Ghanaian music has evolved a lot over the years. We had the VIP era, with Ahomka Wo Mu and Two Women (with Tony Tetuila), in the early 2000s. The mid-2000s introduced us to R2Bees, with Kiss Your Hand, and the azonto dance craze, thanks to bangers from Sarkodie and Fuse ODG.
With artistes like Amaarae, Black Sherif, King Promise and Kwesi Arthur building up massive fan bases across the world, we’ve decided to look at some of the new school artistes putting their stamp on the scene and continuing the legacy of the icons who came before them.
What do you get when you take a cup of black coffee with two scoops of pre-workout and half a can of your favourite energy drink? Chaotic adrenaline, for sure — which is more or less what you get listening to Yaw Tog’s music. At just 19, the Kumasi-born rapper has helped introduce Ghana’s version of drill music — asakaa — to the world. Delivering bars in his native language of Twi, you don’t have to understand Yaw Tog’s music to feel gingered to take on the world.
You should listen to: His 2020 breakout single, Y33gye, when hitting the gym or looking for extra energy to fight capitalism.
Moliy is no stranger to Nigerians who love good music. Getting her big break on Amaarae’s global chart-topper, Sad Girlz Luv Money, Moliy has since collaborated with everyone from BOJ to Ogranya and producer, P.Priime. Features aside, Moliy holds her own on solo projects, proving that she’s more than just a chorus girly.
You should listen to: Her 2022 EP, Honey Doom.
Nothing beats live music, and as someone who’s seen and felt the energy SuperJazzClub brings to the stage, I can confidently say they’re the real deal. With nine members, a number that rivals some famous K-pop groups (BTS only has seven members), SuperJazzClub is bursting at the seams with talent across vocals and production. The creative mix is evident in the music they’ve put out since their 2020 debut EP, For All the Good Times. Their rave-like performances have built a cult following outside Ghana, with fans worldwide (including me) ready to shout “Flash”, as soon as their 2021 smash hit, Cameras, comes on.
You should listen to: Paradise off their 2023 compilation, ACT 3.
There’s no denying that Baaba J is one of the most exciting voices out of Ghana right now. Making a major entry into the scene with her 2020 debut EP, Lumumba St, Baaba J introduced herself as an artiste who’s comfortable knowing she doesn’t fit in. “I have no exes. I have no dresses. I’m a geek,” she declares on Tomboy, a standout track from the EP, before reminding everyone that, tomboy or not, she’s still the girl who can easily “pull both sexes”.
You should listen to: Her latest single, Ole.
Listening to Fameye is like having a spiritual experience. Leaving his early rap days behind for a more high-life-leaning sound, Fameye has established himself as one of the most versatile artistes in Ghana, who’s not afraid to explore new territories.
You should listen to: His 2021 hit, Praise, and let his music minister to the deepest part of your soul.
If you’re looking for a lush and sultry mix of pop/R&B with a sprinkle of amapiano, then Essilfie is your girl. With a voice that would fit seamlessly into the 1990s era of Jill Scotts and Erykah Badus, Essilfie makes music for the baddies who know their worth and refuse to take shit from anybody. Her music is unapologetic and right in your face. Whether you get it or not, Essilfie is that girl.
You should listen to: KroKro Me from her 2022 EP, Tori’s Lounge.
If you’re into no skips trap artistes like Pyscho YP and Don Toliver, then Marince Omario is the Ghanaian rapper you need to have on your playlist. Famous for creating his own genre of music , Marince combines trap, R&B and what sounds like nostalgic high-life, to make the distinct style he describes as “Fu”. With Manrice, you don’t know if you’ll get a club banger or a song to play in the background while you journal. But one thing’s for sure: you’ll have a good time.
You should listen to: Ramblers off his 2020 EP, Oblitey, while pre-gaming before a dirty Friday night on the streets.
If Larruso was a Nigerian artiste, he’d be on the radio daily, with earworms you couldn’t possibly avoid even if you wanted to. Blending dancehall with afropop and a certain swagger that’s clearly innate as opposed to acquired, Larruso’s music holds your attention from start to finish. With a tested and trusted discography since his 2019 debut, he’s the captain of his musical ship and wants you to join him on his journey.
You should listen to: His 2022 EP, Sounds from the Slums, for the full Larruso experience.
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