Bitch Nigga Shit Word N SOund Performance

What do you get when you toss a Ghanaian Poet Rapper with aladdin pants, black shirt and bow tie into a circle of books on a stage in Johannesburg, Market Theatre Labs with rows of itching ears, smoke or fog (I can’t tell the difference), lights and an amazing background?
Well you are about to find out.
I have to say this is to date my favourite performance caught on video due to the angle and effects caught on camera. The look is legendary and gives the respect that the art form of poetry deserves.
Big ups to the Word N Sound team for creating such an amazing ambience. Enjoy and share the video and remember to keep it One Hondred!

Hondred Percent at Word N Sound #PoetryLeague 2018

For those who do not know I spent five years in South Africa pursuing degrees. On that journey I acquired a love for spoken word poetry of which I was eager to pursue seriously once I got back to Ghana.
It’s been over five years since I left South Africa. Through work I was fortunate to return and extended my stay to explore performance opportunities in Johannesburg.
A friend blessed mewith the opportunity to perform on one of the biggest poetry platforms in the country, Word n Sound poetry league.

I have learnt a lot over the years regarding performance. From delivery, eye contact, improv etc every opportunity to be on stage is a lesson. The applause that comes with a good performance is humbling and interaction with members of the audience who were touched by my words always encourages me to do what I love doing.

I was happy to connect with the organizers and learn from them also. The more you perform the more you understand the statement “no man is an island”. I need all the help I can get to be successful as an artist. Networking is so important.

The poetry I experienced during the show was beautiful. We have some work to do in Ghana to get to the level of what is happening in South Africa and Kenya.

I performed two poems of my album WTF? “BNS” and “Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message” and it was magical. The crowd reaction was awesome and humbling. Even after the show I got compliments and love from both poets and members of the audience. It’s always inspiring to get such feedback. It serves as a testament to your work.
I have had a beautiful time in South Africa and will be heading to Kenya for another performance. I look forward to more blessings, experience and connections to aid in my success as an artist.
Keep it One Hondred!

Bible vs GOT – Reality or Fiction?

Last Friday, I posted a clip featuring a conversation between Ria Bossman and me relating to Game of Thrones and its sex scenes. It was based of an interview at Oxford between two of the shows male cast and a student audience. Kit Harington who plays the part of Jon Snow in the series commented on the sex scenes and their necessity in telling the Game of Thrones story.

I for one do not know how the show will have progressed without the sex scenes depicting the nature of the characters and its impact on the narrative. It is clear that the show though graphic has a greater goal than pornography with its raw images of sex and nudity that are displayed.

Interestingly enough I read an article on the internet that suggested that the Bible and Game of Thrones share a commonality especially with regards with the raw blunt nature of each script.

As a Christian, it is difficult to deny that the Bible is a very graphic text containing evidence of sexual immorality from the beginning of time. The sexual immorality and violence is comparable to that of Game of Thrones and begs the question, “is this reality or fiction?”

I guess the Internet and Social Media have to be given credit for exposing our true nature. We seem hypocritical in our assessment of reality and are unwilling to accept that our morality as a race has been in a constant state of decay. Though the Bible reflects this more accurately, many do not view the Word as a reflection of man but just of his past.

Its a shame Game of Thrones is not an African story (I can imagine how that will play out with African countries). Nevertheless, it strikes parallels globally because of familiar themes that reflect the true nature of man. The greed, violence, sex, immorality, wisdom, kindness and other colors of the human behavioral spectrum are similar to what we find in the Bible. (With the exception of dragons of course)

The Bible, however, is more than a story of fiction. For many, it is history and inspiration. Game of Thrones, however, is a fantasy novel. Within it lies no prophecies relating to the real world. Both touch on the nature of man and relationships and should be seriously considered for the reflection on reality both throw at the human race.

If the content of the Bible is similar to that of the Game of Thrones narrative then why is it not consumed with such fanfare? After all, what difference is there in Meschach, Shadrach, and Abednego surviving the furnace of fire to that of Daenerys Targaryen aka Khaleesi being immune to fire?

Budget and Hollywood is surely part of the reasons for the fanfare but it also seems to mask the idea that the events told in the story are closer to reality than meets the eye. Winter is coming is about terrifying a term as global warming.

The Bible and Game of Thrones serve a purpose in the world today. Be sure to take away wisdom and lessons from the words these documents provide than just awe and entertainment.

Keep it One Hondred!

My breakup with Social Media

Hondred: Thanks for meeting me on short notice. I have been trying to have this conversation with you for a while but it’s been difficult getting the words out of my mouth.
SM: Y didn’t u just link up on Whatsapp or DM me on twitter or something?
Hondred: I could have but I prefer doing this face to face as opposed to sending messages and stuff.
SM: K so wassup?
Hondred: There is no easy way to say this but here goes. I don’t think this relationship thing is working. There is too much going on. Every minute something is happening and let’s face it you hog and demand attention.
SM: Gimme a min. Sori I didn’t get dat I was responding 2 ma gal on Twitter. Say that again.
Hondred: (Shaking my head) your attitude just confirms it. I don’t see you adding any value to my life right now. At first I thought I did but lately I realize that I am too connected to you. So I know things I shouldn’t know and I feel obliged to respond and act a certain way online with you. I don’t believe the impact I want to make is what we have right now so I think we should break up.
SM: WOW! I definitely didn’t see that comin. But can’t we work things out?
Hondred: I don’t know. When I think about everything and add your bad grammar and spelling to the mix. It makes things even more complicated. I mean don’t get me wrong I see the importance of having you with me, it’s just that right now I need some space. Maybe when my head is clear and I am less stressed I will find a way of making this relationship work.
So the conversation above never happened but in a fantasy world somewhere, this could have been the way I broke up with social media.
I don’t know about you but sometimes the notifications, information and updates feels overwhelming and stressful that one needs to take a break from social media.
For a couple of weeks now that’s what I have done and honestly it has given me clarity and insight on the toxicity that social media can cause in ones life.
Constantly being on your phone and being out of touch with reality has its negatives. Without the right perspective and balance one can end up prioritizing their phone and social media than family or personal life. Peoples lives on social media rarely mirror their reality. The selfies at the malls proclaiming life is good do not reflect what is in the fridge or what one is having for supper that night.
There was a time where every morning I woke up I would check my phone for updates on how many likes I had received or how many people have read my blog post. Is this what I live for? I feel sad even thinking about it.
As a Christian it affected me because I was not spending time in the Word as I wanted to due to me prioritizing activities on social media and leaving no time for God.
As an independent artist it’s crazy because you have to develop content to put up to keep fans and potential fans informed and interested in your brand. Without a team to help you it becomes extremely difficult especially when you are juggling a 9 to 5 as well.
Welcome to my world. At a point I was blogging about something each day. It was quite the challenge and I rather enjoyed those times but being realistic it took up a lot of time and often I felt like I was forcing and rushing the content than actually talking about stuff in a manner that will bring about impact.
I guess it boils down to the question of “why bother?”
I mean I could choose to be an observer and not contribute on social media. However, I take the gift that God has blessed me with as an artist and realize that part of being the light and salt of the earth is to share information that helps, encourages or brings about positive change.
Keeping quiet for me is quite selfish for there is a lot I experience daily that I believe the world can benefit from. This specific blog post is an example and I am doing this to connect with others who I know go through emotions similar to those which I have shared in this post.
I just have to plan my social media life better in a way that doesn’t bring about stress. I should do it for the love and not for the likes. For the impact and not the stats. Remember, just because the stats do not reflect your desires doesn’t mean your work has not impacted someone.
People have walked up to me and reminded about some things I had done in the past on social media which I never thought gathered any attention. You will be surprised the kind of offline action that social media has. It’s just difficult to report on but it does happen.
So if you are like me and broke up with social media or are considering breaking with her/him. Try reflecting instead on how you can make the relationship more meaningful and less toxic.
Keep it One HONDRED!

Superman Birthdays

I recently found out that I wore the same red Superman t-shirt on my sons last birthday gathering. I did not plan on giving this item of apparel the “birthday t-shirt” status but considering I chose it twice and literally as I came out of the shower, I guess it deserves that title.

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Me and my son on his 1st Birthday

As a father raising a young son, I am learning how to deal with a kids birthday in the current social media, internet crazed world we are in.
Privileged as I was growing up, I didn’t have the luxury of my dad being around on my birthdays. I thus make an effort to ensure that I am around for my little man and pray that I will not be too busy in the future to being with him to celebrate the day my wife and I were blessed with his presence.
My son on his first birthday just wanted to run around and was excited to see other kids playing together. He had just figured out how to walk and was graduating to running and seeking the new freedom his limbs gave him. My family, in laws and close friends were around to celebrate the day.
As they arrived, I begun to realize the disadvantage of having more adults than kids at a toddlers birthday. Don’t get me wrong they are a great crowd however the day was about my son and I realized I had not made plans for entertaining the kids that day.
Kids also need space to express themselves, run around, play and perform other interesting activities like eat sand, mimic adults and the uncanny art of spoiling things. The space though large enough, didn’t afford the kids that opportunity.
Making matters worse it rained that day. The rains came down hard and moved the little party inside. Needless to say, the party spirit of the kids was dampened and we had little room for both kids and adults to move around in.
I thus advised myself to stick to kids around his age range for his upcoming birthdays. Adults and kids together is a bit too complicated for my hosting abilities and takes away from the little man having his fun.
I think I can handle a day dedicated to kids calling me Uncle Paul and cross crossing between being a judge at a small case court handling toy disputes, a police man shouting “STOP IT!” at 10 minute intervals or less, being a face painter and dj.
Wow! That’s a lot. That however was me on my son’s 2nd birthday.
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Me and my son on his 2nd Birthday

I guess that’s why I wear the Superman shirt. Aside acting like a Superman in this party job that doesn’t pay cash, the real reason for multitasking and providing fun memories and love to kids is because of hope. Funny enough hope is the meaning behind the Superman symbol and not the letter “S” for Superman.
It’s all about hope. The hope that love will surround our children. The hope that they will remember the love we have for them. Most important is the hope that they focus on what’s important.
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My son’s tractor

Important could mean many things. For my son on his 2nd birthday, important was a green tractor with eye balls that after a year suddenly became his favorite toy and was only interested in driving it on the floor and imitating the engine sound “vroooom!”.
 
He could not be bothered about losing at musical chairs neither was he interested in cutting his cake. That’s why when the wind was against us when lighting the twenty four plus one candle I got him ( I thought blowing candles for the kids will be fun) I just left them in the cake. The birthday boy wasn’t interested in making wishes today.
As I said earlier being Superman for the day ain’t that bad when you are dealing with a son like mine. As long as it’s less than 20 kids, a few kid loving adults around and a couple of cute babies to play with I am down. Ice cream helps a lot too. Nothing gets children in a logo logo line like ice cream.
WhatsApp Image 2018-05-24 at 18.24.11 (1)

My Thoughts on my Rehearsal 

Preparing for a show is a lot of work that sometimes I even take for granted. From logistics, sound, fashion, marketing and more it is safe to say that experience goes a long way in getting one accustomed to ensuring that an audience gets the best service.
Of all these elements involved in preparation, what catches me off my game is rehearsals. 
I do lot of these in my car as I drive. That however just ensures that I have my poetry or lyrics memorized. The other side of rehearsals involves interacting with the crowd and creating a sense of flow which I tend to forget to do due to my day job.
This time around I am doing rehearsals twice. 
I started yesterday and ended up turning the rehearsal into a deep conversation about Africa and our selfish attitudes that find us in our deprived state.
This was due to my “Africa Sent Me A Whatsapp Message” poetry performance. 
I sometimes forget how powerful words are. A friends brother heard the poem for the first time and was deeply moved by the it. 
I must admit the poem takes me by surprise sometimes due to the impact that the words have. Its surreal because I find myself in awe and asking how I got around to piecing the words together. 
The glory goes to none other than God!
Its inspiring when your art touches people and gets them thinking. It motivates you to keep pushing. I for one now seek to perform to touch people. Impacting one person is enough to making me feel fulfilled.
I hope however that today’s rehearsals goes as planned without interrupted intellectual debates.
Keep it One Hondred!

He Came In 30th So What?

Pursuing your passion is not a journey for the faint hearted. Your definition of success as a goal and you sticking to it can end that journey or see you through it. There are aspects of spirituality, discipline, life etc that come into play but today I want to focus on the importance on not giving up.
I was on twitter and saw tweets from different sources on Akwasi Frimpong’s performance at the olympics. Some sources dwelled on the fact that he underperformed because he had the lowest score.
Akwasi Frimpong is Ghana’s first skeleton Olympic athlete. Wikipedia defines the skeleton sport as:
a winter sliding sport in which a person rides a small sled, known as a skeleton bobsled, down a frozen track while lying face down. Unlike other sliding sports of bobsleigh and luge, the race always involves single riders. 
It would be awesome if Akwasi came out first or top three but he didn’t. Are we saying that pursuing your dream and seeing it through regardless of not achieving your goals is not good enough?
I resent that!
It is that attitude that dampens our spirit to explore and take risks.
Akwasi has probably sacrificed time and resources all in an effort to out Ghana on the map. The least we can do is be supportive.
Ghana needs more people especially the youth and younger to see Akwasi’s effort as a reason to take risks and pursue their passions. Coming out tops is good but more important in my opinion are the lessons learnt on that journey. 
He came out 30th so what? 
His name will not have been written in history if he didn’t sacrifice time and resources to pursue his dream. Because of Akwasi a young minority will be empowered to believe that they can make it in winter sports regardless of their environment. 
I relate a lot to Akwasi because as an artist I feel I am pursuing my passion as well. It is not as rewarding but I have dream to be the greatest Spoken Word Artist and Rapper and I will continue to pursue it.
Yesterday via twitter I received a tweet from a fan asking to buy my album WTF? that I released last year. We communicated privately and in minutes he had made a purchase. He informed me through conversation that he saw me perform “Gidigidi” at Yoyo Tinz shrine at Chalewote Festival 2017, James Town, Ghana and had been thinking about the track since.
I was humbled! 
Last year was stressful for me as an artist. I had challenges in creating and promoting my album. I sold a few copies but after September 2017 things kind of took a down turn. I did not give up but I needed time to find myself and strategize towards making progress. 
So yesterday’s tweet was a beautiful gift of encouragement that made me feel appreciated. I wish it was always like this but I appreciate the little steps of progress.
I feel Akwasi needs encouragement like the one I received yesterday. Let him know via social media that he is beacon of hope. It lifts the spirit in a special way. Do it because you understand what it means to have encouragement.
I urge you all to encourage anyone who is pushing or pursuing their dream. Criticism is all good but all of us need encouragement to make it. So lets be proud of our own and encourage all to reach for the stars.
Akwasi came in 30th but if he hadn’t participated he would have been last. He did not give up and saw himself all the way through. I believe he has picked up valuable lessons to improve on his performance in the next olympics. In my eyes he is a hero keeping it One Hondred!

Life After High School Pt.2

So last week I mentioned I had to go to my high school as a guest to chat about life after high school. The panel was made up of both seniors and juniors including myself who had the rather unconventional route. 
We all had similar experiences and it was clear that passion fueled our drive to be engaged in what we are doing. 
It was sad however to hear that morning that Ebony, celebrity artist pegged to win Ghana’s Artist of the Year at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), was involved in an accident that took her life.
It was something I reflected on during the talk to the students. Ebony took a decision to walk down a certain path which has made her known all over Ghana. She made a mark on society and will be remembered. Whether the mark is positive or negative that’s another debate for another day. 
However, it also reminds us that our time here on earth is not forever. We need to live everyday as if it’s our last and also acknowledge there are things greater than us. 
I am a Christian and know that the future is uncertain. God however on my side I walk daily knowing that his grace and angels protect me and my family. 
The uncertainty of life calls for you to lean on something. For me it’s God. He ensures that I am safe and is available to all who call on him.
So keep it One Hondred! Live life to the fullest, trust in God and be the light of the world.

Life After High School Pt.1

I have been asked by my high school, SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College (HGIC) to be a guest on a panel speaking to the kids about life after high school. This time however, I will be speaking as Hondred Percent. 
As I think of what I will tell these teenagers I can’t help but look back at why I decided to walk down this challenging road as an artist. How I even came up with the name Hondred Percent is even interesting yet the more I reminisce the more I see how I have evolved.
I have a better sense of purpose as an artist. I want my success as an artist to pave the way for others to cause a positive shift on the art landscape in Ghana and beyond.
The motto of SOS HGIC is “knowledge in the service of Africa” and I am definitely doing this for more than selfish gain. I guess I have to thank SOS HGIC, for being a significant institution in instilling these values in me.
One thing I do know is that I could have been better prepared for what life threw at me. Relationships, love, passion, spirituality and all other important elements I may not have mentioned, are all areas that I could have been guided through better. 
Knowing what I know now however, I feel I am in a better position to mentor someone deciding to walk down this same path. I just don’t know how I will do that in 7 minutes.
I will keep you posted on how the talk went next week.
Keep it One Hondred!

Get your Music on Itunes For Free

So I have come a long way as an artist trying to gain recognition in the world. Sometime last year I embarked on a journey to make an album. 
With an album title like WTF? you hit the nail on the head if you figured I had no idea what I was getting into.
My desire led me to my producer Boamah MadeIt who I call Ike. Ike kept it real from the jump and believed in my vision as an artist. For that faith he will always have a special place in my kingdom (y’all thought I was going to say heart) 
Ike partnered with me and gave me insight into the costs of making the album. We had a mutual agreement and got to work. We worked track after track building the album and our relationship as friends.
Promotion
I labored so much into making the album that I didn’t think much about promotion. It wasn’t my intention it’s just that as an indie artist without a team it’s difficult to manage all these aspects.
Don’t get me wrong I had a plan but I was a virgin in this world of opportunists and I had built castles in the sky hoping to have a break. 
Resources on my end was short as I had invested in making the album. I wish I had done this when I was younger. I had just had a son and I was trying to put an album together. 
Some will say I had my priorities mixed up but I believe what I had made was a work of art that will make a difference in my world. Problem was I hadn’t put together a plan to let people know that. 
My album is good but I am not famous plus when it came to distribution I had a big problem.
Distribution
My goal was to let the album go for free. I thought SoundCloud could hook a brother up but unfortunately there is a limit to free downloads. 
I eventually found www.noisetrade.com a site that made that possible. I could load up my album and for trading your email address you get to download the album for free. 
As I write this I have had 27 downloads from that option. I have my work on SoundCloud but don’t have much going on getting people to listen to it. 
With everybody screaming “Check Me OUT!” in this digital age we are in  it’s real hectic trying to get attention. Plus I am alone pushing this dream whilst working so needless to say but it’s tough.
Aggregators

Screenshot of Hondred Percent's WTF? on iTunes
Screenshot of my album on iTunes

After a while I started considering getting an aggregator such as CD Baby, Ditto and the likes. 
(For those who don’t know an aggregator is service that allows you to get your music into the top digital stores. So you deal with one aggregator and they ensure you get your work in stores like iTunes, Spotify etc)
The problem with an aggregator is that it costs money and by money I mean dollars. When I did the math it made no sense to me so I didn’t even bother. 
However for my music and art to reach the masses or for the globe to access it; the responsibility lies on me to make that happen. I couldn’t deny that I needed an aggregator but I just hadn’t found one right for me.
And I Found One
Screenshot of Hondred Percent's WTF? on Spotify
Screenshot of my album on Spotify

So how am I able to now have my album in digital stores?
I give thanks to Ike again. 
I visited Ike some weeks back to brief him on my plans for the next album. During the visit I saw some art work for a single he was releasing and I realized through the logos on the art, that the single will be available in a couple of digital stores. 
So I enquired as to what aggregator he was using and how much it cost him. I was expecting to hear a familiar name and some reasonable amount of cash. The name of the aggregator and the cash involved however is quite ironic with a pun in it.
First of he was paying NOTHING for the release in the stores and secondly he was able to do this through AMUSE.
😒 Seriously?
(I know the name sounds like it’s laughing at all the other aggregators)
Amuse

So Ike broke it down for me and showed me how to make it happen. First of this works via an app and not through a computer.
Amuse puts your work into digital stores for free because they are looking for hits that they can invest in. You keep all your royalties and if your track happens to be something they are interested in, they get into an agreement with you to make money.
It sounded too good to be true so I decided to give them a try. 
Screenshot of the Amuse app
Screenshot of the Amuse app
 
I downloaded the app and got straight to following their instructions to load up my work. It took a bit of time and I had to reformat the tracks and change the album cover to adhere to their guidelines. Thereafter I had to wait for them to review the album.
I waited for a couple of days and they got back to me on an error which I addressed. They later got back to me early this week to let me know that the release is on Friday 27th October 2017. Their email response time is great. I applaud the effort.
My release day email from Amuse
My release day email from Amuse

So here I am having my album going out to digital stores for free. It is awesome and you too can make it happen by just downloading Amuse. 
(Amuse is available on iOS and Android)
The only downside to us in Ghana is that to collect your money you need to have PayPal. Also you won’t be able to check out (at least immediately) which stores you are in without signing up or subscribing to a service. 
For now I know I am up on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal. There are probably others but unless I get access I won’t know for sure.
It still doesn’t mean I get famous but it’s a stepping stone in the right direction. I am still figuring out this promotion thing. If anyone there can help make my dream of touring and performing around the world true, I will be honored.
I will be putting out other resources and tips whenever I stumble on one. Remember to follow me on Social Media @hondredpercent 
To check my album out on iTunes click here
To check my album out on Spotify click here
To check my album out on Deezer click here
Keep it One Hondred!