Kwé has undergone metamorphose with regards to his new name. The Ghanaian musician and producer used to go by the name Psyko. And the metamorphosis came with the release of his self-titled debut EP. Kweku Nelson aka Kwé (a short form of his real name Kweku) has been making music for a while.
In 2017, he released two projects- a nine track project he labelled ‘’No.Name.For.This.Tape (BeaT-Tape)’’ and ‘’Kalabash Afro Beat Tape’’; a 7 track project. From singles to covers, Kwé has managed to build a following for himself. This 6 track EP is certainly his move to announce himself to a larger audience.
On why he changed his moniker from Psyko to Kwé, he explained it as such: First of all, am still Psyko, it’s my music surname. The thing is, there are a lot of Pysko’s and I needed to stand out. And trust me, it wasn’t easy finding my content online. Kwé is a shortened form of my local name Kwéku. I chose the name because it reminds me of my inner self.”
Kwé is not the first artist to undergo a name change, let alone use his government name as a moniker. Such transitions are usually a way of liberating the artist; allowing them to be true to themselves and make the kind of music they want.
Kwé – the EP is leans towards afropop yet the sound is a mashup of various genres especially the production output. Console Chronkz and RankingMadeIt employed various musical elements such as jazz, hip hop and RnB elements to create a soothing ambience around which Kwé showcased his skills.
“My sound is my sound. It’s what makes me unique. I like fusing different genres with Afro music. I have been trying to find a sound I am comfortable with. Something that makes me myself and free as well,”- Kwé.
Here’s a track by track breakdown of the songs:
Intro: ‘’Life is kinda different, yes I know/One day cried all night cos I want blow’’. Kwé introduces himself to the listener over a guitar driven solo, outlining his ambition in the process. A strong intro to a tape is very important. This, however failed to impress. But, all soon forgotten as the songs roll.
So Mi Mu ft. Korshi T: An afropop tune tampered with prominent 808s. Kwe talks about love over a Gyedu-Blay Ambolley sample tucked beneath the hook. The song details the anguish that plagues a love relationship due to conflict. The aching pain of getting overlooked by someone you love is manifested on the song. To paint a good impression of the depth of the conflict, Kwé tucks an argument between the two lovers to forward the story. Korshi T falsetto voice adds sheen to the overall quality of the song. ‘So Mi Mu’’ is definitely the strongest song off the EP.
Miny3: ‘’Miny3’’, a Fante word translates as I Won’t. The production on this song fuses contemporary afropop elements with some classic afrobeat qualities, creating a moving tune. “Miny3’’ is an mirror image of ‘’So Mi Mu’’. On the song, Kwé gives up on her love after she ‘pushed him out’ of her house. It’s a case of her selling her love to the highest bidder, something Kwé could not afford back then. Now successful, he is not ready to take a gold digger back.
See Me See Trouble: Kwé weaves a tale about how he was catering for a pregnancy that was not his. “See Me See Trouble’’ is a narrative about how his ex-girl tried pinning pregnancy on him. His doubt about the paternity of the baby led to her telling him the truth: the real father of the dad had absconded hence her decision to name him as the dad since she loves him. Kwé and Console Chronkz need to explain why they did not allow those gorgeous horn section to play on for some more seconds.
Dirty Game: A story about ‘dog eat dog’. Kwe’s storytelling skills continues on this groovy track that touches on infidelity and how karma works. ‘I get a wife, I get another woman/ woman get another man/same man start chop my wife/ why this nigga start to stress my life?’ The second part of the whole story put things in broader perspectives. Kwé acknowledging that he ‘can’t blame anybody/I put the blame on me’’ is an admission to his waywardness. RankingMadeIt’s mid-tempo production with its highlife touch, coupled with Kwe’s sing-rap style offers ‘’Dirty Game’’ a good look on the EP. And, he let the beat run for a while before fading off.
One Africa ft. Soww Ffar: ‘’Politics is breaking us just be fucking up the weather’. The political tone of the song is set on wax as he brings up the well-known issue of politicians taking the populace for a ride. Kwé, aware of this set his mind towards making it on his own, but acknowledges the need for the populace to unite and force these politicians to serve us. Soww Ffar offers an ear candy hook, largely performed in Ga, Ewe and pidgin English. His lines: ‘’we all deserve to live happily’’ is both reassuring and inspiring.
‘’Kwe’’, the EP is a good project by an artist who, from the tape, loves to fuse various musical elements. His style of rapping and the overall production is not distinctive. However, one cannot downplay its enchanting vibe thanks to the mid-tempo, easy on the ear melody, interesting stories and the groove it exudes. If you are hearing him for the first time- like I did- you are bound to be a fan. Kwé should, however, rap more in Fante. The language can do a bit more for him.