Posts Tagged ‘ghana’

Azonto Decale – Bedroom Bar, June 1

Posted on May 29th, 2013 in News, Recent posts by .

 

East London welcomes the best in African urban music

Bedroom Bar, situated in trendy East London, plays host to the very best in African urban music and Afro-beat this Saturday on June 1. In association with Focus Organization, DJs from Ghana, Cameroon and Congo DRC will be dropping a mix of Ghanian azonto and Ivorian coupé-décalé beats into the early hours.

Tickets are £6 in advance and £8 on the door. Click here to buy

Hear and download a sample below:

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Guest Blog: Singer-songwriter Adjoa Owusu discusses music and food

Posted on February 20th, 2013 in News, Recent posts by .

World Food Night takes place this coming Friday (February 22) in association with Refugee Action. UK singer-songwriter Adjoa Owusu discusses her relationship with music and food through her Ghanaian roots

Born in the UK to Ghanaian parents, food and music have both been an important way for me to connect with my heritage. I grew up with a wonderful array of Ghanaian food around me; everything from jollof rice, a savory rice dish with meat and vegetables, to a huge variety of soups and stews.

These accompany starchy foods such as rice, fufu which is made from ingredients like pounded yam and plantain; or kenke, a dish made from fermented corn dough wrapped in corn leaves. Living in a global city like London means that you are surrounded by a myriad of cultures so I enjoy finding common traits and fusing these influences with Ghanaian cooking to give it my own unique slant.

“Refugee Action’s World Food Night is such a great way to celebrate the universal language of food and music…”

Like cooking, my music also fuses different influences. In Ghana, the local music and culture had a huge impact on me. I taught myself the piano, which I learnt in the UK from as early as I can remember; and many Twi gospel songs alongside English songs. Creating vocal harmonies to Twi songs was also a big passion. So it felt completely natural to fuse Ghanaian influences with my live soul performances.

As a language graduate and enthusiast, languages always find their way into my music. That’s why supporting Refugee Action’s World Food Night is such a great way to celebrate the universal language of food and music; and how it can bring people from all backgrounds together.

My musicians have worked with Ghanaian bands including Osibisa, KonKoma, as well as artists like Hugh Masekela, Courtney Pine and Beverley Knight. It was an honour to sing the Twi version of the Ghanaian national anthem with leading Ghanaian musician Alfred ‘Kari’ Bannerman for the launch of the 50th anniversary of the Ghanaian Independence celebrations in the UK at City Hall. Creating tracks for my new EP on my own label Cinnamon Sounds gave me the exciting opportunity to bring all these diverse elements together in the studio.

 

Adjoa’s new EP is available at www.adjoa.bandcamp.com and www.adjoa.co.uk

In association with Bona Fide Studios and Platforma Arts.

To find out how to get involved with World Food Night click here or read about the event in our feature in the current issue of Songlines (March 2013, #90, p42).

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Ghana musicians promote peace in build-up to December elections

Posted on October 19th, 2012 in News, Recent posts by .

On July 24, John Atta Mills passed away. To simply call him the President of Ghana would be an injustice given how much he turned the country around since he came to power in 2009. Following economic troubles in the 1990s, Atta Mills enjoyed rapid growth and praise for his democratic and peaceful ways during his time in office as vice president. In the run up to the election, many worry that his death will disturb the peace that he so long fought to sustain.

The new presidential elections are set to take place on December 7 and the musicians of Ghana are rallying and pushing for a peaceful election period.

The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) was founded in 1975 and is now a 5000-member union. Aiming the collect as many peace-themed songs as possible in the run up to the election, they launched the MUSIGA Song Contest. Of these songs 12 are set to be compiled into an album and released during MUSIGA’s November peace campaign week to coincide with the International Day of Tolerance on November 16.

MUSIGA are not the only ones to produce a peace-related album in the bid to prevent violence. In the Volta region of Ghana Stars of Volta Preach Peace, a 14-track album, was launched at a memorial for former President Mills among other major Ghanaian parties. Artists such as Tony D, Israel Maweta and Mama Grace were featured on the album and will also be playing a variety of free, peace-promoting concerts before the elections.

Many musicians have also taken the campaign into their own hands, emphasising the importance of a peaceful election. Be Black, one of Ghana’s biggest hip-hop artists condemned bribary and criticised apathetic voters, urging people to understand the significance of their vote.

The driving force of musicians is sure to influence the mood of the country in the weeks leading up to the election. One can only hope that the legacy John Atta Mills left is not in vain and that people use their vote to keep the country prospering while its surrounding neighbours still struggle. 

Words by Rebecca Neofitou

 

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Enter Shikari singer releases new EP in association with ActionAid

Posted on August 25th, 2012 in News, Recent posts by .

Rou Reynolds, lead singer of dub/happy hardcore/rock group Enter Shikari, is releasing a new EP under the guise of his solo project, ROUT, in association with charity ActionAid. The EP, entitled Nourishment, contains samples of songs recorded in ‘witch camps’ in Ghana, where women accused of sorcery are banished to spend years away from their families and homes. Often they live without access to adequate food, water, shelter or sanitation. ActionAid has been working across these camps in Ghana to improve their living conditions, provide skills training and facilitate reintegration of the women back into their own communities.

Enter Shikari has been supporting ActionAid for the past two years. Along with BBC radio presenter Huw Stephens, the band launched ActionAid’s emergency fundraising network ActionAid Live (www.actionaid.org.uk/live) and played a secret DJ set for the charity at 2011’s Reading Festival. It was during filming for the project when lead singer, Reynolds, was inspired to contribute to the cause by producing Nourishment, which he hopes will raise funds and awareness for the charity’s work in Ghana. The promotional video for the EP features scenes from their explosive DJ set at Reading Festival last year, as well as footage from ActionAid’s programme work.

Nourishment will be available as a download from 00:01 on Tuesday 28th August at www.entershikari.com/downloads for a minimum donation of £1 to ActionAid. The official EP launch will be this weekend at Reading Festival where Enter Shikari will play a DJ set in the ActionAid tent. Expect dance-inducing dub fused with samples of singing, chanting and music from the women, men and children at the camps in Ghana.

Stuart Fowkes from ActionAid said: “What’s really amazing about this EP is that it takes songs of hope from people we work with around the world and weaves them into something even greater. We really hope that when fans download the EP, they’ll take a couple of minutes to find out a bit more about what we do, as well as enjoying Rou’s amazing tunes.”

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