Original Content on Arts and Entertainment

Bayku’s “Release Your Body” Is A Call To Enjoy Life

When discussions about hip life is being had, especially it’s genealogy by old heads and people who were around to witness it’s ‘official’ birth, one group’s name keeps coming up, as one of the early protagonists of localized hip-hop.

That group was Talking Drumz. Made up of three individuals, the group was the first to ‘officially’ make rap records in the early 90s, before the term ‘hiplife’ was coined by Reggie Rockstone in 1994.

Whereas Ghanaians are very familiar with Kwaku T, the other members of Talking Drumz- The Witch Doctor and Chief G (Jay Ghartey) are not really known by today’s generation. (Jay Ghartey is a relatively known name compared to Witch Doctor).

Witch Doctor, now Bayku exited the country and the music scene around the time hiplife was ushered onto the Ghanaian music scene.

The decades that saw Bayku’s sojourn to the US saw him scooped up by famed Atlanta hip hop producer, Polow The Don, under whose wings he helped pen some of the hits Polow oversaw, including the 2007 hit song ‘Throw Some D’s’ for Alabama native Rich Boy, and UGK’s ‘Stop N Go’.

Bayku also co-wrote British act, Olly Murs’ hit song ‘Tell The World’ (off his 2011 double platinum album ‘’In Case You Didn’t Know’’. Not only did Bayku contribute lyrics to ‘Ride My Beat’ by British act Polluted Mindz, he featured in the video.

Now back in the country with extensive experience about the music industry- from producing, publishing and marketing- Bayku isn’t playing the ‘big brother’ role. He’s indeed in the mix of things. He featured on songs like VVIP’s ‘’Wala 2 Walasa’’ as well as Adina Thembi’s ‘Killing Me Softly’ video.

He’s indeed in the mix of things. He featured on songs like VVIP’s ‘’Wala 2 Walasa’’ as well as Adina Thembi’s ‘Killing Me Softly’ video.
He’s indeed in the mix of things. He featured on songs like VVIP’s ‘’Wala 2 Walasa’’ as well as Adina Thembi’s ‘Killing Me Softly’ video.

Song/Video

About a week ago, Bayku put out a new song and video. Titled ‘Release Your Body’ and featuring Yaa Pono, the song is steeped in authentic Ghanaian rhythms of palmwine guitar, complimented by an up-tempo tune. ‘Release Your Body’ carries a clear message: don’t take life too serious; chill sometimes.

Produced by maverick Panji Anoff (who was producer/manager of Talking Drumz), Release Your Body carries a fast paced, danceable afro pop rhythm. Bayku’s baritone voice wiggles through the beat, his words clearly heard. ‘

Bayku’s baritone voice wiggles through the beat, his words clearly heard. ‘You may say, I’m a dreamer/I know I’m not the only one/ everybody could be happy’, he reminds all on the bridge. Yaa Pono combines humor and life lessons to augment the advice of Bayku.

The King Luu directed ‘Release Your Body’ video is a low budget one, with what seem like a director’s behind the scene footage. It opens with a shot of a guitar played by ace guitarist, Ackah Blay. Bayku is shown descending steps shirtless. After a series of trance-like show-offs, he takes his kaftan shirt from a lady in fugu and steps out to meet his boys

Bayku is shown descending steps shirtless. After a series of trance-like show-offs, he takes his kaftan shirt from a lady in fugu and steps out to meet his boys.

The transitions in the video is superb. From the house to the street and the set for the video shoot, we catch Bayku having a blast, along with Kwaku T, while the lighting and props guys walk on set.

With the wealth of knowledge gathered by him over the years on the mechanisms of music making, publishing and distribution, it’s great to hear Bayku indicate his readiness to share with colleague artists and industry mates through a series of events he plans to enroll soon.

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