M.anifest is an internationally acclaimed award-winning Hip Hop artist from Accra, Ghana, known for musical boundary crossing, multilingual wordplay, and a refreshing hybrid songwriting approach that acknowledges both his Ghanaian upbringing and his sojourns in the West. Described in 2015 by the Guardian (UK) as “the foremost rapper on the continent,” M.anifest’s originality and impressive lyricism has earned him collaborations with musical giants such as Tony Allen, Damon Albarn, Flea (Red hot Chili Peppers), Erykah Badu, Femi Kuti, A.B Crentsil and more.
M.anifest is currently working on a full length album, [untitled] to be released this year.
“Untitled” is his journey to a new musical frontier. “I hear and see it as not merely a collision of Highlife and Hip-Hop, but experimentation and distortion of both to move beyond what’s popular today,” he says.
2014 saw a blossoming of M.anifest’s artistry, continental presence, and international credentials. He was chosen as the first artist featured on the BBC World Service Africa Beats program. He joined British musical royalty Damon Albarn on a major tour of several countries in Europe and South America in the summer and fall. He also released stunning visuals for Someway Bi and No Shortcut to Heaven whiles cementing his reputation as one of the best and musically mature live performers in Ghana.
Born in Accra, Ghana as Kwame Tsikata, M.anifest is the grandson of 93 year old Prof. J.H Nketia, one of the leading ethnomusicologists and composers in Africa. M.anifest spent a decade (2001 – 2011) in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, where he cut his professional musical teeth. Upon his return to Ghana in December 2011, his unapologetically modern African musical identity quickly brought a notoriety across Africa.
Less than two years after his return to the continent M.anifest was awarded the best rapper and best Hip-Hop song awards at the 2013 Ghana music awards as well as various other continental nods. The success of his last project, Apae: the Price of Free EP (December 2013), which he described as “inspired and provoked by Ghana,” lay in the witty narratives of songs such as Someway Bi and the sincere aspirations and cautionary tales told in songs such as No Shortcut to Heaven.
Over the years, M.anifest has been involved in various album projects and tours. He has released four formidable solo efforts: Apae the Price of Free EP (2013), Immigrant Chronicles (2011), The Birds and the Beats (2009), Manifestations (2007). He was prominently featured on five songs on the Rocket Juice & the Moon album that was a collaborative effort from Tony Allen, Damon Albarn and Flea. M.anifest has also been a frequently featured artist on Africa Express platforms. He was part of the historic Africa Express train tour of the U.K in 2012,
Honest Jons Chop up European tour (2012), the Africa Express World Cup showcase in Paris (2010), as well as the Africa Express showcase in La Coruna, Spain that had him playing alongside Amadou & Mariam, Femi Kuti, Mick Jones, John Paul Jones and more.
His versatility is not just epitomized in his lyrical dexterity and use of multiple languages (English, Twi, and Pidgen), but in his ability to collaborate across a vast musical spectrum. His recent list of collaborators – Kindness (UK), Kwame Yeboah (Ghana), HHP & Proverb (South Africa), Fatoumata Diawara (Mali), Camp Mulla (Kenya), Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (U.S) – affirms this.
M.anifest’s creativity and entrepreneurial bent has also meant that he is a much sought after public speaker. He is a co-founder of Giant Steps (www.GiantStepsMN.com), a five-year old conference for creative entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial creatives. He has had artist residencies and given lectures in St Lawrence University (NY), University of Ghana, and spoken to several classes in Hamline University, Macalester College (his Alma Mater), Penumbra Theatre’s Summer Arts institute, Ashesi University and more.
My album has won a lot of souls for Christ’ – Bro. Clement I
Gospel musician Clement Opoku Ababio, known in the gospel music scene as Bro. Clement, has said that his album, ‘Pentecostal Praise’ has won a lot of souls for Christ. According to him, despite claims that his songs have not enjoyed a lot of airplay recently, his aim of winning soul has been achieved.
Speaking in an interview with this writer, Bro. Clement said, "The good God is still performing wonders through his songs, adding “All his songs have made a lot of impact on the lives of many people”.
Bro clement was full of praise for God for showering blessings on him since he joined the gospel music industry a decade ago.He, therefore, urged his teeming fans to patronize his album to enable him to give back to the vulnerable in the society. In fact, it has not been easy for me and so I’m always happy when I see people changing because of my gospel music," he added.
With a number of hit songs to his credit, the gospel artiste disclosed that he is currently in the studios working on his latest album, which, according to him, would make his presence felt again on the music scene.“I believe the time has come for me to show Ghana and world the kind of stuff I am made of. I will continue to use my music to educate people about the teachings of Christ and also advise them to desist from any act that will undermine their progress. Gospel music is good; it teaches us a moral way of life or value that could help us in our day to day activities,” he said. He said his upcoming album has 10 inspirational and soul-soothing songs and most of the songs can be considered as good gospel music fused with good rhythms and danceable beats.
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