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!
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!
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!
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!
After dropping two singles in the moth of May 2017, the Poet Rapper, Hondred Percent is set to drop his debut album WTF? on Friday, June 2nd 2017.
The album cover art came out today and features the artist illustrated asking the question WTF? WTF? is a Hip Hop album that paints typical Ghanaian scenarios with poetry and rap in a manner that offers a different perspective on issues. It is a 13 track album filled with word play, Hip Hop beats and Ghanaian jargon.
In an effort to grow and build a loyal fan base, Hondred Percent is offering the album for FREE until 2018. The album which will be released on SoundCloud and will be available for streaming and downloading until the end of the year 2017.
Another reason why the album is to crowd fund for Poet Rapper’s next album. Hondred Percent believes that crowd funding for the next album is a means to not only raise monies but also measure audiences reaction to his work.
There is no minimum amount that can be contributed. You can contribute because you like a single track or the whole album. Details of how to contribute towards the project will be provided shortly.
Follow Hondred Percent @hondredpercent on social media and subscribe to his blog via his website www.hondredpercent.com to stay updated.
Keep it One HONDRED!
Its only a day away till the release of my first single Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message of my debut album WTF?
I thus decided to give a bit of a background into what lead me to create this piece of poetry that I have come to love soo much.
I wrote Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message in the early part of 2014. I was to perform at my alma mater alongside other poets for their celebration of Africa Day.
I had poetry but for some reason I wanted to perform something new and refreshing so started thinking of how I could make that happen.
I sure not of how the idea came into my head but it did and I started to flow with it. I genuinely asked myself from a Ghanaian perspective whether Africa will be happy with us Ghanaians.
Our filth, corruption, lack of standards and blindness to opportunity came pouring in my mind and I weaved with words the conversation that ensued.
The piece is pretty reflective and gets one thinking all the time. I have performed it at various occasions and even when I traveled to Kenya.
The audio being released however has the element of melody that has been absent whenever I performed. The background music was produced by my producer Boamah Made It.
It is beautiful and is the fertilizer to create the mood that is required to allow the words to sink in.
We are currently scripting the video which will be released in a bit. In the meantime get your ears ready to enjoy the first single of my debut album titled Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message.
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.
Today 21st March 2017 is World Poetry Day. So everything I write in this post must rhyme with day. Thus I will say, that I lay, in the arms of poetry’s bed made with hay.
There is a lot about poetry that people don’t know about. Its purpose in the world is sometimes ridiculed as a dying art form for hopeless romantics and bards seeking attention. History
In 1999 the celebration of poetry was instituted by UNESCO. UNESCO believed that poetry had a unique way of capturing the minds of people and encouraging creativity.
Part of its objectives were:
To support linguistic diversity through poetic expression.
To offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
The day is also meant
To encourage a return to oral tradition of poetry recitals.
To promote the teaching of poetry.
To restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting
To support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.
– UNESCO website What Poetry Means To Me
Poetry is another form of expression. I have used it several times to express myself in a different manner to get people to see things differently.
It can be personal or expressed to the public. It can be used for entertainment or pleasure; inspiration, social commentary and many more.
A good number of songs without their instrumental can be viewed as poems. Yet the world today still doesn’t seem to recognize the importance of this artform.
I see poetry in everything and urge others to encourage this art form that once used to be held in high esteem. Importance
From my recent travels to Kenya, I saw the power of poetry being emanated through slammers at a spoken word event called Slam Africa.
Each of the slammers tackled a social issue and got the audience to view their message in a manner that got them thinking. The poets tackled topics such as femininity, discrimination, rape, ignorance, Christianity and many more.
I was awestruck by the their performance and more than ever realized that as poets we are blessed with a gift to reach out to people. Communicate with them on issues that will add value to their lives.
This is similar to marketing campaigns only that words are used orally. Id marketing campaigns are sometimes worth millions and often times incorporate visual artists, musicians and actors why can’t poetry and poets be respected as such? Disregarded
Unfortunately poets are not respected for their craft. Corporates and small enterprises see the creation of poetry as ‘easy-peasy’ and don’t value the creation of the content.
Thus the industry is raped by EXPOSURE. Believeing that we are being offered an opportunity whilst truth be told, it usually doesn’t get far. How Can This Change?
In my opinion poetry in Ghana has a marketing, reputation and unity issue. Our art is not packaged in a manner that makes it attractive to the public. People seem to be doing the art form a favor rather than actually patronizing and giving it a chance based on merit.
The other aspect involves reputation. Good reputation should see poets rise to unimaginable heights. Unfortunately anyone can get up and claim to be a poet; and while I don’t doubt their zeal, a lot more goes into this art form than meets the eye.
Thus competition for poetry is often times non existent as organizations or individuals usually stick to who they know or are exposed to only a small number of poets who sometimes are not packaged well. Making a decision on who to choose difficult.
We are also not united as poets in Ghana. This is no fault of ill malice on the part of anyone but rather the lack of interest by all to come together for the common good of benefiting the industry. Conclusion
We have come a long way as a country with regards to poetry. We still need to do more. Rome however wasn’t built in a day so maybe this year we will try and build the Colosseum.
Happy World Poetry Day!
Keep it One HONDRED! P.S In celebration of World Poetry Day there is a poetry show at PAWA House, Roman Ridge, Accra, Ghana
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
Poetry and wine. That sounds like a perfect match. Not a soccer match for that involves beer. This here is a compliment and smooth rolled into a single delicious chocolate moment.
So I have tried to define what the evening of Saturday 4th March 2017 will be like. If you have ever been to Sai Wine & Champagne Cafe you will agree that it is an intimate hide out for warm and hearty conversation and company.
The establishment serves a wide variety of wines and champagne making it a wine lovers paradise.
Spoken Word Night will see four poets including myself get on stage and enchant the audience of the night. I believe it’s my first show of the year. I have a new poem I want to try out so if you are looking at having a good time tomorrow, why not come around Labone at 8:00 PM. Its in the same vicinity as Vida e Cafe and Lenovo.
Keep it One Hondred!