Joojo Addison in "Yessa Massa" (Youtube)

The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month

Featuring Bisa Kdei, Shatta Wale, R2Bees, Becca, Magnom, Joojo Addison and more.

Here are our favorite tracks to come out of the buzzing Ghanaian music scene in March.

Follow our new GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Joojo Addison 'Yessa Massa'

New kid on the block Joojo Addison presents the follow up to his wave-making debut "Guy Man". This one is a hustler's anthem titled "Yessa Massa", and the artist maintains his style, delivering another charming contemporary afrobeat song full of highlife guitars, shrill backing vocals, and several rap-sung quotables. "Money wey dey quenchi fire, cop the Benzo for my mama!" —Nnamdi Okirike

Bisa Kdei '1924'

Bisa Kdei is a folklorist in the best sense and roundly convincing in this iteration of highlife which celebrates a period long before the genre's heyday of the 1950s and 1960s. Kdei's revivalism is serious-minded and expertly rendered even when this video clip recalls the era in a comical manner. French chants nudge the song towards coupe decale, originating in Ivory Coast while the steady and tight polyrhythmic drumming and prickly electro guitar is common to both genres. —Sabo Kpade

Ghanaian highlife royal Bisa Kdei released this song from his 2018 abum Highlife Konnect as a single—and rightly so. "1924" is a nostalgic bop designed to take you back to the olden days of Ghana, typically called an "old timers" song. Bisa does what he does best on this highlife joint, and even if you don't understand Twi, the contagious groove surely won't be lost on you.—Nnamdi

Shatta Wale & Ray Parker 'Acoustic Session'

This month's lot of releases by Shatta Wale range from the antagonistic "Social Media Gangsters" to the plaintive "Juju," the redemptive "Deliver Me" and the motivational speak of "When You Fail." The best of the lot is this 30-minute freestyle session he recorded with a guitarist in which his many gifts for melodies in a variation of styles—from afropop to highlife, dancehall, reggae, RnB and highlife—and whatever else came to mind. With a spliff in hand and egged on by Parker's attentive guitar playing, Wale is serious and playful but never not in creative bliss when improvising . Brilliant! —Sabo

R2Bees 'Straight From Mars' feat. Wizkid 

R2Bees and Wizkid is a combination that simply can't fail. The trio has delivered hit after hit, and this one right here is no different. On "Straight From Mars," a cut from R2Bees' just released full length album SITE 15, the three afrobeats titans display their chemistry yet again, cruising their way through the chill head bopper. —Nnamdi

Becca  x Ycee 'Magic'

Who needs video models these days? Becca and Ycee make a feast for the eye in a variety of snazzy outfits. Their on screen chemistry is reflected in the way they overlap each other's singing in a seductive drawl, nothing like the nonchalance expressed lyrics about public opinions about their forbidden love. —Sabo

Magnom 'Maintain' feat KaySo, Quamina MP, Twitch & Almighty Trei

Producer artist Magnom releases this brand new single titled "Maintain," which is a collaboration with artists KaySo, Quamina MP, Twitch and Almighty Trei, all from the buzzing Ground Up music collective. Each artist expresses his ambitions as well as the conviction they have to see them through as they float their way through this afrobeats joint. —Nnamdi

Weaving lyrics on the theme of "maintain"—pidgin slang loosely used to denote having wealth, a good time or whatever the fancy is, really—each featured guest turns up strong verses with individualised cadences that range from RnB, some rap but lift often from ragga. —Sabo

E.L 'Higher'

Rapper, singer, and producer E.L drops his first single of the year, this bouncy afropop cut titled "Higher." Despite still dropping quality music, the tried and true hitmaker has been having a low season for quite a while now, but hopefully this motivational joint is word and sign of better things to come. —Nnamdi

The type of song that sparks a parody of a worship service in a club and that is genuinely intended. —Sabo

R2Bees 'Yesterday'

Omar Sterling's short and neat verse on "Yesterday" is near perfect except for the last throw away line. Intended to showcase their versatility, "Yesterday" is a soothing confection of pleasant guitars and soft drum arrangements. The video features a comic turn by Darkovibes, the mercurial singer-songwriter who joined the group on their current US tour with a UK date on May 3. —Sabo

Kojo Funds x DJ Spinall 'What Do You See'

Kojo Funds' strong vocal performances may seldom get credit for appearing effortless. On "What Do You See," a perfectly weighted chorus sung over mellow arrangements identifies the sound as 'afroswing'—a dominant sound in London - but it's in fact "pon pon," on account of the soft pair of twin synths. The collaboration with Nigerian DJ Spinall will go some way to popularise the song in the sister markets of London (where Funds is a reputed name) and Ghana (where Funds is from). —Sabo

Efya x Darkovibes 'Anywhere'

Darkovibes is entertaining as Mr Naughty while the celestial traits in Efya's voice makes the refrain of "anywhere" even catchier. —Sabo

Follow our new GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

News Brief
Darkovibes in "Mike Tyson" (Youtube)

Watch Darkovibes & Runtown's New Video For 'Mike Tyson'

"Mike Tyson is a song for champions, pathfinders and trail blazers," Darkovibes' team says of the single and Accra-shot video.

A few months ago, Ghanaian artist and La Meme Gang member Darkovibes connected with Nigeria's Runtown for "Mike Tyson."

That addictive single now gets a new music video, directed by Zed, which follows both artists across Accra's High street and other city locations.

"Mike Tyson is a song for champions, pathfinders and trail blazers," a statement from Darkovibes' team reads. "It is for those who stand against popular opinions and make it. Runtown... touches on developmental issues in Nigeria. He also speaks on being bold in the face of institutional oppositions and signs out with a badman proclamation."

Keep reading...
Ko-Jo Cue. Image provided by the artist.

Ko-Jo Cue Addresses the Struggles of Young African Men In 'For My Brothers'

Interview: Ghana's Ko-Jo Cue tells us about his debut album, For My Brothers, and the many compelling stories behind it.

Ko-Jo Cue isn't a new name in the Ghana music space. Having consistently released music from as way back as 2010 until now, he has proved his skill and dexterity as a rapper several times over. However something had been lacking, especially from a rapper of his caliber: a project. This month Ko-Jo Cue set out to resolve that, with the release of his much anticipated debut album, For My Brothers, a 15-track offering from the BBnz Live signee. For My Brothers is more than just an album, though. It's an unreservedly honest and heartfelt letter to all young men, addressing what it means to be a man and the struggles young African males face today.

Previously, the Ko-Jo Cue we're used to would shuffle between lyrical rap and afrobeats-influenced party rap versions of himself, at his convenience. This time around we get a new version of the spectacled rapper: the conscious Ko-Jo Cue. For My Brothers is deep, honest, and touching. Addressing everything from the need to cut people off, to the death of a dear loved one, the experiences detailed within are sure to resonate with any young male adult.

In these afrobeats times, the primary aim of most African musicians is to make their listener's dance, or make a "vibe" or "banger" for the clubs and dance floors, rappers included. An artist setting out to dedicate an entire project to speak to the group of people who can relate with him the most, and who can learn from his stories and experiences and realize that they aren't alone in what they're facing, is impressive. It shows a level of care for his art that surpasses commercialism and all the trappings of today's music industry, and the desire to leave a lasting impact.

Keep reading...
Stormzy performs during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage) via Getty Images.

Watch Stormzy's Powerful BRIT Awards Performance Featuring Burna Boy

The night saw the British-Ghanaian star run through a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head.

The BRIT Awards 2020, which went down earlier this week, saw the likes of Stormzy take home the Best Male trophy home and Dave win Best Album.

The night also saw Stormzy deliver a stunning performance that featured a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head. The British-Ghanaian star started things out slow with "Don't Forget to Breathe," before popping things off with "Do Better" then turning up the heat with "Wiley Flow."

Stormzy nodded to J Hus, playing a short bit of "Fortune Teller," before being joined onstage by Nigeria's Burna Boy to perform their hit "Own It." Burna Boy got his own moment and performed an energetic rendition of his African Giant favorite "Anybody."

The night was closed off with a powerful message that read: "A lot of time they tell us 'Black people, we too loud.' Know what I'm sayin'? We need to turn it down a little bit. We seem too arrogant. We a little too much for them to handle. Black is beautiful man." The message flashed on a black screen before a moving performance of "Rainfall" backed by his posse.

Watch the full performance below.

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The ornate gilded copper headgear, which features images of Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, was unearthed after refugee-turned-Dutch-citizen Sirak Asfaw contacted Dutch 'art detective' Arthur Brand. (Photo by Jan HENNOP/AFP) (Photo by JAN HENNOP/AFP via Getty Images)

A Stolen 18th Century Ethiopian Crown Has Been Returned from The Netherlands

The crown had been hidden in a Dutch apartment for 20 years.

In one of the latest developments around art repatriation, a stolen 18th century Ethiopian crown that was discovered decades ago in the Netherlands, has been sent back home.

Sirak Asfaw, an Ethiopian who fled to The Netherlands in the '70s, first found the relic in the suitcase of a visitor in 1998, reports BBC Africa. He reportedly protected the item for two decades, before informing Dutch "art crime investigator" Arthur Brand and authorities about his discovery last year.

The crown is one of only 20 in existence and features intricate Biblical depictions of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Historians believe it was given to the church by the warlord Welde Sellase several centuries ago.

Read: Bringing African Artifacts Home

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