So by now I’m sure most of the people who follow me on social media know I have been raving about Stonebwoy’s ‘Epistles of Mama’ album. It is a very good album with many well-written and produced songs, which shows the musical talent of the artist in question. For me, a good album should show diversity, have an underlying theme, and take the listener through a journey; a journey of emotions – joy, memories, sorrow, inspirations and more. The ‘Epistles of Mama’ album ticks many of these boxes for me, so I was looking forward to seeing Stonebwoy perform these songs for the first time. And well, he did perform most of them during the 2017 Bhim Concert in a rather masterful manner. Breaking his sessions into reggae, dancehall, and even afropop, his stagecraft, clarity, energy and passion for music was ‘un-missable’! When the crowd sang along to most of the songs, which were relatively new from the just released album, I knew I was not the only one who loved the album. For me, calling Stonebwoy Ghana’s truest reggae/dancehall gem is by way of looking at him as I would an artist who can rap (or do hip-hop) very well and equally sing (or do R&B). The genres are closely linked but very few talents can combine them well and successfully. This is why I picked Stonebwoy out of the lot! So here are my 5 reasons
- Great performer – Stonebwoy is a great recording artist as much as he is a performing artist. His performances are marked with pure artistry around his vocal and live performance abilities. When Pink performs live, suspended from the skies, it doesn’t receive rave reviews simply because it is a stunt that gets the crowd excited; but rather because it is an act that makes her stand out while complimenting her core talent. Stonebwoy’s performances at the Bhim Concert did just that!
- Vocally gifted – Stonebwoy has a good singing voice, which allows him to do reggae, or lover’s rock very well. Something his most of his peers in the dancehall fraternity don’t have.
- Lyrically gifted – great lyrics is not necessarily positive lyrics for me, but having a message in your music and not just words that will excite people. Again, Stonebwoy ticks the boxes on this for me. Apart from the great melodies of Bob Marley and the great reggae artists we know of, the messages in these songs have spoken wisdom to generations. Stonebwoy has the creativity to put messages into songs, and his random freestyles at the Bhim Concert were a testament to that.
- Body of work – although I love the work other artists in the reggae/dancehall fraternity, including Jupitar and Episode, most of them don’t have a great repertoire like Stonebwoy does. Few artists can hold their own, and have a concert with great back-to-back performances as Stonebwoy’s body of work allows.
- Thinks global – Stonebwoy has great global appeal not only by the quality of songs and videos he puts out, but also because of the conscious efforts to align that with his branding. This includes great collaborations, building the right image among others.