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Juls, Zlatan, Worlasi, Damibliz 'Kokosa' artwork detail.

The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month

Featuring Sarkodie, Kwesi Arthur, Efya, Kirani Ayat, Shatta Wale, Juls and more.

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

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


GuiltyBeatz x Mr Eazi x Kwesi Arthur 'Pilolo'

Producer GuiltyBeatz is finally back with another release, his last being the smash hit "Akwaaba," the biggest dance anthem out of Ghana in 2018. "Pilolo" is another potential dance hit that follows the same formula its predecessor. He features label head Mr Eazi once again, this time adding rap sensation Kwesi Arthur to the mix. Kwesi opens the song with a few quick bars, and Mr Eazi laces it with a repetitive hook then lets the beat take center stage of the two minute anthem. —Nnamdi Okirike

As a producer, GuiltyBeatz has made fantastic house bangers that include "Akwaaba," "Genging," and now "Pilolo" which features Kwesi Arthur. In each, Guiltybeatz maintains a propulsive bass drum that is varied with melodious astral effects. Pilolo is also the name of a children's outdoor game, as well a dance craze from Ghana. —Sabo Kpade


Sarkodie x Akan 'All Die Be Die'

The hard-nosed title, which could mean provocation or resignation, were the words the incumbent president of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo made in the run up to the 2012 presidential elections. Along with Akan, Sarkodie gives new life to the pidgin nugget, expounding on tales of survivalism and triumph over production that combines hissing trap snares and throbbing highlife drums. Sarkodie's precision and breath-control brings order to the brilliantly busy beat that would consume many a rapper. —S.K

Twitch x KaySo 'Happy Everyday'

Emerging singer Twitch released this brand new single titled, "Happy Everyday," an anthem for the happy-go-lucky. In the song, Twitch preaches the gospel of being and staying positive regardless of what you may be going through in life. He sings: "Make you no let your worries over you, you figure your problems big e be few give somebody," Ghanaian pidgin English which translates to"Don't let your problems overwhelm you, if you think your problems are big they're little compared to someone else's." Twitch delivers a refreshing dose of inspiration on this one, something that isn't commonplace in afrobeats. A Kayso production, "Happy Everyday" isn't just enjoyable but also spirit-lifting. —N.O.

Juls x Zlatan x Damibliz x Worlasi 'Kokosa'

If tags indicate quality, the words "Juls baby" primes the ear for goodness to come. In "Kokosa," a dark and brooding bass line brings dramatic tension to ambling drums over which Damibliz impressively varies melodies, any one of which would be a fitting hook. —S.K.

Kirani AYAT x Efya 'For You'

Hausa rap specialist Kirani AYAT delivers something that isn't in his usual lane: a love song. However, the rapper proves he can deliver regardless of genre on this joint featuring talented soul singer Efya."For You" presents a smooth afro hip-hop cut that sees the rapper displaying his softer side with some charming crooning, assisted with a sultry guest verse by the multi award winning singer. - N.O.

"For You" features offers of love in English and marriage in Hausa "zan kawo lefe / e yi awure" by Kirani Ayat who manages to hold his own against the often celestial Efya, who doesn't belt to dazzle here, perhaps not to upstage her host. —S.K.

FOKN Bois x Mr Eazi 'True Friends'

The FOKN Bois, comprised of artists Wanlov the Kubolor and M3NSA, and well known for their controversial and socially-conscious music. In their new single, "True Friends," the duo calls out fake acquaintances. They also pay tribute to their fans, who they declare are their true friends due to their actual support—the buying and sharing of their art. "True Friends" was the single preceding their new album, Afrobeats LOL, which dropped later in the month. - N.O.

Shatta Wale 'Signboard'

Of the few Shatta Wale releases for February alone, "Signboard" stands out. Here, he is closer to a folk singer than to a dancehall supremo. He responds to his own calls on the chorus over an insistent piano, singing about the use of signboards to indicate what ought to be clear about his and one's status. —S.K.

Ama Slay x EL x Joey B 'Asem' 

Ama Slay's tale of desire and demands for a lover to "make it worth her while" gets not one but two suitors in EL and Joey B, whose clever and funny inter-changing bars pretend to be from one character..

Maayaa 'See'

RnB/Soul songstress Maayaa is a newcomer to the Ghanaian music space, having released her debut project, Chapter Red, towards the end of last year. But the music that she makes sends a completely different message, as it boasts songwriting and musicality that can easily compare to that of veterans.This month she released her very first offering for the year, "See," an afro-soul ballad filled with sultry melodies and dreamy but passionate harmonies. Here Maayaa delivers her heartfelt lyrics in a combination of English and Twi, and the music does the rest to complete what definitely results in something many artists fail to achieve: a timeless love song. —N.O.

Miyaki 'Sexy Tranquilo'

The self-styled "youngest-in-charge" delivers an impressive take on Ronyturnmeup's "World Wide Riddim," released in the last quarter of 2018. One lyric "me dream like a Martin Luther / me no want no puta" pushes the borders of taste, as does leaving out much of the original's patois which pushes the song into afro-swing territory. —S.K.


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."

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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.

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Video
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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