken from where she does not truly belong and that is painful at first, but then finds meaning + identity. The characters at the end represent wise beings – supernatural, if you’d like. Pain taught the character wisdom. This is the summary.

by Swaye Kidd (@swayekidd) aka SwayeSutra

 

Video Review: M.anifest – Palm Wine And Whisky feat. Dex Kwasi

One of the effects of excessive inebriation is that, you can’t really tell reality from illusion. You are caught in a grey field-between truth and doubt- of events of that day or night.
That realm of confusion is what M.anifest, along with video directors TwoGhGuys and Togbe Gavua of Abstrakte (director of photography), brought to vividness on Palm Wine And Whisky off M.anifest‘s No Where Cool album.

A happy M.anifest, on the cusp of stupor is seen watching (the latter part of) ‘100%’- one of his videos. Next, a ‘hammered’ M.Dot is seen lying with a calabash of palm wine in hand. A panoramic view of a secluded house in the hills comes in view. The house is the venue of a rave. Among the guests at the party is a lady, played by Ahoufe Patri, who catches M.Dot‘s fancy.

In the end, we see a lady walk up to wake the inebriated M.anifest from his sleep. With his mind still hazy and eyes blurry, he can not tell whether the lady walking away was indeed the one he met at the party (reality marred in illusion). His stuporous state notwithstanding, M.anifest is convinced he had seen that ass before-certain images remain intact no matter how ‘hammered’ one gets.

The aerial shots of the rave house and it’s greenery surroundings were highlighted exquisitely. And the rave moments were captured in black and white; to indicate a dream (illusions). The beginning and ending of the video were the only moments captured in colour (reality). And it is interesting how Dex Kwasi wasn’t shown among the ravers. Was his part shot at a different location and fused into the video?

Watch Palm wine And Whiskey and make your judgement

written by Manny (@mannyFBC)

PRESS RELEASE: Classics In The Park (5th Edition) features Filmmaker Nii Kwate Owoo.

 

Africa Film Society’s free outdoor film showcase ‘Classics In The Park’ will feature legendary Ghanaian Filmmaker, Nii Kwate Owoo for its 5th edition. Slated for January 28th, 6pm at Akola Boni Park in Osu, Nyniba Estate, the award winning, Director Nii Kwate Owoo will be available for a Q&A after the screening of his short film ’You Hide Me’ (1971) and co-directed feature film ‘Ama’ (1991).

Nii Owoo is renowned for his rich narratives on African culture and spirituality. His short documentary ‘You Hide Me’ exposed the theft and concealment of African artifacts in the basement of the British Museum. The film garnered worldwide acclaim for its controversial subject matter and was subsequently banned in Ghana for fear of harming the relationship between Ghana and Britain.

Nii Owoo made his feature film debut with Ama: An African Voyage of Discovery, which he co-directed with Kwesi Owusu for Channel 4 television in 1991. Ama explored themes of African traditional storytelling in the context of contemporary Britain. It premiered in Ghana to a packed audience.

More about Africa Film Society:

Africa Film Society seeks to preserve and promote Africa’s rich cinematic legacy while cultivating new filmmakers and nurturing an audience for their work. Through our ‘Classics In The Park’ initiative, we are bringing free outdoor cinema to communities focusing on early African films (1950’s – 1990’s).

Media Contact :

Nii Aryeetey Aryeh, Program Director, Africa Film Society

Email: africafilmsociety@gmail.com

0261469710