Photo courtesy: Dac Biet
Listen to Black Sherif's Debut Album 'The Villain I Never Was'
Get ready, Black Sherif is here.
Ghana's Black Sherif shares his debut albumThe Villain I Never Was, a sonically refreshing body of work that underscores his personal struggles and triumphs. The album is a 14-track offering that has a single feature from Nigeria's Burna Boy.
“It took me everything to give life to this body,” says the 20-year-old Black Sherif in a conversation about the effort he put behind the album. “The one thing in my life that I gave everything up for. There is life in this body, I hope it treats you good and speaks to you like I want it to.”
In many ways, the album is a biopic that shows an unraveling of his personal life, and gives his audience a candid overview of his journey. In an earlier interview with OkayAfrica, the 20-year-old "Kwaku the Traveller" artist said that his ascent into the music world was unexpected, and went against his religious background.
“I have loved music since I was a kid. I just didn’t know I was going to make a career out of it,” said Black Sherif. “I am a Muslim. In Islam, music is more like sin, you shouldn’t make a career out of it if you are a Muslim. The music was chasing me, but I was always dodging it.”
Black Sherif, who was born as Mohammed Ismail Sharif Kwaku Frimpong, formally started exploring music at the age of 17 with his single "Cry For Me." This record was quickly followed by "Money," a record that highlighted his journey as a young man who was navigating the streets of Accra. He later went viral with massive singles like "First Sermon," "Second Sermon," and "Kwaku the Traveller."
Black Sherif's sound fuses elements of afrobeats with influences from drill and trap music. His sonic style is characterized by poignant wordplay, a keen ability to seamlessly merge multiple languages and genres in a way that is both interesting and fun.
He has become one of the leading voices in Ghanaian drill music, and has been featured on Apple Music's Rap Life playlist as well as Spotify's Radar Artist. He was also recently nominated for “Best International Flow” at the BET Hip Hop Awards.
Listen to Black Sherif's 'The Villain I Never Was' below.
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