Soraia Ramos is really someone you must listen to. She’s got good vibes, a great voice, and is excellent at producing catchy melodies. Though she grew up in France and Portugal, the highly spirited Cape Verdean songbird is now flying the greatest height as one of her home country’s internationally recognized musical exports. Despite her western influence, Soraia’s music sticks to her African roots. “I have always loved the language from my country which is Creole, and always felt my voice sounded better in Creole, so I decided to sing in Creole. I felt that this music brought out a side of me that I didn’t know existed and this brought strength into my music,” she told BBC Africa.
After gaining popularity by creating cover songs for her favorite jams, Soraia Ramos took the bulls by the horn and started working at carving a niche for her own songs. “Diz-Me” is her first major hit. “I wrote about my reality, what I was living through – I put that down on paper and turned it into songs,” she said in the interview. Today, Soraia has found her spot at the top charts of the disputed African Luso-pop landscape. With a distinct soulful voice on a blend of kizomba flavors and R&B melodies, and a desire to continue in the footsteps of Cape Verde’s ‘Queen of Morna’ Cesária Évora, Soraia Ramos is progressively taking Cape Verde’s culture with her around the world. If you love to listen to diverse African music, you definitely must add Soraia Ramos to your playlist. Her recently released song, ‘Trompete’ with Portuguese singer, Nenny is a must-listen. It’s a dope joint that deserves a spot in your heavy music rotation playlist.
Out of the blue, he emerged with a first sermon and took the country by storm. Then he became a traveler who took the road that wanted wear, and this made all the difference. Today, Ghanaian rapper, Black Sherif has become a global phenomenon inspiring many not to give up on their dreams. In an industry where it’s easier for the camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a musician to earn a living from the craft, Blacko successfully created a niche for his brand to become one of Ghana’s global superstars to put the country on the map with a distinct voice.
Coming from a ‘Zongo’ neighborhood of Konongo on the outskirts of Kumasi, Black Sherif has transcended into a creative force who uses music as a tool to speak for the voiceless in the ghettos and also share experiences about his life to motivate his followers that look up to him. Using poetic devices to achieve auditory effect through his lyrics, Black Sherif has evolved to be a musical genius and outstanding performer that fears no rhythm. After dropping series of impressive bangers, he’s now out with his debut album, ‘The Villain I Never Was’, a 14-track musical project which showcases Blacko’s lyrical dexterity and versatility. Nigeria’s Burna Boy was the only feature on the project as the ‘Second Sermon’ – remix is listed on the album.
“It took me everything to give life to this body. The one thing in my life that I gave everything up for. There is life in this body, I hope it treats you good and speaks to you like I want it to,” he says. Every story needs it hero and a villain. So, who’s Black Sherif? The hero Ghana needs to compete on the international market or the villain clipping the wings of his industry colleagues? Whatever you believe, he’s neither a hero nor villain…he’s simply Black Sherif.
When Ghanaian music group R2bees dropped the remix version of ‘I Dey Mad’, they took the country by storm and instantly became a popular household name. They became the masters of the game. Seas rose when they gave the word. They had the Midas touch, and every stone they touched turned to gold. After being in the industry for over a decade, R2bees appeared to be hibernated. And just when many thought the duo was sweeping the streets they once ruled, Omar Sterling suddenly emerged with a solo hip-hop album, ‘Victory Through Harmony’. Later they followed with ‘Site 15’ and then last year, they dropped their fourth studio album, ‘Back To the Basics’.
Recently, a new revolution has begun. Afrobeats is the new sound of Africa, and the Nigerians seem to have control over its wheel. Following the current trends, musicians from Ghana and other African countries have been overshadowed, and after analyzing the Nigerian invasion, several of them have now realized their castles are standing on pillars of salt and sand. But is the story the same for Mugeez and Omar Sterling? Is it game over for R2bees?
If you are familiar with who they are, then you know they simply refuse to be broke. In July, Omar Sterling released a 3 track hip-hop EP, ‘Paedae Drop A Flow’, and a few days back, R2bees came through with brand-new singles, ‘Need Your Love’ featuring Gyakie and ‘Another One’ featuring Stonebwoy. Competition across the African continent may be steep, but the Ghanaian duo do not look perturbed, they run their own league.
Without a doubt, Kweku Smoke is one of the ambassadors of the drill wave that took over the streets in Ghana. Though his lyrics appear fierce, Kweku Smoke does not rap about drugs, violence, or hype gangsterism like the dark drill music from the Western World. The Drill genre existed in Ghana way before the ‘Kumericans’ pushed it ferociously into the limelight. “When we started drill here, it was hard for people to even understand this kind of music. Ghanaians, we don’t like hip-hop, it’s not our thing. But gradually, drill is taking over, most young people are doing it now. It’s a good way to promote hip-hop, and in our drill, you can feel the local vibe,” he told Pan African Music.
Inspired by his late brother, Smoke’s debut album, ‘Snoop Forever’ released in 2020 shared intriguing street tales that was worth the attention. Following up, this year, he drops “Big Shmoke” on which he affirms his “hedonistic and boisterous persona”. The 6-track EP released in June featured Bosom Pyung, Yaw Tog, Reggie, O’Kenneth and Jay Bahd. From bouncy trap, ballistic flows to heavy drill anthems, “Big Shmoke” serves a variety of joints to get hooked to if you love Ghana’s drill wave.
Kweku Smoke recently released visuals for “Chairman” off the Big Shmoke EP. On the track, he goes toe-to-toe with Yaw Tog and Bosom P-Yung. Check it out: