For Bryan The Mensah, 2017 shall be a year to cherish. It brought him many good tidings. He released his highly acclaimed EP ‘Friends With The Sun’; a stellar body of work that saw him facing his own flaws, criticisms, doubts, challenges young artistes like himself face- both in life ans career- and pursuing their dreams.
On 29th September, 2017, we woke up to a tweet from Bryan The Mensah celebrating an achievement. What is striking about the tweet was the tone of graciousness it carried. ‘I’m humbled. When God blesses you with a gift & you don’t sleep on it, He blesses you with another’, he tweeted. These humble words was to celebrate his selection by Apple Music as their ‘New Favorite Artist’.
— BRYAN THE MENSAH (@BRYANTHEMENSAH) September 29, 2017
To be chosen by Apple Music, the foremost music streaming service in the world as their ‘New Favorite Artist’ is huge. This is what I gathered after a search on what the New Favorite Artiste means:
‘The New Artist Spotlight is Apple Music’s way of showcasing new talents who may otherwise have gone unnoticed by many visitors to the Apple Music platform. Getting this nod means that, over 20 Million Apple Music subscribers may get to see this artiste. The artiste is given free publicity via the platform, get people to listen and or buy his album’.
According to another source of information, the selection means every Apple Music store around the world would devote an entire month of promotion, play-listing to one new breakout artist from each major apple music platform. These are some of the benefits that will accrue to an artiste.
From the above, the New Favorite Artist, as Bryan The Mensah is, will have his album on every Apple Music store around the world. The subscribers of Apple Music across the world would hear, buy and stream his album, and most importantly open him up to label heads and A&Rs who now look for talented new artists via some of these platforms.
In the midst of the many praises Bryan The Mensah is enjoying, from fans and colleague artists, his selection pontificate to one thing: Being yourself is the best. Staying different and original pays.
It is often the case, especially in present times to find upcoming artists who, in their quest to break through the mainstream door, conforming to the ‘what’s hot’ bandwagon. New artistes often try to fit themselves into folds that deviate from what they truly wish to create. The patience to create a great, quality piece of work is often side-stepped. Those who stay true to their vision ultimately succeed. Of course there is nothing wrong in following a wave or trend as an artiste. The real issue is whether it compromises want you wish to create.
Listening to Friends With The Sun (FWTS), you notice how experimental the music is. In between these experimentations are words that offers you a glimpse into the mind of Bryan, especially when it came to making music. He isn’t here to conform to what is hot. Even if a trend is popping off, he’d employ it and create something that reflect him. That sense of staying true is a running theme on FWTS.
— BRYAN THE MENSAH (@BRYANTHEMENSAH) October 7, 2017
On ‘Pop Mandem’, Bryan raps: ‘I go always stay true/Nipa koraa y3 den/ you no fi mix me with the fake dudes’. This lyric projects who he is: an artiste who’s willing to stay true to himself and his craft. The point is furthered on part of the accompanying hook: ‘don’t listen to the one wey dem no dey agree….the just under pressure cos they no dey believe’.
A lyric like ‘This thing really no bi competition, if you get your wave, massa go and catch fish with it’ on ‘Wallabow You’ sounds very simple yet reflect who Bryan The Mensah is: someone who isn’t rushing to be famous by following what’s new. Fame shall come and he wants that to happen organically.
The King of Tea, as Bryan refers to himself, is seeing his stock rise among music fans since this accolade. Scrolling through social media (twitter), you realize how this feat is winning him new fans. People who have never heard or listened to any of his songs are now paying attention, handing him the props he rightly deserves.
Artists can’t be forced to pursue the same lane. Each one of them has a game plan on how to break into the scene. The quest to become famous quickly makes it incredibly hard to stay true to yourself by creating the kind of music you want to considering the pressures from labels, management teams and even friends.
But, the benefits that comes with such an effort- being headstrong and creating what you truly believe in- can be overwhelming. Bryan The Mensah’s huge achievement accentuate this fact.