Photos

XOkayAfrica: Ghanaian Dancehall Star Stonebwoy Drops By to Show Love

Ghanaian reggae-dancehall star stopped by OkayAfrica HQ in NYC. See the exclusive photos.

We get a lot of drop-ins at the OkayAfrica offices. 


Any given day, you're liable to see an afrobeats star, buzzing actor, fashion it-girl, or underground artist stopping by our Brooklyn headquarters to say what's up and scope out our multipurpose gallery, OkaySpace.

In our new series XOkayAfrica, we'll be capturing those visits through exclusive photos.

NEW YORK CITY—Stonebwoy was in high spirits when he dropped by OkayAfrica HQ.

A true jet setter, the Ghanaian dancehall star was in New York City for just one day, stopping by after playing a show in Washington, D.C. on his way to Jamaica for a music video shoot.

Stonebwoy, who was one of the highlights at last year's One Africa Music Fest, is coming strong from taking home the Ghana Music Awards for both Reggae/Dancehall Artiste and Song of the Year in 2016.

The singer and Burniton Music Group CEO is currently pushing his latest hit "Come From Far (Wogb3 J3k3)."

Stonebwoy told us he's got much more music on the way, including a new reggae project planned for later this year.

Check out our exclusive pictures of Stonebwoy at the OkayAfrica offices, taken by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy at OkayAfrica HQ. Photography by Ginny Suss.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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