Ghana has long been the creative and cultural hub of the African continent. It’s a nation that’s thrived by harnessing the eclectic skills, talents and brilliance of a diverse and innovative population.
Along with its appetite for technology, ground-breaking financial services, high tech online casino sites and super successful football teams, Ghana has a hunger for creative excellence.
Over the millennia Ghana has produced the finest craftsmen, artisans, musicians and fine artists. Creatives likes Philip Gbeho, Amakye Dede, Koo Nimoo, El Anatsui and Ablade Glover have rightfully taking their place on the world stage.
Now there is a coterie of young, equally talented, musicians and artists who are soaring to the very top of their respective genres. Here are six influential Ghanaians who are well on their way to stardom:
Young, imposing and with a flair and style all of his own Darkovibes is the modern maestro of Ghanaian music. He’s also a trend influencer when it comes to hair and fashion.
Along with his style statements the twenty-something year old from Accra is belting out unique sounds that are a hybridized version of rap, hip hop and Afro beat.
The man who’s alternatively known as ‘Poseidon with the Wave’ started making waves of his own in 2016 with his breakthrough single ‘Mercy’.
Now the talented dude with an attitude has collaborated with the rising stars of Ghana’s creative collective to give us tunes that speak of Afrika – Efya, Joey B, R2Bees, Stonebwoy and Edem – to name just a few.
What’s next for the rapper fashionista? Well by all accounts his brand new KiDi assisted offering ‘Bless Me’ ain’t too shabby!
Smooth sensual and spine tingling adequately describe the silky sounds of Cina Soul. She is another dynamic young Ghanaian who has the world at her feet.
With a vocal range that can easily do justice to any music genre, the wonderfully energetic Accra-born star has focussed her considerable talent on highlife, soul and R&B.
Her debut album that she shared with KiDi, M.anifest and Worlasi was the catalyst for bigger and better things. Since then she’s released ‘Mother of Heirs’ as part of the Black Girls Glow project, along with co-conspirators and serious songstresses Ria Boss, Poetra Asantewa, Dzyadzorm, Adomaa and Fu.
Now in 2019, the lovely afro soul diva is on the cusp of greatness after being nominated for the Best Female Vocal Performance at the 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. All that’s left for us to say is ‘Go Gal’!
Sarkodie needs no introduction. He’s a superstar hip hop and rap artist who has performed for audiences around the world.
He’s also the recipient of a litany of awards that recognise his sheer awesomeness. Sarkodie has put Ghana on the world map with his rat tat tat raps in English and Twi and his single-minded focus on Azonto.
The man from Tema is widely considered one of the greatest hip hop artists in Africa. He’s also way up on the top 10 list of all-time best Ghanaian rappers. Throw in his recent ‘Artists of the Decades’ award at the 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards and this man is hot… real hot.
Sarkodie’s latest offering ‘Alpha’ features Joey B and the late Ebony. It’s a 6-track EP that has all the elements one would expect from Ghana’s undisputed King of Rap!
Bright, beautiful canvasses featuring graffiti-like characters with wide toothy grins are trademark features of the art by Adjo kisser.
The young 27-year-old Ghanaian may still be a student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology but she’s already made an impact on the local Ghanaian art scene.
Kisser creates stunning art works in a variety of media, many of which grace the homes of art collectors in Ghana and further afield.
To date the talented young artist has exhibited her works at the likes of the Nubuke Foundation and it can only be a matter of time before she becomes a household name in London, New York and Paris!
Serge Attukwei Clottey
The self-professed founder of an Afrocentric art genre dubbed Afrogallonism, Serge Attukwei Clottey is a provocative mixed media creative and performance artist who likes to integrate the live human form into installations.
Together with the precocious GoLokal performance collective, Clottey is challenging the cultures, norms and standards of colonial and post-colonial Ghana. His works are big, brash and unique and include plastic patchwork installations, sculpture and charcoal portraits that are haunting and enigmatic.
Clottey’s main focus is on the synergy between yellow plastic oil containers and the country of his birth and how oil and plastic have created a co-dependency issue that is destroying mother earth.
The young Ghanaian fine-tuned his extraordinary skills in Brazil before returning to Accra to shake things up. Now the influential creative’s artworks are inspiring commentary from around the world and have been exhibited at galleries and contemporary art fairs in New York, Los Angeles, Dubai and London.
Mahama is an exponent of large-scale installations that use materials scavenged from urban environments – jute sacks, bits and pieces of wood, old shoeshine boxes, fabric and discarded traditional smocks.
These materials are either used to create vast architectural structures or form the co-joined outer skins and cladding that’s draped over the structures. The end result is a representation of the major themes he’s concerned with, which are currently commodities, migration, globalisation and economic transactions.
A deep thinker and a disruptive force, Mahama integrates materials into his works that speak of the transport, trade and commodification of food, charcoal, cocoa beans and other widely traded commodities.
All his materials are sourced from large cities like Kumasi and Accra and are fabricated into the elements he wants to integrate into his works. Not only does his art explore the economic processes of negotiation and exchange, some of the materials themselves are acquired through the same processes of commercialism and trade.
The 32-year Tamale resident is one of the most exciting prospects to emerge from the African continent. To date his works have appeared in solo exhibitions in the USA, the UK and Ireland.