I am almost done with my album. One more track to record and some finishing touches and the sound engineer can do what he does best and get the tracks mastered.
It has indeed been a journey of learning but I am so glad I decided to pursue my dream. I however have to start thinking about distribution which is now digital and in some cases involves money.
I really wish Ghana and SoundCloud alone will do it in taking my art to the masses but I don’t think Ghana is there yet. SoundCloud is just a community of music lovers that doesn’t have digital distribution.
So I browse the web for options and I am bombarded with lots of choices. Tune Core, Cd Baby, Loudr, Ditto, Bandcamp and lots more.
(I am supposed to be studying for a paper the next day and here I am studying digital distribution)
My goal as an artist is to give out my first album for free. This is to get my art out there and build a loyal fan base. I want to grow as an artist and without people who love what you do there is no point.
Unfortunately, if I want my music to be available worldwide, I have to pay money.
(So much for charity)
I am still looking through what the best options are. Tune Core looks popular but they charge you an annua rate of $29.99 to upload an album the first year and $49.99 the following years.
I believe I have great stuff to offer the world but thats a lot coming from an independent artist trying to come out.
Bandcamp seems great. They allow you to put your stuff out and get people to listen for free and even contribute towards your album if they feel it is worth it. They however do not distribute globally.
In Ghana I am not even sure as to how to get my stuff to the popular digital music outlets. I pray God provides me with the strength to come out of this journey successful.
I will be settling on a release date soon and will let you know about it. Until then, always keep it One Hondred!
A confident Worlasi approached the stage strapped with what looked like safety belts for a parachute. He was prepared for the jump into stardom.
With the amazing Safoa band, Dj, wonderful guest artists, an audience who just couldn’t sit down and a consistently smoke filled stage that warranted the band members wearing gas masks, I guess his fashion statement was justified.
I sat right in the front and loved every minute of this concert. They say if you want to visit a good Chinese restaurant, go to the one the Chinese visit. The same can be said for music. If you want to see a good musician/artist go to the one that all the other artists are talking about.Artists from all walks of life came out to support Worlasi and contributed to making the night spectacular.
Daniel Quist as the MC was perfect. He was the one that introduced me to Worlasi and champions his music passionately. No one else could do that job better than him in my opinion.
Worlasi was at home entertaining guests. He spoke about everything that came to mind like the confused state of fish when you buy Kenkey, his grandmother and the fact that everyone should grab a drink. It’s free but it can get finished, he said.
Each of the artists that graced the stage are a testament to how versatile the Nuse artist is. From Six Strings, Akan, Poetra, Cina Soul, Wanlov and Manifest, each artist held their own and proved to me that Ghana’s music scene is indeed diverse and evolving.
Cina Soul did something really creative to make the concert truly artistic. She made the audience, band and herself take part in the mannequin challenge. I thought that was really unique and bold. As a Ghanaian you would think people would not have participated, especially with all that Jameson around but she pulled it off. I can’t wait to see what that was like on video.
Alliance Francais was half filled by 8 PM before 11 PM it was filled beyond capacity with people forever glued to the front of the stage. There were so many hands in the air with the Worlasi hand gesture making a “W” that if Worlasi was to stand for election that day people will have voted twice for him.
As Hondred Percent, I was inspired to keep striving and believing in my art. Worlasi is an effective communicator on stage utilizing pidgin in a manner like no other to address social issues as well as add commentary on things we go through in life. It is difficult for a Ghanaian not to relate to his music.
The artist embraces his creativity head on and goes with the flow to create one of the best concerts I have been to. His fashion from harness belts to a northern attire and finally a red shirt and black pants give you a feel of the artists taste and style.
Manifest defined it right.
“Everything Nice For Worla”
On that night everything was good for him. I was proud and happy for him. As an artist one of most beautiful things is to perform and have people perform your track with you. When you penned down the lyrics to that song, no one was around. The impact those words will have was untested and now a crowd is jamming with you giving you back the very words you strung together. It’s a truly humbling experience that also has the capacity to giving you a big ego. I however feel with Worlasi we will be seeing more of the latter.
Indeed everything nice for Worla. If you don’t believe me you should have been there to witness it. There was so much love from his fans that he insulted his fans they insulted him back and they all had a laugh. It was that good.
Thank you Worlasi for keeping it One Hondred! PS: Gallery of images taken to follow soon
Do you know Poetra Asantewa?
She is one of Ghana’s finest poets who also runs a fashion label as well as the Yobbings greeting card line.
Poetra recently came back from a tour in the United States and I am itching to see how that experience impacts on her performance.
As I prepare to release my album next year, I make it a point to learn from others who have released poetry albums and who are doing things I want to do.
With her Motherfuckitude EP in the bag, Poetra is raising the Ghanaian poetry flag high and I am privileged to know her and work with her.
The show which takes place on Thursday, December 1 2016 at the Drama Studio, University of Ghana will be supported by producer and artist KaySo, the amazing songbird Cina Soul and myself.
I am honored to be sharing a piece of myself with the audience and working alongside such amazing talent.
So what will I be performing that night?
I am still deciding. Though I have a fair idea of what I want to do. There will definitely be rap and poetry. I have not performed in a while since I have been putting in work at the studio on the album.
I however look forward to performing and witnessing the amazing talent especially Poetra and what she has in store for the audience. I hear drums are involved. Can’t wait!
P.S Drum Roll, Please starts at 8:00 PM.
Remember to keep it Hondred Percent!
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 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.
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”
Is it Ghana or it’s people that don’t appreciate art? This question baffles me every time I ask.
For the longest time art has been seen as inferior to other academic subjects. Especially the science subjects. In Ghana’s reality, a good portion of artists, be it actors, musicians, visual artists and the likes rarely get their art treated with the respect it deserves.
That’s not to say that people in Ghana don’t respect art but majority view it as something they themselves can do and don’t see reason in paying for its real value.
A good number of artists today are not where they should be not because they were lazy or took a wrong turn but because they were undervalued.
Recently I was hired by a lady from a well respected society in Ghana (I won’t mention the name) to perform at an event. I was called at the last minute on the day of their event to perform. I had to send in my piece to be scrutinized and accepted and was expected to be at the event at a certain time.
I was professional in my conduct. I dressed for the occasion, was punctual and delivered as expected. We agreed on a cash token to accommodate my transportation (Ghana’s sorry excuse for payment). After my performance I couldn’t be compensated as the event was still ongoing, so I settled for a mobile money transfer the next day.
I never heard from the lady again. I communicated with her the day after and the next and after that I decided to stop disrespecting myself and ignore that I had been used.
This is not the first time such has happened in my career as an artist. This time however I must say that I was surprised that the caliber of society I was engaged with treated me with such disregard.
When I look at my craft I realize that I have been blessed with a gift. When that product of my gift is treated this way it hurts. It doesn’t dampen my spirit but makes me stronger.
I just wonder whether my zeal to continue creating won’t be killed by the people I create for.
Keep it One HONDRED!
Everyone loves music. Some love a specific genre and others have a mix of genres that they enjoy. For me it’s Hiphop. The whole idea of Hiphop as a culture is synonymous with my Christian beliefs.
“Hip means to know
It’s a form of intelligence
To be hip is to be up-date and relevant
Hop is a form of movement
You can’t just observe a hop
You got to hop up and do it
Hip and Hop is more than music
Hip is the knowledge
Hop is the movement
Hip and Hop is intelligent movement
Or relevant movement
We selling the music.” KRS-One
With that definition, the question of whether current Hiphop is really Hiphop is debatable. However, my mission here is to address the issue of secular music.
I have looked up the definition of both secular and gospel music. As clear as they might be, people usually refer to secular music as anything that’s not Christian related (by that we mean praising God).
That as a definition is not that bad to the ear until you realize that a lot of Christians frown upon secular music as if it’s pure evil.
I am not here to change views but to offer my perspective on the subject.
I love Hiphop music. I love the beats, rhythms, rhyme, lyrics and skill at which artists go at their craft. Is the content good? Not really. A lot of what is being rapped or sung about for a long time is nonsense. There are however great songs and also truth within some of the nonsense that’s out there.
I find the “don’t listen to secular music agenda” flawed on a number of levels. We live in a world surrounded by good and evil. It’s our job to discern which is which and take decisions that will bring out the best in us.
I am not saying go to a prostitute for advise but if she is giving advise, there is a possibility that it’s good advise. Just because she is a prostitite doesn’t mean she can’t do good.
It’s the same with music. You listen with a discerning ear. I must point out that not everyone can be in the presence of music and discern. If that’s how you are, establish safe zones and stick to it.
Christians are not supposed to judge but there seems to be a lot of judging that is done by us. We fail to see the good in people. Majority of the time I feel that’s how secular music is seen.
As an artist and a Christian I see Hiphop artist, Lecrae as a role model. I agree with his stance on not being labeled as a Christian artist. I don’t like being labeled as Christian artist. It restricts who views your art. As an advocate for good music (and by that I mean good clean music) I believe it should be consumed with no filters.
People should take in the art and be moved by it enough to question why the artist did what they did. What inspires them? What moves them? This becomes an opportunity to reveal Christianity and more importantly Truth.
I don’t have any qualms with artists that call themselves Christian artists. My only issue is that majority of their consumers are Christians. This is not bad, if that’s who the art is targeted towards. However, if your goal is to reach the masses then one must reconsider how they will take the message if it is wrapped as a Christian message.
People want hope and inspiration. They want the truth. Christianity has all this and more but how it’s presented makes a lot of difference. The reason why we Christians are tasked with spreading God’s love is because we are sinners. Sometimes we act as if we don’t know what that was like. People need to relate with us in order to see the light. It’s also not always instantaneous.
Secular music has its good sides and bad but so does gospel music. A good chunk of gospel music is awesome but there are some songs labeled gospel that are questionable.
I have always found the song Hero, by Mariah Carey to be gospel in essence. Though it’s tagged secular. People will even view Mariah as a secular artist. I would drop labels and just call her an artist and encourage her to make more songs like Hero to draw people towards God.
“There’s a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don’t have to be afraid
Of what you are
There’s an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away
And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you” Lyrics to Hero by Mariah Carey
With words like these, how can we view this song as secular. God is not mentioned in the song but it doesn’t mean God is not in the song. God is in all of us. When we allow Him to shine through us His glory is evident.
Allow God to work through you. Keep it One HONDRED!
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!!
I first stumbled upon Worlasi’s unique sound earlier this year upon a video shoot at Francis Kokroko’s studio in Osu. Mawuli AKA Daniel Quist was bumping to tracks of Worlasi’s album “Nusē: The Strength Within” and raving about the artist.
At the time I had no idea of who he was. Track after track during conversations I found it difficult to point out error in his art and embarrassing that I did not know about this great artist.
It was official…….I was hooked.
As an artist there is only one phrase I can use to describe his music: beautiful envy. I envy his artistic prowess and yet inspired by it.
His style is unorthodox and cool. A complex yet simple medley of pidgin English and Ewe over beats he produced that evolves the Hiphop I know into something else.
I had to get more Worlasi in my ears. Luckily for me Soundcloud houses a number of his tracks. From earlier works to his albums, it’s all there. I soaked into each track until I stumbled on “One Life”.
As a Ghanaian, beautiful doesn’t begin to describe “One Life”. The instrumentals produced by Worlasi creates nostalgia and gets you bumping before his lyrics hit your ears.
Comprehension of my enthusiasm is difficult if Ewe doesn’t roll off your tongue as smoothly as Michael Jackson dance moves. The video for the song however is kind to provide subtitles to break the beautiful mystery of Ewe down for you.
The more I soak in Worlasi’s music the more I am encouraged that Ghana’s music has a future. We are a nation blessed with amazing artists that Ghanaians for lack of exposure struggle to understand. Thus music is more about empty lyrics and dancing. That’s great but doesn’t challenge the status quo.
Great art is a medley of entertainment and admiration merged with commentary on a social or political issue. Manifest is an artist that understands this concept and continues to lean on it. Worlasi as an artist and producer is taking that concept to the next level.
His recently released track, “Nukata” is the artists take on male obsession with women that lead them to empty their morals and cash. I call it the Pidgin and Ewe version of Gasmilla’s “Telemo”. The video is equally interesting portraying a man vommitting out dollars and later cedis and later coins just to satisfy his passion’s (embodied as a female) desire.
If you have not heard about Worlasi, search for him and listen to the future of our music. He is going places and I will be proud to see him raise Ghana’s flag higher.
(Don’t for a second however think my enthusiasm for his art is because he featured on Manifests track “100 percent“.)