Introducing John Q…
Even though John Q admired the job of a serviceman, music gradually took over is heart, making him resolve to one day pursue music as a career.
“I was however inspired at the age of 12 when I heard Bob Marley’s “One Drop”, but the truth established now is that, music is the closest thing to God for me”.
Every now and then Ghana becomes a center of attention – mainly because some sons and daughters of this great nation are making massive inroads into all sectors of the world economy especially showbiz and academia. It is therefore noteworthy to officially introduce to you one such fine personality currently make waves with his brand of reggae music in New York and Jamaica.
Born John Kwesi Quansah in Accra – Ghana, John Q was sent to Rev. John Teye Memorial Institute at age 4; a school noted for producing excellent musicians like Kwame Yeboah. As a pupil of Rev. John Teye Memorial Institute one was obliged to learn to play the piano, write poetry and sing Mathematics. Even though John Q admired the job of a serviceman, music gradually took over is heart, making him resolve to one day pursue music as a career.
After his basic school education at Rev. John Teye Memorial Institute, he proceeded to Accra High Senior School and migrated to the United States of America to join his mother – this happened just after completing his senior high school education.
Typical of an African in America, he first bagged a Bachelors degree in Biology and Food Science.
The “hassle and bustle” of New York eventually led John Q to meet with the late Gersham Nembhard of Jamaica a great lead guitarist, and also Jerry Anokuma Hanson another great lead guitarist who worked with legendary AB Crentsil Ahenfo band. These two individuals taught John Q to play the guitar.
With the ability to play the piano and guitar, one would assume John Q was gearing to take up music with ease, the realities of life as an emerging artiste taught him to be diligent, patient and also be willing to team up with other musicians. This led to the formation of a band in the Bronx with his two guitar teachers.
As young as John Q was, he had so much to look forward to as his two other band mates where very optimistic of his success as a musician. With the band, they performed at almost every opportunity and young John Q was picking up all the attitude and demeanor that characterizes a successful artistes persona. Unfortunately, he needed a new approach when both his band mates passed away untimely.
At this point John Q decided write and compose more original songs whilst serving as an executive producer for Jamaican gospel singer Mellow Wayne.
While John’s mother battled Cancer, John Q would help his mother deal with the crisis by talking about music and sometimes sing to her. The pain of an early divorce also forced John Q to take a consolation in music.
“Music has always been my consolation when I encounter challenges in life. My mother Rev. Juliana Solomon Sackey was a schoolteacher and a devoted pastor in Ghana for 30 years, and 20 years in New York; so, her words of encouragement regarding patience and hard work in his pursuit of a successful music career stayed with me every step of the way”…John Q.
In early 2016 John Q encountered Mr. Sidney Mills, the keyboardist for Steel Pulse Reggae band; Sidney Mills encouraged John Q to visit Jamaica with him, this trip proved extremely beneficial because it provided an opportunity to record John Q’s “Feel Good Reggae” album at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong studio.
“Recording at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong studio was a dream come through… Jamaica is the Mecca of Reggae Music and the enormity of what I seek to unleash musically came to bare during my visit, especially my first day at Tuff Gong which coincided with Martin Luther King’s birthday. The various artistes I met whilst in Jamaica took the business of Reggae so serious – I realized I had big shoes to fill in if I want to be a Reggae Star.”…John Q.
Being a Reggae music aficionado, John Q puts in a lot of live instrumentation to give his music the grit needed to haunt the conscience of reggae lovers into the “Feel Good” mood.
Notable amongst musicians John Q has worked with are Dean Fraseron a saxophonist, Flabba Holt a Bass guitarist, Squidly Cole and C sharp both drummers, Mike Chung a guitarist, Alvin Smith a percussionist, as well as Bubbler and Sidney Mills both keyboardists.
John Q’s influences come from Reggae music greats like Peter Tosh, Joseph Hill of Culture, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, MutaBaruka, Jacob Miller, John Holt and many others. For him, the African ancestry of Jamaicans make it easy to fill up the shoes of the above listed artistes with a seamless integration of music as an art form and his Ghanaian culture especially the element of language.
“What makes my reggae unique is that it is a mixture of African and Jamaican vibes sung in 4 languages – Twi, Ga, English and Spanish.”… John Q said.
His recent music video was filmed in Portland inside Jamaica and according to John Q, the director/producer of the video Ariff Buttler decided to choose the venue to show the world some of the beautiful scenes that adorn Jamaica.
John Q believes Reggae music is superior to other music genres due to its reliance on positivity and consciousness; giving it the ability to uplift the spirit of many in difficult situations especially the downtrodden.
“Reggae stands as a sign of hope to the poor and weak.” He added.
John Q latest album titled “Feel Good Reggae”, was released by VP Records in New York who also act as distributors and is currently doing very well.
Story By Atigsi-Badek Afoko/thesavannaonline
A KiDi Reign, Kuami “feature” dominance, Gyakie Queendom and a Blacko Entry
Ghanaian Music is alive, and so are we. Over the last two years, as Covid-19 kept us largely at home, entertainment gave us some respite, but sweet holy sound—music—gave us somewhere to go. It transported us, mentally, into the pits or peaks of our emotions; to imagined escapes and unimagined adventures.
Some Artistes churned out some of their best work yet in 2021. There has been plenty fare ready for the dance floor, be the rave at home or at work, from chartbusters like Kuami Eugene through to singers like Abiana to Dj’s like Nektunez and some amazing new entrants into mainstream Ghanaian Music.
In 2021, Ghanaian music charted a new course, broke into world charts, filled event venues, and created household names. Last year saw KiDi follow up the success of “Say Cheese” with an amazing international breaking release – Touch it. Amaarae set and broke all sorts of records last year, “Chic” has simply been on fire. Yaw Tog caused a stir with his collaboration with Kwesi Arthur and UK International – Stormzy and toped it up with a BET Amplified feature as did Amaarae.
The year 2021 was an eventful one of releases, milestones, and recognition of Ghanaian music. As established talents like Sarkodie and Stonebwoy kept the pace with releases, new names like Black Sherif & Gyakie did enough to stake their claim with critically-acclaimed projects that shot them right atop the echelon.
Below is a list of the top 10 songs released in 2021 which had the most airplay. Do note that there are songs which might have done better than those which made it into the year’s chart but were released the year before.
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10. Praise – Fameye
Praise is easily one of the best records of 2021 and perhaps the best Fameye has delivered in his entire career. The song is simply a masterpiece, so well composed and arranged. If any tune could bring the dead back to life it would be the wonderful coral harmonies and melodies of this song doing the trick.
It is a song you cannot stop listening to, it’s a Praise of Fameye’s career, it is as though the rapper/singer sort to showcase his writing skill and exhibit all the music in him.
Praise shares the story of his life and could but for a few words pass for Gospel song of the year.
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9. Biibi Besi – Kwame Yogot ft. Kuami Eugene
Biibi Besi is an absolute euphoric jam. Listening to the song, it seems almost criminal that Kuami Eugene and Kwame Yogot had never collaborated before. The ease with which two of today’s most revered songwriters share this track is astonishing—their voices the perfect complement in tone, timbre, power, and style.
The beautiful reggae tone track blends an afro and dance vibe which is off the hook. Yogot delivers his comic rap in a flawless manner. I’m convinced that they’re just trying to tie our brains into knots. There are tempo changes and random style left turns.
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8. Echoke – S3fa ft. Mr. Drew
The Queen of Black Avenue Muzik, S3fa, served a hot dance dish with Mr. Drew on the ones and twos. This song was the party in itself as it became the heart of the dancefloor. Easily S3fa’s biggest hit and arguably the most successful song of her label, the song took her places and saw the singer dominate charts for weeks.
The song had an attention grabbing video and a beautiful dance to it. This song put S3fa on the music map and has had her chocked with shows.
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7. Dollar on you – Kuami Eugene
Kuami Eugene reclaims his place as a bona fide hit maker with “Dollar On You”. His first release of 2021 was on steroids. He sings about treating his lover to nothing but money. In an Interview, the ‘Rockstar’ said “Dollar on you talks about the Significance of Sharing”.
The song quickly became a regular feature on radio, street corners, pubs and parties. Kuami’s showing after his “Son of Africa” album was strong and impressive. The song has a captivating afro dance vibe and was accompanied by an amazing star studded video.
It would certainly be safe to put your dollar on this outright banger.
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6. Yeeko – Okyeame Kwame ft. Kuami Eugene
In the hay days of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah there was a popular phrase used to describe him; “Nkrumah Never Dies” – This best describes Okyeame Kwame’s spell in the Ghanaian Music Industry. Most rappers ascend and over a decade and half lose their hold significantly. Kwame has been the exception to this rule. For over two decades, Okyeame Kwame has been relevant and churns out a huge hit every 3 years or so. 2021 was no different as he teamed with Lynx Entertainment’s Kuami Eugene to produce an outright street anthem
Anytime one has felt that the hot air balloon of confidence that accompany Kwame’s timely records seem to be deflating, the eccentric rapper pulls his magic wand and boom – a hit.
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5. 1st Sermon – Black Sherif
Black Sherif has released 1st Sermon to the elation of an eager audience. The 3-minute drill project formed part of his “Road To The Tape” series. Several top entertainment personalities drooled over the progress of this fast-rising act. The release satisfied the thirst of music lovers as they waited impatiently for its release after leaked footages were extensively shared and greatly admired.
The song amplifies daily hustle, the need for loyalty and survival in the music business. Sherif got his congregates so drunk on his sermon that he became a house hold name overnight.
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4. Sore Remix – Yaw Tog ft. Stormzy & Kwesi Arthur
Yaw Tog hit a huge milestone with the remix of his chart-topping single ‘Sore’ featuring South London-based rapper Stormzy and Kwesi Arthur. With over 3.4 million streams on music streaming service Spotify by July, the song was the second behind Sarkodie’s biggest commercial hit song – Adonai which featured Castro with 17 million streams. This was the story until KiDi “Touched it”.
The music video for the song which was shot in Kumasi and directed by KooPoku Studios has over 5 million views on Youtube.
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3. 2nd Sermon – Black Sherif
Black Sherif’s introductory hit ‘First Sermon’ was only a sequel to the singular 2021 hit before, on and after arrival song – Second Sermon. The song depicts a raw and fearless street spiel, that blasted him to the status of a viral sensation.
The song was produced by Stallion and is ferried in aching desire and rebellious glamour. This proper hustlers anthem got the streets crazy and turned “Angels” to Blog Breakdown analysts.
The self-styled leader of Sad Boys Country – Kweku Frimpong has a delicate responsibility; thus far, he has kept to his promise of delivering nothing but trouble. The song has attracted the attention of several local and international artistes culminating in a remix with “the African Giant” – Burna Boy
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2. Forever Remix – Gyakie ft. Omah Lay
This is perhaps the most criticized remix in 2021. “Forever” was doing great and I dare say loved by foes of the young talent. To many a pundit, it was unnecessary and thus energies and resources should have been directed towards another project.
However, months down the lane “Team Gyakie” has been proven right with the tune blowing the tightly shut and closely guarded Nigerian Music market wide open. It is one of the most Streamed foreign songs on the Nigerian Market. The video did awesome for the young talent and the original video is about 10million views shy of the remix which has some 23million views.
By September, the song had been Streamed some 5million times on Spotify alone. By end of year, she had become the most Streamed Ghanaian Female Artiste on Spotify. The song has “forever” opened doors for the talent.
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1. Touch it – KiDi
This song was simply untouchable. It became the most Streamed Ghanaian song ever on Spotify and set all sorts of records after only a few months of release.
It is easily the most decorated song of the year. At the VGMA’s when KiDi said he would be back, little did we know that comeback was of a song and the height it would conquer. Touch it is back and in style. Here are a few records the song blessed the industry with…
21 million + streams on audio platforms
16.9 million+ views on YouTube
125+ million views on Tiktok
It’s #11 on Billboard World Digital Sales
It’s #7 on UK Afrobeat Chart
It’s #61 Global Shazam Chart
Trending in over 28 countries on Shazam
Charting in over 51 countries on Spotify
Charting in over 49 countries on Apple Music
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Ghana Music Live
Nashberry Beats Maccasio To Become The Savanna’s Most Streamed Artiste
…Nashberry’s relevance as one of the most-streamed artistes from the savanna of Ghana, especially on Spotify.
Nashberry readies a new banger titled “shame on you” featuring Best Gally. However, the affable act is already in the news for very good reasons. Reasons that demand another look at the success of musicians in this era of digital domination. The world of tech is now dotted with digital music sale platforms. And by the day, the need for a deliberate attempt to make sales via these platforms is resounding in all marketing ploys for musicians. The era where stage performances bring the bulk of revenue is gradually creeping to an end. Digital streams are far more enduring, and a guarantee for a lifetime source of revenue for all musicians.
The entire savanna belt of Ghana has arguably 3 big musicians, Fancy Gadam, Wiyaala, and Maccasio. These three have proven strong due to the impressive following they have. However, a cursory look brings up names like Fadlan, WizChild, Don Sigli, Mani Mandela, Teflon Flex, Soorebia, Rockcity, Honcho Negga, and many others. These are very amazing artistes. But the question is, how much does their impressiveness bring when it comes to streams on platforms like Spotify?
A few days ago, OneMuzikgh carried a story on Nashberry’s relevance as one of the most-streamed artistes from the savanna of Ghana, especially on Spotify. Whilst it may not be news to many, an artiste from the Upper West Region scoring such huge streaming numbers is definitely worth celebrating. Nashberry comes in 3rd with over 145,000 streams. Fancy Gadam who is obviously a bigger artiste also has some over 300,000 streams, making him 2nd. Interestingly about half of his streaming numbers are coming from a collaboration with Sarkodie. Wiyaala sits at number one with around 400,000 streams. These statistics suggest Nashberry is a major force to reckon with. No matter how his stature isn’t viewed as a Fancy Gadam or Maccasio, his drive definitely transcends a visit to the studio.
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Asonya Gh, a blogger who doubles as a digital music expert called on musicians to create a thriving digital presence. This for him was a way to make revenue at a time the world was on lockdown. Now, going outside the scope of a pandemic, success on the back of multiple streams of income is easier. So, given the opportunities available online, the call is prudent.
Having identified what can be a panacea for the poverty-stricken music industry of the savanna regions, the know-how is also a challenge. Asonya Gh has therefore availed himself to assist all interested musicians to create this digital presence. Nashberry is actually one of the first musicians he signed on. He has indeed taken Nash’s relevance from zero to over 145k streams. You can reach Asonya Gh on Facebook for any dealings.
Considering the dynamism that governs the business of music of now, artistes must make major incursions to own a market share. In the process, expanding on the financially rewarding aspects of the industry. Suffice to say, the opportunities that come with technology today are one every artiste must take seriously.
Nashberry is a budding musician from the Upper West Region.
Gospel Songstress Wegeiwor teases with First Love, ahead of EP
Christendom is at a point where the message of repentance and salvation appears to dwindle. Many latch on to the message of prosperity, and prophecies that seem to beef up their desires. Unfortunately, the riches that come with accepting Christ Jesus as Lord and savior demand for the faithful to be repentant, pious, and ever-willing to pursue Godliness.
2021 is almost done; and Gospel singer Wegeiwor calls for a revival in her new single, First Love. Christendom is at a point where the message of repentance and salvation appears to dwindle. Many latch on to the message of prosperity, and prophecies that seem to beef up their desires. Unfortunately, the riches that come with accepting Christ Jesus as Lord and savior demand for the faithful to be repentant, pious, and ever-willing to pursue Godliness.
In this new song, First Love; Wegeiwor reiterates the challenges of the time, reminding all of who is true. The simple message of repentance, and avoiding a reliance on false messages is the driving force behind this impressive reggae tune.
For believers, First Love is the song that gets you asking yourself a pertinent question. “I’m I ready for the second coming of Christ?”. Call it a test-my-place in Christ song, and you won’t be faulted.
With production from another gospel great, Koda at Koded Studios, one can understand how the song hits the soul. First Love is the first single off a yet-to-be-released EP.
Stream and Download First Love via the Link below.
Wegeiwor is an affable personality who has resigned her every interaction to an opportunity to preach. Despite her busy schedule as a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business school, she makes it a point to preach the gospel in unconventional ways. Through her Foundation, Ex-Glo, she has supported students in deprived communities with items ranging from Furniture, Books to Sanitary Pads. A major feature in all of this remains her call for people to rely on the Holy Spirit (freely given to Christians by Jesus Christ). To further reach the world, she has capitalized on her vocal strength to reach many through music. For her, the world is not just the beautiful cities but includes communities seen as unbelieving. Thus, she performs her music in languages that can easily be mistaken as heathen, especially when one considers mainstream gospel music in Ghana.
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