Ghana’s contemporary pop culture is like a canvas, with its paintbrush held by the finest tastemakers — such as photographer, Ofoe Amegavie; animator, Prince Ampofo Bonsu; couturier, Atto Tetteh and defiant icon, Ebony Reigns. This eccentric and vivacious rainbow generation continue to push aesthetic boundaries in an era of emotional sensationalism.
Music, in particular, has redefined the image of modern Ghana. It is a revolutionary tool that can shift our moods, influence our perspectives and incite action. In the sacred words of an African legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, “music is a spiritual thing”.
There are some select-few Ghanaian artistes, with unique personalities, I pay close attention to:
Amaarae/ Ama Serwah Genfi.
Photo by Amarachi Nwosu: Amaarae
A quaintrelle by nature and connoisseur of tailleur, the acutely meticulous artiste exudes a distinct star quality of gamine; she is an epitome of the renaissance. Amaarae’s debut project, Passionfruit Summers – EP, is a seductive piece of art; its soulful melodies manipulate all five traditional senses. The tunes transcend a vibe that soothes the soul and creates a rather euphoric ambience. Her illusory visuals tease intimate scenes of a coquettish lady. If you want to seize a moment infinite time to unwind and ease your mind, listen to Amaarae.
Darkovibes/ Paul Nii Amu Andrew Darko.
Photo by Amarachi Nwosu: Darkovibes.
Darkovibes, a naturally talented musician, strings various languages and melodies together to invent alternative coast music. His sound is a manifestation of teen spirit married to high fashion. There is a certain spontaneity, free-spiritedness and authenticity to his craft that feels rebellious; it captures the pseudo-Rastafarian hippie Accra lifestyle. A witty lyricist, his songs are often laced with wavy slangs, perfect for a blotto night of debauchery.
Darkovibes has a fine collection of conscious records which explore the themes of life, death and the positive vibrations between these two extreme ends. His music is the swiftest broom to nirvana.
Photo: Kwesi Arthur.
Kwesi Arthur’s project, Live from Nkrumah Krom – EP, is a manifesto of street culture, which depicts the daily struggles of life in Ghana this quicksilver generation are confronted with. His music projects the toils of the youth far more accurately than power-drunk and status-conscious politicians can.
The Live from Nkrumah Krom – EP is two hundred and thirty-three feet deep and a heartbeat. It is about the rigorous routine and endless pursuit of the Ghanaian dream –– high hopes, sleepless nights and a journey on the road less travelled.
It reveals the ascension of an ambitious musician and mirrors a son of the motherland in her womb. It echoes the emotions of an artiste who submitted his entire dream to a higher power. The melancholic instrumentals and succinct agony in his voice portray a revolutionary, with a flambeau, determined to carve a new path.
The impact of music on a Ghanaian renaissance is essential. Pop culture must insist on a society built by futurists – citizens that dare to flip the script and enrich the identity of our Republic.