Mensa Ansah ( M3nsa ) has been quiet after coming to terms with his need for silence and contemplation in the cluttered social media space and in this new world order.
His PSA announcing he didn’t want to be active on social media for a while has been watched by more than 20,000 people, but it wasn’t a PR stunt: “this Pandemic is the result of the world going crazy not the other way around,” he said.
What is in the mind of a son of Ghana and the diaspora trying to give a meaning to his art while he can’t perform in front of his people and has to watch Black Lives being disregarded and brutally attacked?
This new track celebrates his heritage in Ghanaian Fante and Pidgin English language. Still, it’s so in the moment with the lyrics – a description of the patterns of a very anxious mind, obsessive repetition of a sleepless mantra – and the sound at the intersection of classic hip hop and electronic.
But “I No De Bed” is also the beginning of something different: an empathic conversation with fans and people in general to build compelling content about humanity.
This is not different from what Mensa has always been doing: No.1 Mango Street uniquely talked about reality, and his work with Fokn Bois has done nothing but drawing attention to uncomfortable conversations.
However, 2020 is the time for action, and it has become essential to use every platform to give a voice to others and not only to voice our feelings.
That’s why in the days before the song release, Mensa has used his social media to share and collect people’s stories about what keeps them up at night, and the result has been unexpected: people do want to share if asked.
Hundreds of stories have been received, selected, and transformed in content that Mensa has given back to the community, starting a one to one conversation with them.
It is safe to say that in the future, we will see Mensa give more value to his audience on his platforms, not only for commercial purposes but also for what he likes to call “human purposes”.
If you think it’s ambitious, wait for what’s next.
To expand the conversation, Mensa Ansah has partnered with the multi-awarded Ghanaian artist Isaac Opoku ( @afroscope ) on a powerful visual representing the drifting into a half-awake limbo after pushing that non-stop energy to the extreme. When you are so tired, but you keep going and you, “No De Bed.”
MENSA ANSAH [@M3NSA]
ISAAC OPOKU [@afroscope]