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Wizkid Signs Ghanaian Stars R2bees, Efya And Mr Eazi To His Starboy Worldwide Label

Wizkid's Starboy Worldwide scoops up Ghanaian stars R2bees, Efya and Mr Eazi for their roster.

Wizkid made a major announcement over the weekend at the 2016 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. After his performance at the VGMA’s, the Nigerian singer revealed that he’s signed top Ghanaian stars R2bees, Efya and Mr Eazi to his Starboy Worldwide label.


The signing is a big move that’ll bring some noteworthy Ghanaian and Nigerian musical power together under the Starboy umbrella, as the Ghanaian acts will be joining the likes of Legendury Beatz, Maleek Berry, and L.A.X on the label’s roster.

Wizkid also announced that R2Bees’ Paedae aka Omar Sterling will be the new president of Starboy Worldwide and teased an upcoming remix of Mr Eazi’s “Skin Tight” alongside Justin Skye.

See all the tweets and revisit R2bees & Wizkid's "Slow Down" below. We’re curious to see how this new Nigerian-Ghanaian connection works out for Starboy in the near future.

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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