A Pop Cultural canvas with its painting brush, perhaps, held by some of the best contemporary tastemakers — such as animator Prince Ampofo Osei Bonsu (Feoisugly); Ghanaian-Béninoise photographer Daron Bandeira and photojournalist Ofoe Amegavie; couturiers like Atto Tetteh; curators like BZDRKO; sound engineers like Nxwrth; defiant artists like artsoulkojo and filmmakers like Akosua Adoma Owusu and the eccentric Togbe Gavua — the high-spirited post-rainbow generation of Ghanaian urban arts & culture continues to push aesthetic boundaries in an era of emotional sensationalism.
Ama Rae (Gamine)
Amaarae is inch-perfect fresh! An emerging renaissance icon. The acutely meticulous artiste exudes a distinct star quality of gamine. Her debut ‘Passionfruit Summers EP’ is a seductive piece of art that manipulates all seven senses which, in my opinion, is best embodied by its premier and third listed classics “Sundays (feat. Fingers)” and “Happy Mistakes” respectively.
A regular on my playlist, “Catching A Wav” transcends a soothing vibe and creates a rather euphoric ambiance. Her recent video “Fluid”, a jolly good bop directed by Fotombo, teases colourful intimate scenes of the young lady in a bathtub and explores a very subtle sexual theme. It’ll be great to see her collaborate with RJZ, another Ghanaian artiste with a unique eye for captivating visuals.
La Même Tape — a manifestation of teen spirit — shifted the entire urban culture and married music to high fashion, film and even the skating culture. Darkovibes – a seemingly naturally talented musician — and member of the La Même Gang makes alternative coast music by stringing various dialects and sounds together. There’s a certain spontaneity and free-spiritedness to his craft — a sort of underlining rebelliousness — which is best conveyed in his recent track “Stay Woke (feat. Stonebwoy).
The record captures the pseudo-Rastafarian hippie Accra City life. It is dotted with catchy slangs, such as “Nice up!” sweet for a good “toast” or a blotto night in the city. And the dzama-feel to “Bo Noor” marks his versatility. The cathedral element in “Mercy” — a record which explores the themes of life, death and the positive vibrations between these two extreme ends shrewdly espouses the philosophy of nirvana, in my opinion. Perhaps, a track with Santi – a Nigerian artiste with a moderately gothic persona and raw sound would be a timeless classic like my personal favourite “Tomorrow”. A 23 year old with such a musical voice must be protected at all cost.
Kwesi Arthur: (The Pop Statesman)
Kwesi Arthur’s ‘’Live from Nkrumah Krom’’ EP — referencing the President of Ghana’s First Republic and a cultural icon — is a manifesto of street culture: a depiction of daily life struggles that this new quicksilver generation represents far more accurately than our power-drunk and status-conscious politicians could. Records like “Grind Day”, produced by KaySo, and most recently “No Title” portray the endless routine in pursuit of the Ghanaian Dream. And when the script is flipped to reflect the ‘sweet life’ of the youth, songs from Kwesi Arthur is definitely a go-to.
This article is written by Vincent Djokoto, a Youth Activist & Columnist. Find him on twitter @VLKDjokoto