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!
Last Sunday I was the guest artist at Ehalakasa’s TalkPARTY at Nubuke Foundation in East Legon, Ghana. It’s my second performance in Ghana this year.
My performance was interactive and entertaining with an agenda to win over fans and get people excited about my upcoming album.
Whilst performing there were two lovely members of the audience that caught my eye. Their facial expressions and cheerful expressions spurred my performance on.
After the show I had the honor of meeting these beautiful people and it was quite the chat we had. One later sent me a testimonial that I want to share with you today. Here it is:
Hondred Percent aka Paul aka Mr. Forjoe is a firebrand. His art is carefully curated. Through his delivery, any audience is left spellbound, switching facial expressions as he evokes multiple emotions. Outside of his art, Paul is truly a warm-hearted person, the kind you’d want your art-obsessed children to meet, the kind you’d want to expose the next generation to. I see Paul now and I have no doubt that he’ll be one of the few people who’s light the world would acknowledge in time to come. Who knows? He may be the next Nobel Peace Prize winner 🙏🏾✌🏽.
Well I don’t know about the Nobel Peace Prize but I do know that my words and performance that night did more than I imagined. I had won myself a fan and that was a truly humbling experience.
Who would have thought that words scripted down privately, later performed publicly would cause such a reaction. This truly has inspired meto keep pushing. Who knows who I could be impacting next.
Keep it One HONDRED!
Writing an artist bio feels like a forced assignment by a grade 2 teacher on a kid who just wants to play. The only problem is that playing alone doesn’t get one very far and at a point you have to get to the important stuff that just doesn’t feel like a holiday in Hawaii.
Over the weekend I stumbled upon an article about biographies that got me reviewing my sorry excuse for a tell the world about you –biography, which was nothing more than a glorified resume with a bit more text. I hadn’t realized yet that this affected my branding.
So I got around to making notes and working on them and I now have a short and medium bio I want you to check out. I will work on the long one this week and send it to you as well. Tagline Spicy Ghanaian black pepper poetry bumping to Hip Hop music Short Bio
Whoever said Hip Hop was dead went to the wrong funeral and never gave Hondred Percent a thought.
Hondred Percent expresses the raw humor and experiences of the Ghanaian lifestyle through authentic spoken word and rap.
With inspiration from Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Reggie Rockstone, Saul Williams, Common, Mos Def, Timbaland, Kanye West and Kevin Hart, Hondred Percent has created a distinct sound that can only be compared to Ghana jollof.
A Manifest (Ghana) and Blitz Da Ambassador (Ghana) fusion or Tumi (South Africa) and HHP (South Africa) rolled in one, jamming to sounds from the Roots (USA) gives a hint to the sound, word play and realness that Hondred Percent brings to the stage.
The two time Ehalakasa Slam Champion (2014-2015) is set to release his debut album “WTF?” in June 2017. It is spicy Ghanaian black pepper poetry bumping to Hip Hop music. Medium Bio
Hondred Percent aka Paul Forjoe jnr is a rising spoken word artist from Ghana who burst on the scene in 2011 fusing poetry and rap to make Hip Hop music.
Hondred Percent is set to release his debut Hip Hop album “WTF?” in June 2017. He is currently working on a video for a single in the album and releasing his second single “Poet Rapper”.
Hondred Percent in 2014 and 2015 triumphed as the overall winner of the Ehalakasa Slam in which over 40 poets in Ghana contested.
While in Form 3 (Grade 9) in the early 90’s, Hondred Percent got introduced to rap and started writing poetry. It was his varsity days in South Africa that exposed him to Spoken Word and got him performing.
He came up with the name Hondred Percent in 2010 as a way to distinguish and motivate himself in his passion on his return to Ghana. He has since performed at numerous events within Ghana and recently traveled to Kenya to feature as a guest artist on a French show and a Slam at Alliance Francais Nairobi.
He is inspired by Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Reggie Rockstone, Saul Williams, Common, Mos Def, Timbaland, Kanye West and Kevin Hart.
He has been compared to Manifest (Ghana) and Blitz Da Ambassador (Ghana) by some. Hondred Percent is however trying to tap into the essence of Tumi (South Africa) and HHP (South Africa) bumping to the Roots (USA).
The artist has made quite a name for himself as a prolific wordsmith within Ghana. He plans to release his album for free as means to grow his fan base and crowd fund for the next album set for 2018. There are also plans to put together a band by the end of 2017 to enable him tour Ghana, Africa and the World. Conclusion
Keep it One HONDRED! and let me know what you think. Later in the year I will probably put together a workshop to help others see the importance of bios and branding. Look out for it.
I was not sure of what to expect when I landed in Kenya. The immigration officer seemed excited when she read my invitation letter stating that I was a guest poet.
“Are you a good poet?” she asked.
For a moment there I thought I was going to give her a performance after my confirmation and though that didn’t happen, I was prepared to talk about her eyes looking like diamonds for a while.
Stepping outside the airport exposed my traveling error of not finding out about the weather before packing my clothes. It was chilly and reminded me.of harmattan in Ghana. I prayed the temperature was not like this in the day.
My hosts Ian and Mufasa looked like long lost brothers from a distance and we immediately got acquainted and quite frankly have been talking non stop about poetry, music and everything in between since we met. The zebras chilling by the airport though beautiful did little to sway our conversation.
Our conversation from 2AM that Saturday, took us to see the morning sun and I slept enough to put energy into my legs. The time difference in Kenya is about 3 hours behind that of Ghana so I was a bit disoriented. I woke up to a Kenyan breakfast of jipati which I took with golden syrup and tea. I loved it.
On Sunday Mufasa and I went into town to see a show at The Alchemist. We boarded a number of graffiti mini buses called ‘matatus’ to get there.
I was treated to art, fashion and beautiful Kenyan women. East African women are blessed with beauty and confidence. I am not talking about a particular frame of woman, for all the women there had something interesting and eastern about them.
The venue itself had a carnival concept with a bar, a stage with a big bus for a back drop and a number of food caravans for people to grab something to eat. The Movement, a Kenyan band came through and killed it! I loved their music and it reminded me a bit of Ghana with their tunes.
I met a wonderful lady at The Alchemist who became my Swahili teacher. I will talk about that later. For now I am having a good time. Today Ian gives me a lesson in creating an Electronic Press Kit (EPK).
Keep it One HONDRED!
Today I travel to Kenya for a performance at a poetry event on the 18th of March, 2016. As I type this my eyes are struggling to keep open. I have been up packing and updating my affairs on my website and social media before leaving in order to depart with a gift for you guys.
The gift almost didn’t happen.
The plan was to release the Ronning Remix today. This was a remix made over Shyne’s Bad Boyz instrumental. Unfortunately I had not read the terms and conditions of of SoundCloud and YouTube well and at the last minute realized that I was in violation of copyright.
You see I thought because the track was not for sale and I was open about using it as a cover, I thought I had satisfied all the legal areas. It turns out that I hadn’t.
It turns out that I had a recording of a performance of the track over a different set of beats courtesy of The Musical Lunatics at a show where we performed together last year.
This was my first opportunity to perform with a band and considering the short time used to rehearse, I have to say what we produced was on point.
So today I as I leave to Kenya for a week I present you with the Ronning Remix featuring The Musical Lunatics as a celebration of women and a departure gift.
You have both the audio and video to enjoy. If however you want to listen to whatbi intended to share, hit me up and I will share a link for you to check it out.
Expect lots of pictures and videos as I am away. I will be documenting this trip like a kid with a new camera.
I want to thank Ehalakasa and Gallery GM for making this possible for me to represent Ghana and further my career as an artist. I also want to thank Poetra and The Musical Lunatics for making that performance a possibility. The most thanks though goes to the almighty for providing me with this gift.
I will miss my wife, son and all you guys but the internet and your prayers will keep us connected.
Always remember to keep it One HONDRED!
Here is the audio
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.
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”
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!!