WTF? Album Five Year Celebration Announcement

It’s been five years since I released my debut album as an artist. The strange thing is that I didn’t realize it has been that long till I decided to take stock of my achievements as an artist.

Wow!

This album is important because it became my key to unlocking the world of publishing. More specifically publishing in the music world. It pushed me to learn and develop my music, poetry, and brand into what it is today. It’s weird because the album feels like a degree yet the education came after.

As I type out this blog post, I am reminded of the beautiful experiences and lessons I have had since the release. The more I reminisce the more I feel obliged to share my ups and downs on this lorgorligi journey.

Upcoming independent artists will benefit from it but so will everyday folk with an appreciation for the lifestyle of an artist.

So in celebration of 5 years of WTF? being out, I want to announce that I will be releasing videos I shot years ago but never got around to releasing. I will also be blogging a bit more to update you on virtual and physical events in October that I will be having to celebrate this achievement. There is something big I will be unveiling next Monday so stay connected to my activity.

Kindly take note that the PaGya Festival takes place this weekend starting Friday 15th October – Saturday 17th October. I will be holding a music and poetry workshop on Saturday and be part of a panel on Sunday 17th October 2022 to discuss the journey after I released my first poetry book, Lorgorligi Locomotion. All the events will be at the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) at the Dubis Center. For more details on these events and other events taking place at the festival, visit the Writers Project website.

So enjoy the content I will be pushing out during the next few weeks. If you’ve never heard the album or listened to it in a while, give it a listen. As always, let me know your thoughts. They mean the world to me.

Keep it One Hondred!

Gratitude

Last 2 weeks on Saturday 6th November 2021, I launched my first book Lɔgɔligi Locomotion at Accra Ridge Church. Through the support of family, friends and fans the launch was successful. This means a lot to me because people got to see my craft in a different light.

From decor, fashion, program line up and refreshments, all boiled down to my decision making. It wasn’t easy but I am glad everything worked out. Though promotion of the book is still ongoing, I want to use this opportunity to show my gratitude to the following persons.

God

When people have the opportunity to give thanks, it is likely God is going to be mentioned. This however is not a cliche opportunity but rather a testimony of His greatness.

My relationship with God has improved because of this book. God motivated and encouraged me throughout this journey of poetry. Walking me through experiences and blessing me with a voice to pen down.

Through Him I have met people and in the past weeks. He proved to me that when I trust in Him I can rest assured that He got it covered.

“Lord I thank you!”

Ghana Writers Marathon

Hondred Percent and Prince Mensah at the 1st Ghana Writers Marathon Graduation

As much as I liked the idea of putting together a book, the credit to making the book a reality goes to Ghana Writers Marathon and more specifically Prince Mensah.

Hondred Percent and Prince Mensah

This man has inspired me to keep pushing my pen and is truly and individual who believes in creative writing skills of Ghanaians. He works hard and selflessly to ensure that myself and others had their books published.

Anyone who worked with him from last year can attest to his kindness and heart. I pray I am successful enough to credit my greatness in part to the push given by this new budding institution.

My Family (Part 1)

My Dad and siblings were at the launch last week and blessed me with more than their presence. They have been with me since the beginning of this artistic journey in Ghana and seen my growth. Their pride in me and my craft is testament that I am heading in a good direction. I pray my future success makes them proud.

Sweeter Than Honey 🍯

Sweeter Than Honey is a wonderful clubhouse space that started early this year and has become my new favorite family. We sped our mornings studying the Bible and have developed a beautiful bond that displays Christian love in its truest form.

Hondred Percent and members of the Sweeter Than Honey Family

It is made up of individuals (mainly Ghanaians) all over the globe. This wonderful family supported me with opportunity and encouragement in a big way and I am forever grateful to God for blessing me with new friends and family.

My Family (Part 2)

Hondred Percent and Family

To my dear wife Dzifa and my landlords (sons) Bobo and JP, you are the reason I do this. You have stood by me in my ups and downs and tiredness as I slaved to make this possible. From looking at a screen of words to seeing the physical copy and having people acknowledge my craft. The reward is for the family to share.

I pray our children are inspired by this victory and encouraged to make their dreams come true.

Final Shoutouts

I cannot mention every name but this is to those in the back ground who made the day possible. To my ushers, Felishia, Eugene, Joseph, Angie & Jessica, I say Thank You. To Maxwell, you didn’t let me down and came through for me at vital moments. I am grateful for that.

To Chief Moomen and Apiorkor, my auctioneer and MC; you killed it. You were stellar.

To Emma Ofosua, you were the star in the background.

Toastmasters with Apiorkor and Chief Moomen

To my Toastmaster family my hats go off to you as well for your encouragement and support

Thank you all for making the day successful.

Finally to all those who bought a book, supported my cause and witnessed the launch I say thank you. Your words and feedback hailing my work is your gift to me. It is greatly appreciated.

Always Keep it One Hondred!

Locomoting The Lɔgɔligi – Cover Design

The cover of my book Lɔgɔligi Locomotion is a forced selfie employing lɔgɔligi methods to capture my emotions with my sons train set.

But how did I arrive at Lɔgɔligi Locomotion as a book title?

Unlike fiction and non fiction books, poetry can be a confusing realm when it comes to titles. Many poems have been constructed without titles due to creativity deciding to close early from work. Leaving poets to live with the old faithful “Untitled” as a title.

You can therefore imagine my struggle in finding a name for the book. I liken it to naming a child. This however, is a child you want everyone to talk about and be attracted to. A child with qualities true to the poetry within.

With the poems within being … scattered. Scattered thoughts of Ghana, woman, love and Christianity. Poems with a medley of emotions.

I have been moving with these poems since 2005. Moving them from phone to phone in my notes and finally settling them in a book.

As an artist who loves to showcase Ghana and it’s beauty, lɔgɔligi was the best adjective to describe the movement of these poems.

It is an apt term describing the book and life.

But What Does Lɔgɔligi Mean?

In a Clubhouse event this week I described lɔgɔligi as having multiple meanings. Wriggly is one of the definitions of this interesting Ghanaian term. A term richly linked to how a worm moves.

In Ghana, seldom is the straight path taken. There are always turns, corners and shortcuts employed to get ahead. We also laugh at everything. We laugh at our predicaments and joys as if life is tickling or doing us lɔgɔligi.

Yes, tickle is the other definition of lɔgɔligi.

This is how we move as Ghanaians. This is how life moves. This is how MY poetry moves.

So I arranged my poems in one logologo line and turned it into the book, Lɔgɔligi Locomotion.

After this eureka moment, the next hurdle was to depict this title as a book cover.

Designing The Book Cover

The idea was to design the book cover using a train as a theme for locomotion. But how do we show that the train is moving lɔgɔligi?

With the help of software one could create a wriggly train or wriggly train track. But that felt cliche.

I thus took my kids train set, setup a tripod and started taking selfies. The idea was to take a picture of me looking confused trying to figure out how to setup the train and it’s tracks. This after all is what life looks like. Man trying to figure stuff out.

The many shots taken to get my cover design

After a number of shots, I found one I was comfortable with. It wasn’t the clearest picture. I had to use the front facing camera but it did the job.

I felt pretty accomplished at this point and nothing I believed could hold me back from achieving my dream of being a published poet.

That’s when Amazon started to test my nerves.

Lɔgɔligi or Lorgorligi?

The Chosen Shot

Locally I did not have an issue with my cover design. Internationally however, there were issues.

To enable my book to be available outside of Ghana I utilized Amazon KDP to enable the book be available on Amazon.

The Amazon KDP is a very AI led experience. It’s an experience that can be very frustrating. The AI sets it’s requirements and rejects books that do not adhere. I would be ecstatic if this rejection was instant but unfortunately 24 hours are usually needed to get feedback after submission.

Amazon KDP AI and I went through this dance because of my cover design. I would have loved my design to be consistent with the locally printed book. Alas, that would not be the case. If I was going to tow the line of a perfectionist I may not have my book up on Amazon.

So the cover design of my book on Amazon is different from the local copies. I wish that were all. Unfortunately my desire to have lɔgɔligi retain its authentic spelling became problematic.

I realized whilst previewing my new design on Amazon KDP Cover Creator that Cover Creator does not recognize the “ɔ” character. The character just vanished in the preview screen. To be sure that wasn’t an error, I sent an email to the KDP team to verify if the “ɔ” character appearing was possible.

After a couple of days they confirmed my fears. The Cover Creator doesn’t recognize the character. As such, I had to change the spelling of the lɔgɔligi to lorgorligi. This saddened me but made me realize that a whole lot needs to be done regarding our Ghanaian languages.

Amazon Cover Design

It’s sad to admit it but internationally, it’s best to keep the book title as, Lorgorligi Locomotion. It enables the book to be easily searched within search engines. Can you imagine folk typing “ɔ” on their keyboards?

So my plan was to make these changes on the cover only. Keeping the content and spelling the same internally. Unfortunately, this caused the book to be rejected. The cover title had to match the header and title within the first pages. Until I made these changes, my book couldn’t be live on Amazon.

Conclusion

So this is the lɔgɔligi road I traveled on to get my cover design locally and also internationally. I pray this helps someone on their book journey. Be creative m, never give up and ALWAYS keep it One Hondred!

P.S The book is now available for preorder locally. Those outside of Africa can order online. I encourage you to do so and give me a review.

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!

Ehalakasa Slam Final 2016

Ehalakasa is an organization promoting performance poetry since 2007. Since I begun my poetry journey in Ghana in 2011, Ehalakasa has helped in making me who I am today as a poet.
Ehalakasa runs an annual slam of which I have won twice. A slam is a poetry competition where slammers (poets) battle out by performing and having their performances scored by judges to reveal a winner. 
Ehalakasa’s slam takes place in three rounds with each slammer having three minutes to perform. Going above this results in a penalty. Judges are chosen at random and are given a quick tutorial on the judging process and given score cards to rate performances.
It’s a very interesting experience for both the contestants and the audience. Some of the best poetry is performed at these slams.
This year I have the honor of being the slam master (host) of the final. With the experience gained over the years I am sure I will do a wonderful job. I will also be publicly announcing my album release date on that day. 
I urge you all to book the date and be there to support the finalists and the movement all together.

Ehalakasa Festival 2016 Review

The early morning rains on Saturday, 29th October, 2016 was definitely a sign of good things to come at Apam. Though I got stuck in the mud on the way to the Ehalakasa Festival 2016, I arrived in time for the festivities.
This was definitely an improvement from last year. The sound was better and there was a band – Genius Hive Band. As an artist who has visited numerous shows and considering the line up in store, my expectations of a quality show was short sighted.
The festival was EXCELLENT! Definitely ONE HONDRED! Threw me off guard completely. 
The festival started with an open mic session which saw up coming artists perform before the main event. Poetry, dance and rap graced the stage as the Two Idiots, Dr.So and Gen.Ntatea ushered them as MC’s.

Students from GHANATA at Ehalakasa Festival 2016,Apam
Students from GHANATA at Ehalakasa Festival 2016,Apam
Students from GHANATA were part of the open mic session and coloured the event with their art. Their confidence, stage craft and words pave a promising future for the art scene in Ghana.
“Black alone doesn’t make a difference but black and white make a gray”
Yvonne from Ghanata
This line stuck to me throughout the festival. It’s similar to the saying “no man is an island” but puts more emphasis on racial unity as the way to get things done. Great minds are definitely blossoming on our shores and this goes to show the importance of Ehalakasa’s involvement in schools. Their workshops have definitely molded artists for the future.
The event was graced with the presence of Ghana music legend Ebo Taylor, who opened the main show with a short speech encouraging artists to continue in their craft.
Donad (SA) & Hondred Percent (GH) Ehalakasa Festival 2016,Apam
Donad (SA) & Hondred Percent (GH) Ehalakasa Festival 2016,Apam

The festival was definitely an African one. We had Philo from Ivory Coast, Faithful from Cameroon and Donald from South Africa. Each artist had vibe that interacted with the audience and created a memorable performance. Donald’s “Hook em Up” Performance got the audience performing with him and our French brothers from Ivory Coast and Faithful tried their hands at Fanti and got us waving our hands and bumping to French.
Kacey Moore’s performance was a medley of genres. Hiphop and High Life mainly but I am sure the was some Reggae or Dancehall in there. The energy, the highs and lows in his tone accompanied by the band definitely made my body move. The host of Kona Live with Kacey Moore delivered and set the stage for the main act for the festival, Worlasi.
What follows Worlasi is hard to explain. His style is unique and laid back. Effortless and smooth. I could go on and on but let me stop and say that this guy has a way with his music and audience. He broke down on an intimate level why the songs he performed were written in a manner that you don’t get when you listen to his ŋusẽ mixtape. 
My favorites of his performance was “Possible” and “Nukata”. What I loved about “Possible” was that it was an inspiration to the art community to keep pushing. He encouraged all by reminding us of how he had dreams (like we all do) of meeting influential artists like Da Hammer, Sarkodie and Manifest. He elaborated that he had met all these people and they all came to him and not the other way round. He concluded by saying that if your work is good people will come looking for you.
Worlasi concluded the event in style and reminded us that not only is anything possible but that you can have fun doing it.
The Two Idiots were excellent hosts and need to be given more events to showcase their with and humour. Without them the event wouldn’t have come off the way it did. 
The sad thing about the festival was that it was not well patronized. That is what needs to be worked on next year. 
The Haduwa Cultural Institute in Apam, Central Region is a beautiful beach location booming with opportunity. I challenge you all to make it a point to come out next year with a change of clothes so you can have a taste of the beach as well.
Ehalakasa did a great job in pulling this together. I know a lot more can be done but together anything is possible so let’s make it count. 
In conclusion,I want to leave you with the punchline of the event. I don’t believe I have the exact phrase but it was by the poet Akambo who continues to amaze me each time I see him perform. The punchline is in response to a girl obsessed with technology (and a bit irritating to)
It goes something like this:

“Since you are so obsessed with technology, the next time you are on your period use an iPad”

Keep it One HONDRED!

EHALAKSA Festival 2016

Ehalakasa Festival returns! 
Ehalakasa is the junction where poetry intersects with music and dance. This community of creative minds have realized the need for collaboration as well as free, uninhibited self expression and have applied poetry as a potent medium through which to engage society.
This is the 9th year the festival is being held. In paving the way for bigger festivals in the future, The festival is being staged at the HADUWA ARTS & CULTURE INSTITUTE in Apam, Central Region.
The Haduwa Arts & Culture Institute is located in the heart of Apam along the Atlantic Ocean in the Central Region, it is a welcoming home for all performers and their creations.
This year’s festival features One Life artist, Worlasi. A promising young artist whose lyrics and creativity is synonymous with Ehalakasa’s ideals. The Supreme Rights artist, headlines this year’s festival which also features poets such as Kacey Moore (Ghana), Donald (South Africa), Faithful (Cameroon), the Genius-Hive band and many more.
Haduwa patron, Ebo Taylor will also be present to grace the occasion alongside Ghana’s sensational comedy duo, 2 Idiots ( Dr. So and Jeneral Ntatea) who are the hosts of the festival.
Ehalakasa since 2007, has been the quintessential experimental and interdisciplinary platform fostering new ideas and collaborations in spoken word, dance and music.
The festival will be followed by the Ehalakasa Slam Final in December 2016 at Nubuke Foundation, East Legon, Accra, which is the conclusion to this year’s intensive slam series, which saw Ehalakasa journeying Kumasi, Takoradi and Tema in the search of Slam finalists.
Poetry, music, arts enthusiasts and fans from across the country are all invited to this year’s event.
The event is free and takes place on Saturday, 29th October 2016 from 10:00 – 18:00.
Transportation is being arranged at an affordable fee. To sign up for transportation please call 0207568620.
For additional information, please call 0205043890
Visit Ehalakasa’s social media platforms for updates. Join the conversation @ehalakasa and hashtag #EHApam16 on Social media. Ehalakasa, it lives in us!!