Rapper Ntelabi shares artwork for single ‘Glory’

Ntelabi announced the release of a new single, Glory, with a release artwork via his twitter page. This indication is good news for his fans since it will be the first release after his name change from Drilix.

The album cover has Ntelabi drapped in a white robe floating over clouds with trumpets heralding his coming. The artwork seems to be inspired by a biblical reference: the coming of a king in all his glory.

The single features new Nigerian sensation, bigBen of Harmony Records, and was produced by Lesandricks of AMG Business. He further hinted that the song will be released in a forth-night​.
‘Glory’ will be the first official single off his soon to be released LP, ‘Settings’, expected to be released in the later part of August, 2017. 

Management at Ill Haven Records informed the media during an interview that Ntelabi is hoping to release about five singles before the final release of ‘Settings’.Check out the cover for the new single.


Watch Fre-D freestyle over  ‘Don’t Forget To Pray’ beat.

Fred Chijindu Inaks Onianwa known by his stage name Fre-D or Fre-D GoldRush, is a 25 year-old rapper/singer from Lagos, Nigeria. In 2010, he co-founded and signed to the record label Gold Rush Records.

Fre-D first broke into the consciousness of Nigerian music enthusiasts after making a submission for Don Jazzy’s ‘Enigma Freestyle’ Competition in 2011. Later that year, he was featured both as an artist and producer on Danas’ “The Book of Danas vol 1” mixtape, which gave Fre-D his first production and feature credits. 

This was followed by “Come Closer” and “Better Late Than  Never”, acclaimed singles in 2013. These songs displayed Fre-D’s versatility as both an afro-dancehall artist and a rich lyricist with hip-hop sensibilities. His ability to write complex raps on one song and croon sweet dancehall melodies on another represented the birth of a style he has since developed. 

2014 saw the birth of a collaborative relationship between Fre-D and producer Le Prezident with the release of their successful single “Mogbe” where Fre-D’s knack for rapping and singing, blended perfectly with Le Prezident’s proficiency at beat-making. The success of the single saw the pair work further on the afro-hip-hop track titled “Bandulu” which was published by Red Bull studios Cape Town in late 2014. 

‘Ayé’ was released in June  2016, marking a return to the traditional boom-bap hip-hop sound laced with African melodies enhanced by a King Sunny Ade sample on the hook. Fre-D, though of Nigerian descent, studies in South Africa​. He cites Jay Z, Angelique Kidjo, Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Oliver de Coque as his major musical influences.

On this track, Fre-D jumps on AKA & Anatii’s ‘Don’t Forget To Pray’ instrumental, delivering an irrepressible freestyle, which fuses Nigerian and South African hip-hop. The freestyle was recorded the day the original track was released (on the 8th of June). On the track, Fre-D raps about a wide range of issues ending with a hook hinting at something coming. As it goes,  “Don’t forget to pray o. Do you know that God is on the way’.

Watch video below


 

New Tune: Mark Ansari’s ‘Baby Yo’ is a crowd puller.

Mark Ansari’s ‘Baby Yo’ is an afro-dancehall tune with synths reverbing across the mid-tempo rhythms. The song has him reminiscing or daydreaming about a lost love: ‘I’m losing my mind since you let me go’. A five beat drop opens the song before Mark Ansari’s falsetto vocals weave through the infectious beat. The beat and melody reminds you of Kranium’s global hit ‘Nobody Has To Know’. 

Mark Ansari has been making music for a while. He first registered on my radar when he was on a song with Eugy and Victizzle. In 2017, following the release of ”Fifty Shades Darker” the London based Ghanaian singer/songwriter earned a feature on ‘I Need A Good One’, one of the soundtracks for the movie. 

The self-produced Baby Yo is an attestation to the talent of Mark Ansari’. The catchiness of the song -both in lyrics and its afro-pop styled hook and it’s glitzy poductions makes Baby Yo a perfect tune for all moments.

Throwback: Reggie Rockstone feat K.K.Fosu – AH

First of all, RIP to Suzzi Williams. 
Pain is sometimes good. It serves as the fireball that ultimately light up our creativity. The inspiration born out of pain inspire creativity, some of them epic. Some of these creations outlive us and become prized works or masterpieces. From the depth of pain, genuises are sometimes birthed.

Reggie Rockstone may pass as a genius to some. An idol, a trendsetter to others. His title as the ‘Grand Papa’ of hiplife is however, uncontestable. Since 1994, when he kick started this moment called ‘hiplife’, Reggie Rockstone has churned out many hits. His catalog is there for everyone to see. But, none of his songs broke out, majorly on the international scene until ‘AH’ was released (if awards is the gauge-o-metre).

‘AH’ was off his penultimate album ‘Last Show’ released in 2004 (‘Reggiestration’ was his last album before retiring). This song and it’s accompanying video won Reggie Rockstone his first international accolade. ‘AH’ was voted the best video at the now defunct KORA Awards ceremony in 2004. ‘AH’ is an exclamation used to connote pain. 

‘AH’ was, after it release, rumoured to have been inspired by real events in Reggie’s life. He had divorced his wife at that time and the story was that, the divorce was due to the infidelity of his ex-wife. 

Reggie however, refused to confirm the story around that time until in February, 2016. Speaking to Kofi Laing on the ‘Late Night Express’ on Joy FM, Reggie stated the facts behind the song.

Most music that I make (are) via inspiration, this song (AH) is from a real life experience. One of my best friends was sleeping with my first wife and I didn’t know. She ain’t my wife anymore. I found a new good wife. No disrespect to my first wife, I will never disrespect her because God works in mysterious ways, perhaps I wasn’t supposed to be with you” – myjoyonline.com

In the song, Reggie narrated the bond of friendship that existed between his friend and himself- how he shared his provisions and lend him his shoes back at school’; how he trusted his friend to even let him spend time with his wife and how he ignored the tales of their secret affair from other friends.

Video

The video captured the spirit of the song. Directed by Abraham Ohene-Djan of OM Studios (now Ohene Media), the it narrated, fictionally, how Reggie found out about the infidelity of his ex-wife. With K.K. Fosu (featured on the song) and playing the role of his friend and the late actress, Suzi Williams (RIP) as his wife, Abraham Ohene-Djan created a cinematic music video. 

The evidence of infidelity came by way of K.K. Fosu leaving behind a socks in his (Reggie’s) bed. Earlier, Reggie had seen K.K. Fosu leaving the house without one of his socks. 

There were cameos by Promzy (formerly of ‘VIP’) and D-Black (as Chuck One, who called Reggie to tell him about the fling his wife was having with his friend. Check 4mins mark). At the end of the video, Reggie Rockstone showed K.K. Fosu the piece of evidence that led to his ‘arrest’- the socks.

‘AH’ was an emotional song. One can only imagine​ the struggle Reggie Rockstone went through in deciding to make this record. It’s often not easy to sell your personal issues, especially one that bothers on your marriage to the public in such fashion. At the end, the public heard a confessional tale from one of the revered figures in rap music. 

That decision also earned him an international accolade: the prestigious KORA Award; and engraved his name in the annals of history. Sometimes, the prettest of things come out of coldest events in our lives. 

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah is Writers Project of Ghana author for June. 

Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe Institute Accra present Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah as our writer of the month of June.

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah is a Feminist Activist, Communications Professional, Entrepreneur and Writer. She writes across genres including creative non-fiction, short stories and essays. She is the editor of Women Leading Africa: Conversations with Inspirational African Women, the author of Communications Handbook for Women’s Rights Organizations, and co-author of Creating Spaces and Amplifying Voices: The First Ten Years of the African Women’s Development Fund

She has written for a number of magazines including BBC Focus on Africa, New African Woman and DUST magazine. Her short stories have been published in It Wasn’t Exactly Love a collection of short stories published by Farafina and The Pot and Other Stories published by FEMRITE.

Nana Darkoa runs the blog Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women. Started in 2009 with co-founder Malaka Gyekye, the blog focuses on women’s sexuality and features stories from several contributors. In 2014, the blog was nominated in the category of New Media Practitioner of the Year.

Nana holds a Diploma in Performance Coaching, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She is also a graduate of the University of North London with a BSc (Hons) in Communications and Cultural Studies and holds a MSc in Gender and Development from the London School of Economics.

Join us for an exciting evening: an interactive reading session with one of Ghana’s best bloggers.

Date: Wednesday, 28th June, 2017

Time: 7.00 PM – 8.30 PM

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

Admittance is Free.

THE CUTS: EP 02 Vol. 4

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 – Golden

Ria Boss is a sensational singer and artistic impressario. Not only was her EP ‘Finding Your Free’ a brilliant collection of soulful ballads that flicks with refreshing elixir, her artistic qualities diverge from what is the norm. ‘Golden’, the first track from her EP receives a visual treatment. With Amartei Armar behind the directors camera, the video draws on a very important part of our history as Ghanaians and Africans: Slavery. Ria Boss, with chains around her neck and legs, sings about breaking the shackles that hold one back. ‘Just let go of how the past hurt your heart/Try to grow from where the ashes burned’, she sings. The video was shot in a slave dungeon where the darkness of the place was lighted by a series of candles. Radiant, alluring and golden (pun intended); that’s what the video for Golden evokes. ‘It’s on you/do you wanna be foolish in love?’, she ask on the chorus.

Dadie Opanka – Wedding Car

Dadie Opanka is one of those highly regarded rappers within the ‘underground’ circles. Like a flash of lightening, he has occasionally flashed across the mainstream sky. The fortunes of the Tema based rapper may change thanks to his wedding themed love song, ‘Wedding Car’. This afopop, danceable song is a far departure from his trademark- rap with saturated punchlines. The light-heartedness of ‘Wedding Car’ is reflected in the humor sprinkled video. Opanka proposes to a lady in the video. The humorous part is seen during the marriage ceremony and his unveiling of his wedding car-a worn out, dirty looking pick-up with a weak engine. With the necessary push, ‘Wedding Car’ could become a jam and Opanka’s balloon to fame. PS: Did anyone see the magic a waved car key did on the future mother-in-law (Amanda Jisseh)? 

EFYA- Until The Dawn

Afro-dancehall rhythms​ with root-rock reggae guitar chops from Maleek Berry’s production boards is what EFYA steams her vocals over. ‘Until The Dawn’ is a love song with EFYA sharing what he has in store for her lover: ‘I wanna make love to you/Until the break of Dawn’, she intones. The video concept is simple: EFYA suffers a vehicular breakdown. A young male comes along to help fix it. We see them in this Rihanna-Work-styled rave. The Prince Dovlo and Hassan Beiruthy directed video captures some beautiful scenes: the green scenic views and the overall choice of location added to the appeal. A good advert for eco-tourism. Question: where did EFYA’s helper emerge from though?

Odunsi (The Engine) – RnB Odunsi

Trapsoul influenced with strong guitar riff. Synths moderately sprinkled over a mid-tempo drum bubbling beat. Odunsi, one of the highly rated Nigerian artistes, tries to deflate the fears of a lady who thinks ‘RnB guys no good for me‘ by assuring her of his devotion: ‘said you need some time/I’m ready when you wanna get me’. It’s a known view that, RnB artistes are players and handing out your heart to them is as risky as placing a bet on Liverpool to win the English Premier League next season. ”RnB Odunsi’ is an attempt at demystifying the notion of RnB artiste as players. Even though I’m still not sold on Odunsi’s singing prowess, his productions are always spotless. His debut EP ‘TOOLS’ reveals that. This new ‘RnB Odunsi’ continues on that path.

Stargo – Mirror

There’s this element of relatability when Stargo chooses to rap in twi. Last I heard him rap in twi was on ‘Super Glue’ off his 2016 G.O.D. EP. He returns to the format on the Mike MillzOn’Em produced ‘Mirror’. It carries an afropop tune with a bit of rock fervour courtesy the electro guitar synths. Rapping entirely in twi, Stargo bemoans the betrayal of his love and trust. The accompanying video has him at a fringe role (the focus wasn’t on him much). The two female characters lead the story. ‘Mirror’ reveals a contrasting image: the rooms look old and delapidated; the bathroom with it’s broken tiles against the elegantly dressed ladies. The setting on fire of the rose flowers, the clothing of the ladies (red and black) and the fire scene reveal the death of a love affair. 

SquYb feat Talaat Yartey – Obeleke

If there’s one thing trap music has done, it’s handing people the believe that they can rap. There are some are constantly nailing it (Dex Kwasi,AYAT, Klu). For some, the beat does the trick for them. Obeleke by SquYb and Talaat is an example of the latter. I don’t know what the title means so I’d avoid any explanation. The video is nothing exceptional. The location, the colour separation (well doped pink flowers) and the shaking screen when the 808s bang or ad-libs drops are the only standouts from the video.

Maayaa basks in the glow of love with ‘YOU’

​After the appreciable success of her debut single ‘Limbo’ barely two months ago, afro-soul singer Maayaa is back to tug at your heartstrings with ‘You’. Produced by herself and manager EKKO, the single explores the beauty of romantic love in recognition of its little pleasures. 

In contrast to ‘Limbo’, which was a tale of the difficulties of forgetting a love gone wrong, ‘You’ is an affectionate letter which sees a happy Maayaa telling her lover the cheesy things she likes about him and their relationship. She admits unashamedly, “The corny things are what I live for”, a sentiment many listeners may relate to.

The sound is reminiscent of influences from 60s soul greats such as Etta James and newer soul by the likes of Amy Winehouse. The instrumental features a guitar groove and a regular drum rhythm as well as underlying piano melodies. Albeit not complex, it grows increasingly rich, with the bridge leading up to a beautiful crescendo. Throughout the song, the young singer’s voice flows smoothly from crooning in the verses to masterful runs she navigates with fluidity and ease. 

The singer incited mayhem a few days ago by tweeting photos of herself very cosy with her online antagonist with the simple caption ‘#You’, leaving people guessing whether he was her significant other. This was somewhat alleviated when the next day she announced the forthcoming release, but some curious, wondering minds probably still remain.

‘You’ makes for easy, light and pleasant listening, and it just might be your new guilty pleasure. It’s perfect for lovers and anyone looking to indulge in nostalgic memories. Either way, ‘You’ is here for you. Listen