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Da Hip Life Episode 3- Interview with Jean Feier

Jean Feier is a Ghanaian artist who spent a good portion of her childhood in Europe; she’s a German national who also lived in England and Ghana. All three countries have left their mark on her personality and artistry, and she speaks many different languages! She draws influence from the music of her many cultures – grabbing bits and pieces as she sees fit. She just released her first EP – a six track offering called 93M Child – as part of Ghana’s up-and-coming Royal KCMG collective. Intensely in touch with her own emotions, her life equally shines through the lyrics and musical backdrop. Yes, she’s a rapper, but in line with today’s musical trends, her music continues to blend genres and bend definitions.
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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 Thoughts, Video No Comments

Da Hip Life Episode 2- Interview with Klu

Klu is one of the most prolific artists I’ve ever met. As he began his career, he set the ambitious goal to release 12 mixtapes in only four years. Yes, you read that correctly, in order to “find himself” as an artist, he put out TWELVE free full projects for the masses, honing his skills and experimenting with different sounds. He is an emcee and a producer, and he keeps his circle tight. While he has songs with some of the biggest names in Ghana (Edem, Sarkodie, Joey B etc…) he will not work with just anyone. His artistic integrity won’t allow it. Before making a beat for someone or rapping over another producer’s work, he must be able really to understand his fellow artist. He needs to comprehend what they are doing with their music and where they are coming from. Most of his production, under the slightly varied KluMonsta or King Klu monikers, features members of his collective The Royal KCMG, his girlfriend and fellow artist Jean Feier, or it winds up hosting his own vocals.
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 Thoughts, Video No Comments

Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs)

The stage and hosts

Not everyone is afforded the opportunity to attend a major, national awards ceremony. I won’t say “never,” but my career aspirations will probably keep me away from the accolades and/or money required to grab a ticket for, say, The Grammys. But in early April, I was able to secure a seat at the Vodaphone (sponsored) Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs). It was quite an experience and one that I will never forget! There WAS a red carpet filled with press cameras, TV personalities as well as screaming fans. There were pre-show interviews about which designers the celebrities were sporting, their pending nominations and other aspects of their personal lives. There were rows of seats in front reserved for all of the biggest names in Ghanaian music from High Life legend Daddy Lumba to up-and-comer Mz. Vee, hip life mainstays Edem and E.L, and international stars like Yemi Alade. I was pleased to see many artists take the opportunity to shine light on social issues from the recent tragedy in Kenya to the struggles with Boko Haram.
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Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 Thoughts, Video 1 Comment

Da Hip Life Episode 1- Interview with Edem

Da Hip Life is the newest series from Da-What shining a spotlight on the Ghanaian music scene past and present. Episode 1 kicks off with Edem, one of the biggest artists out there.
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Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 Thoughts, Video 5 Comments

Adventures with Royal Hartigan – Pt. 3

Royal Map 3

The final installment of the trilogy of my travels with royal hartigan and blood drum spirit, blending Western Jazz music and traditional Ghanaian music, concludes with the Ashanti Region and Accra. We were based in royal’s current hometown – Kumasi, where he is a visiting professor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (‘KNUST’ or ‘Tech’ for short). The Kumasi Cultural Center became our musical hub; their music and dance ensemble directed by Daniel Annan Sackey and led by Eric Owusu, our extended family. Practice, rehearsal sessions and video recordings included “Fontomfrom Improvisations,” “Naima” by John Coltrane, and “Tie Me Sufre” and “Hits,” both by David Bindman, combined respectively with Fontomfrom and Kete royal court musics, Adowa funeral/social music, and Sikyi social music. The Asante Fontomfrom royal court music included three main sections, Atopiretia, Akantam, and Naawia corresponding to different parts of the ceremony.
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Monday, June 8th, 2015 Thoughts, Video 1 Comment

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