KOJO ANTWI - AFRICA’S FINEST MUSICIAN
“I am deeply touched by my nomination in the BET Awards, the prestigious award ceremony for our dear brothers and sisters in the USA. Yes It would be great to win it…. Winning would be great for Africa and the diaspora, and indeed the good people I work with as well as Ghana my motherland, perhaps the most peaceful nation with the most smiling faces on earth” So says KOJO ANTWI, one of Africa’s most decorated musicians.
With over a dozen record albums released to critical acclaim, lyrics that transcend cultural and political barriers, live concerts that have caught the attention of the first nation south of the Sahara to attain independence, music videos that excite the young and cosmopolitan, and the accolade of Ghana’s most respected musician, The Maestro, as he is affectionately called by fans, has proven year in year out that he is at the top of his game.
His latest album release ‘Mwaaah!’ contains some of the most played songs on radio in Ghana and its diaspora today. Tracks from his previous albums are still fresh on many minds and rank among the most requested on radio and television. There is no performing Ghanaian band in a city, town or village that does not play a Kojo Antwi song.
His sound is compelling, not run of the mill. His compositions are original and his music is fresh, not copyright-evading, copy-cat beats. Be it for dancing, cruising, thinking or relaxing KOJO ANTWI’s Afro Pop music is well-written, well-produced and, most of all, well-received by his world-wide audience.
His outstanding contribution to music has been rewarded with impressive sales in a challenging music industry, commissions for commercial and public service campaigns, international festival invitations and numerous awards.
Since 1989 he has bagged over 30 Awards. Notable among his gongs are national Awards for Recording Artiste of the year, Song of the year, Musician of the year, Best Solo Ariste, Songwriter of the year, Outstanding Music Personality of the year, Music personality for the promotion of tourism, Record Album of the year. Mr Music Man as he used to be known in the 90s has also been honoured internationally notable among them The Kora Awards Best Male Artiste- West Africa, and Recognition for the promotion of culture and tradition through music. A comprehensive listing of all his honours are listed on his website at www.kojoantwi.com.
KOJO ANTWI is a world music icon of Ghanaian heritage whose great sounds are etched on the psyche of numerous fans worldwide. His music –Afro Pop, as he has called it for over 20 years, is exciting, enduring and entertaining. It is a tasty blend of Ghana’s Highlife and Africa’s Soukous stirred with well-composed, heartfelt lyrics inspired by everyday life. His unique rhythms and melodies are brewed in the African Pot and spiced with elements of the Caribbean’s Lovers’ Rock and African-America’s Rhythm and Blues. Whether soft and gentle for mesmerizing lovers at sunset, melodious and hummable for company at work and play, or fiery and danceable for celebrating and jubilating, Kojo Antwi’s Afro Pop sound is unique. There is an innate sweetness and spirited nature that makes it undeniably his. He is emulated and imitated in equal measure but he manages to stay ahead with the release of each album and his performance at his concerts. Little wonder that he is arguably the biggest inspiration to African musicians this decade.
Kojo is revered for his music concerts; always live with full band, spectacular and a joy to behold. In a field of endeavour on a continent where most simply tag along and many are broken by the stranglehold of the West on media and showbiz, he ensures that his live shows are among the best produced anywhere in the world.
His television appearances are numerous, airplay of his music reaches across Africa and wherever world music lovers reside and his videos are directional but it is performing live that stands Mr Music Man Kojo Antwi out from the crowd.
“I live music. I love music. It is like the air that I breathe. I am highly appreciative of different aspects of music from different cultures. In my culture music plays a very prominent role. We welcome the new-born child with singing, we steep the child in their parents’ religion with music, we celebrate birthday anniversaries with music, we welcome long lost family and friends with music, in places with power failures cheerful people sit together under the moonlight, make music and dance like there is no tomorrow. Music fills the heart of the faithful and the faithless with so much joy. And when the time comes for us to depart to join our ancestors, family, friends and well-wishers send us off with music. It is an honour to be called Mr Music Man” Kojo Antwi says these words with such feeling you can virtually see and touch the music in him.
Imagine the main act at a music concert being introduced amidst thunderous sound effects and images of splendour; imagine the appearance on stage of a palanquin carried by 6 warriors from a Shaolin temple in colourful garb whilst slickly edited images of Chinese movies roll on the huge stage screens. Then imagine a resplendently attired performer step out majestically from his carriage, and sing his heart out with an expertly rehearsed live band- The Rainbow Tribe. This is the mark of Kojo Antwi doing things his way on Christmas eve in Africa. The applause was rapturous. His 24th Night Concert dubbed The African Music Festival has become a major item on the annual cultural calendar of West Africa. In addition to using it to present his wide repertoire of music to residents of West Africa and its numerous visitors and tourists, it serves as a national stage for leading African musicians, and unifier of the people in an increasingly opposing political landscape.
Kojo Antwi’s live shows must be among very few in the world today where open market traders, bartenders and students happily mingle in the same auditorium with leading figures of the ruling and opposing political parties as well as the Diplomatic Community and captains of industry. His music brings people together. His live concerts mean so much to the masses as well as the glitterati and paparazzi that all the bickering and political divisions are relegated to the backbround for his music and spectacle to reign supreme, if only for a day.
There are few musicians in any country who can lay honest claim to matching his popular songs and live shows. His hits include Adiepena (Precious One), Sho’naa (Kiss me), Odo ye de sen sika (Love is worth more than gold), Emfa me nko ho (Don’t take me there), I’ll give everything, Me dofo pa (My true love), Rocklyn, Dadie Anoma (Iron bird), So Wonderful, Eye Candy, Happy Anniversary, Shining Star, Kakayi (Phantom), Emrika (Run away), Afafanto (Butterfly), Wompe mea me ‘ndaadaa me (If you don’t love me let me know), Tom and Jerry, Odo Ano Wappi (Sweet and chewy lips of love), Groovy, Odo ‘Maayea (If love is not home), Baa Sumo Mi (Come love me), Akonoba (Love Child), Me Dware (In my bath), Makoma Doctor (Doctor of my heart), Densu (Stream of sweetness), Me dea ne woaa (You are all I have), Superman, Sunkwa (Cry for life), Mo mma yen dodo ye ho (Lets love one another), Boogie Africa and Onipa odo me (The one who loves me)
Multitudes of fans in Africa and around the world have Kojo Antwi tracks they remember fondly; all of them music that grows on you and sounds even better with time.
He and his Afro Pop music represent the best of Africa and give the continent a good name wherever he performs; His concerts include the annual African Music Festival in Accra over the past 15 years, The Afro Music Showdown, Brixton Academy, London; Image of Africa, Copenhagen, Denmark; Afrikan Music festival, Ermerdingen, Germany; Afrikan Festival Delft, Holland; Mr Music Man Concerts, Vienna in Austria, Stockholm in Sweden, Oslo in Norway, Helsinki, Finland, Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Cape Coast, Tamale, Obuasi, Sunyani in Ghana, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Berlin, Duisburg and Hamburg in Germany, Amsterdam and Rotterdam in Holland, Brussels in Belgium, Paris, Toronto, Washington DC, New York, Atlanta, Newark, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Dallas and Los Angeles in the US. ;AngloGold Ashanti Concert, Johannesburg, South Africa; Ghana @ 50 Concerts, Independence Square, Accra; The Ghana Feast in Swiss, Geneva. Switzerland; World Music Extravaganza in Modena and Napoli in Italy; Presidential Concert at Po Sports Stadium, Burkina Faso, Lome, Togo, Bamako in Mali, Ivory Coast 48th Independence Concert in Abidjan,; MTN LEGEND, and Fespaco Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Countless fans commend KOJO ANTWI today for his songs. The lyrics console and uplift the down-hearted and broken-hearted, the rhythms inspire the warmest, heartfelt embraces and dances from the most humble neighbourhoods to the most palatial estates.
He is revered for his live shows that have captured the imagination of a nation and its diaspora to the extent that it is part of the national calendar year in year out.
He is adored for his well-written lyrics that touch lives and refresh parts that only our nearest and dearest can dream of reaching. His unique compositions employ the idioms and wisdom of his culture to illuminate lives, rekindle dying lights and strengthen the resolve to do right by our God, our ancestors and ourselves.
Critics and media commentators praise him for his intricately delivered live concerts that bring people together, and his work ethic that inspires others to simply want to be better too at what they do