King Ayisoba featuring Wanlov Da Kubolor and Big Gad – Africa Needs Africa

• “Africa Needs Africa” original music video. Thanks to GlitterbeatTV.

8.9 “Excellent Africana from Ghana”

From his album “1000 Can Die” released in March, 2017.

Featuring King Ayisoba (vocals, kologo) and his group: Abaadongo Adontanga (dancer, backing vocals, dorgo), Ayuune Sulley (sinyaka, backing vocals), Gemeka Abobe Azure (guluku, dundun drums) and Ayamga Francis (djembe drum, bemne drum).

I just love this fiery and spirited piece. Great rhythms, great energy and imbued with rebellion, Ayisoba’s delivery chock-full of character to boot. My research tells me that he’s a hiplife (the fusion of Ghanaian culture and hip hop) performer and Kologo player, born in June 1975 at Bongo SOE near Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region of Ghana. He learnt how to play the kologo (a traditional two stringed guitar) from his grandfather, a traditional healer. He’s been active under his own name since 2005.

Two rappers / chanters guest on this one; you’ll hear Wanlov Da Kubolor (see him in the canoe) @ 2:20 and ‘Big Gad’ Nmabia @ 3:32 (see him emerge like a fish!) Reggae/hip-hop artist and film director Da Kubolor (Emmanuel Owusu-Bonsu) was born in Romania, and raised in Cape Coast and Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana. Based in Accra, he raps and sings in Twi, English and Pidgen, and is one half of the duo FOKN BOIS. He stands as “a voice for the revolution by the common man on the streets of Ghana”. Like Ayisoba, Ghanaian Big Gad is another who plays the two strings guitar known as the kologo, as well as singing / rapping.

As I understand it, socially conscious lyrics are a key element in Ayisoba’s work, and that’s certainly apparent on this cut, lamenting poor leadership across the continent and spelling out the urgent need for improvements all round. They’re all singing from the same hymn sheet.

The album was produced by Zea, from the Dutch post-punk band The EX, who was very excited to work on the project:

King Ayisoba and his band know that traditional instruments are stronger than anything modern. Playing them is a gift from God. They’ll take what they can use from electronica, from hiplife (the hugely popular Ghanaian style that fuses the local highlife music with hip-hop) but they won’t let it beat them, because they know what they have is more powerful. Their music is pulled from the ground. Fiery and uncompromised, King Ayisoba is digging a new future from Ghana’s soil.

Heard on Sean Hocking’s May 2017 show on Dandelion Radio.

Get it at Bandcamp.

2019-09-12

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