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We are endowed with a wide array of artistic tools; unique traditional elements like language, music/musical instruments, landscapes & locations, folklore, dances, Griots–to the modern elements that aid in boosting the economic viability of the aforementioned elements.  How about exploring these before strangling ourselves with award schemes that seek to elevate egos and not necessarily improve our artistic being and economic standing?

I will not bore you with winding narratives on how we manage to stifle our growth with the numerous award schemes. Admittedly musicians are just like any other brand and so every aspect of their being must be to perfection or at least close to it. This requires a careful retrospection and also analysis of whom your target audience is albeit you want to be a global celebration.

As subjective as defining a good brand can be, we will agree there is a common ground when we seek to compare impactful artistry, and that is where our self entitled attitude could further derail us from the path of glory.

Today’s music business goes beyond the local champion syndrome; so one must seek to get same or similar acclamation wherever they exhibit their artistry. This requires thinking outside the scope of pleasing your townsfolk or people in your immediate region. I’m not in anyway suggesting that using your indigenous language in composing music is defeatist, because language can be as effective as any of the elements one employs in creating a masterpiece.  The artistic use of language can actually be the selling point of an artiste.

The onus is largely on the artiste and management to fully understand the nature of what makes good music and not just stick to one element which may get them a small following. One needs to go beyond language, and pay good attention to instrumentation & the quality of production of all musical pieces. The introduction of traditional elements of music can also be a major feature in creating a unique artiste in the quest to dominate the global scene.

Stay humble; humility is a virtue that continues to aid the soaring of artistes like Stonebouy; I’ve known Stonebouy for a while and we can all attest to the force with which he is dominating the music scene in Ghana, he could have laid back and enjoy the street disciples’ praise but no, he values and knows who will actually label him a star hence he paid the price by staying humble in dealing with his peers, media and even fans. This has made him a toast of many.  Can that be said about the numerous acts that adorn the savanna? From experience I will emphatically say NO, and by that I’m not bundling all artistes together, but if front liners are not humble, how do we expect the younger ones to be humble.

The sacrifice and investment; Music as we’ve come to know is a full time business that requires a lot of sacrifice and investment; both time and finances. We’ve heard people say “talent is not enough”, how we relate to that phrase actually can impact our success as musicians. From the image of an artiste which involves the quality of photography, artworks, quality of videos, to investing in vocal performances, studio recordings, live instrumentations and even self improvement programs that can help in interviews and managing your persona in the corporate world, we need to consciously dedicate resources to ensure the aforementioned are at the apex of quality.  These will set-up any artiste for every market that appreciates hard quality work. The above is also one thing artistes need to really take seriously, friends and family will do you favors but the bills they have to foot inform how much they can do for you for free.

A key element in this life is loyalty, however when this is misplaced one is sure going to face the repercussions associated with it. Many artistes form cliques and movements, which really don’t have anything in line with improving musical worth, but rather creates the impression of a following. This births paranoia as artistes find themselves making music to please the few people in these cliques; most of who will never pay to attend a show or purchase an album. Usually most members of these cliques are personal friends and family who would would rarely give objective criticism on works. If you believe objective criticism is a much needed fuel in improving your artistry you should be reexamining where you place your loyalty.

Crowning of mediocrity in all aspects of this multi faceted industry;

In as much as I have no problems with putting together award schemes, the sectarian nature and limited number of artistes creates a situation where mediocrity is crowned.  The recent Upper East Awards is a good case to cite here, a good number of demo songs actually found their way on the nominations list and even went ahead to win some awards. Are we then celebrating amazing music or just trying to crown some people? No serious artiste will enter a demo song in an award scheme neither wills any serious event organizer accept entries that don’t meet a certain standard of quality. However, given the small operational zone of the scheme, it is easy for such to happen. We therefore need to look beyond our small enclaves and aspire to be part of more competitive schemes, after all whether Navrongo, Tamale or Accra, every artiste wants to be seen as the ultimate when it comes to good music.

Unguided trend following; Whilst artistes will swear to forever stay true to the kind of music they represent, the temptation not to follow trends is far more daunting hence they succumb. Whilst others argue that an ability to adapt to styles and trends is proof of versatility, I believe an ability to walk unchartered zones and still stay you is actually proof that you mastered your craft and control of your audience. Succumbing to trends can only destroy the originality in style of an artiste thereby creating genres like Reggae/Dancehall when both are very different genres. Our artistes therefore need to stay true to themselves, their styles and not just hop from genre to genre. Don Sigli is one of current crop of artistes who has stayed true to his kind of music and maintained relevance no matter which stage he is on.

Lack of ingenuity. (Your native language is not enough); Music lovers are constantly looking  for out of the box performers and musicians, this is because as humans we constantly strive to experience same or similar things in varied ways. This when brought into music can be a massive selling point for an artiste. King Ayisoba is busy travelling the world with his beloved Kologo and unique brand of music. How is he different from the many “world” artistes that the we’ve listened to? Well, he brought a unique musical instrument, fused it with a lot of other instruments and offered something different from all the other artistes. His collaboration with Mobeatz on the song “Me ka” is proof of his ingenious superiority. This then suggests that, our artiste need to adopt relevant elements of their various cultures to create a unique sound in their chosen genres. I would wanna hear an rnb tune over a xylophone, I would love to hear some dondo in our reggae songs. Yes, just be ingenious and you will reap fruits sweeter than mangoes.(lol…You get it right?)

We’ve allowed rivalry to gain roots in an industry that can only be said to be in it’s infantile stage. Many would cringe at the word infantile but that’s my assertion. Recently fans of Fancy Gadam and Macassio clashed resulting in broken windscreens etc. Why would two talented artistes be subject to such damning rivalry? If we do not have any immediate memories of the results of these “gangs” we might have to revisit the era of Tupac & Biggie, Game and Gunplay, and the many great artistes we’ve lost to unnecessary rivalry to understand the repurcussions of these rivalries often employed in an attempt to create hype. First off, there are enough fans for everybody to reach so there’s really no need to make play rivals when artistes are uniting to do amazing musical works.

An artiste who lacks the ability to fully comprehend the import of criticism is definitely bound to fail since they perceive anyone who critics as an enemy. Some of us have a penchant for looking beyond the surface of issues and works and so we would continue criticize hoping that it helps shape the arts in the savanna. Artistes and their management therefore need to desist from making enemies out of all who criticize and rather look at the issues presented. Your enemy doesn’t want you to succeed, but your critics urge you to reach higher and prove them wrong.

The numerous award schemes has created a career killing mafia since organizers accord themselves a god status because they covertly have an influence in deciding who deserves an award, a situation that has spread even to deejays and radio presenters. Deejays and radio presenters play a vital role in promoting music, so when they suddenly take sides, a number of things manifest–sidelining and continuously running down the efforts of acts they don’t support. This is done with concerted efforts so much so that it becomes evidently clear to the entire public. If indeed we want to see our music and art industry develop, we would need to stop playing God and give equal opportunity to all artistes we encounter.

We can do what we want to fit but that will not make us stand out yet we all agree standing out is the through case of master atistery.

Savanna Music

Just Watch & Learn How to excel as a musician

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Just-Watch---Dr-Pushkin-3

How to dominate as a musician: Just Watch

Just-Watch---Dr-Pushkin-3
Just-Watch—Dr-Pushkin-3

Dr. Pushkin returns with another mind-buster; this time around, he recruits fellow rapper CJ Biggerman and singer Taitan. The three musicians take us on a musical swell that emanates from the heart, preaches reality, and admonishes a lacklustre attitude. Music isn’t just mumbled words; it’s melodious and creative words strung in a creative way for the purpose of communication. Just Watch

 Just Watch by Dr. Pushkin, Cj Biggerman, Taitan (isolirium.com)

The music business is convoluted; however, there remain prying eyes who are best asked to “just watch.” In this classic piece of hip-hop, three “flowrators” express what makes them stand out despite not being popular. To these artists, music is from within, and so long as the spirit stirs, bangers like Just Watch are a serving that will continue to flow for fans.

If you are a lover of rap and hip-hop, you will probably remember Game’s It’s Okay (One Blood), featuring Junior Ried.

Taitan’s Work

Taitan Melodies brings that vibe to this well-crafted hip-hop song with an impressive reggae dancehall feel. Gritty, witty, and a well-thought-out pen game performed like a master, Taitan opens the song with the words:

Just-Watch---Dr-Pushkin-2
Just-Watch—Dr-Pushkin-2

“Ah, we dem ah watch.
Like Netflix, enuh
Watch this
Sumn fi yuh watch”.

 Just Watch (Dr. Pushkin, Cj Biggerman, Taitan) – LYRIC VIDEO (youtube.com)

More like speaking to the essence of being lyrically and musically superior in a way that warrants a “just watch.” The reggae and dancehall artist with an impressive catalog brought a new dimension to Dr. Pushkin’s music by way of style. Despite the fact that Just Watch is a hip-hop banger, Taitan’s vocal delivery complemented the awesome performances of CJ Biggerman and Dr. Pushkin. Taitan starts the song and ends it with a reminder of who an artist is. A resilient creative who ignores all vile commentary to remain focused on what is most important, i.e., the music.

CJ Biggerman’s Performance

CJ Biggerman has made waves many times on the Ghana rap scene. From appearing on Sarkodie’s Bibiba to accosting and dropping one of the illest freestyles to American rapper Rick Ross, the rapper has never slowed down.

When in 2022 and 2023 he became his mother Big Ivy’s number one hypeman, many may have thought the licenced-to-rap artist was slowing down. However, releases like Wabodam ft. Halfco Baby are a testament to this rapper’s awesomeness.

Jumping on Just Watch by Dr. Pushkin is an extension of superior rap antics that elicits every element of rap. He also emphasises the importance of staying true to his calling while reminding fans of his other exploits. Through the song, CJ Biggerman expresses the nonchalance associated with being on top of your game.

Dr Pushkin’s take

In Just Watch, the ingenious Dr. Pushkin takes his bars towards more puns and similes while insouciantly expressing his focus on his game as a rapper and tech entrepreneur. The sentiment expressed through Just Watch indicts the general treatment of artists who aren’t regarded as mainstream or big spenders. The situation where talents aren’t offered opportunities to push the music to the fans often bedevils the strides of many. However, the tried and tested method has been to keep dropping them bangers till they can’t ignore you.

Dr Pushkin’s 2024 Pursuits.

Just Watch is the 3rd song from Dr. Pushkin for 2024; it is worth noting that Dr. Pushkin is blessing pumped up and ready to bless 2024 with between 30 and 40 songs. He might just drop more.

Dr. Pushkin in 2024 has released No Heroes, featuring Lyrical Joe, and “No Go Go,” featuring Kojo-Cue. Both songs have received massive reviews from music critics.

Just Watch was produced by Dr Pushkin for Isolirium Entertainment.

In the next couple of weeks, another banger drops. In the meantime, stream Just Watch on all digital platforms below.

 Just Watch by Dr. Pushkin, Cj Biggerman, Taitan (isolirium.com)

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This is Incredible – Kologo Fusion Sounds better

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No-Go-Go-By-Dr-Puskin-Ft.-Ko-jo-Cue-&-Ataman-Nikita-(Artwork) - Kologo Fusion
No-Go-Go-By-Dr-Puskin-Ft.-Ko-jo-Cue-&-Ataman-Nikita-(Artwork) - Kologo Fusion
No-Go-Go-By-Dr-Puskin-Ft.-Ko-jo-Cue-&-Ataman-Nikita-(Artwork) – Kologo Fusion

 No Go Go by Dr. Pushkin, Ko-Jo Cue, Ataman Nikita (isolirium.com)

Kologo Fusion is set to reign.

The talk about who wins a Grammy from Ghana has been a subject of debate for a long time. However, very little attention has been paid to the ingenious music being made by musicians without the A-list or Mainstream Tag. Artists like Wiyaala, Atongo Zimba, Worlasi, and others who stand out for their ingenuity are never considered potential winners. However, with the release of No Go Go! by Dr Pushkin ft. Ko-Jo Cue and Ataman Nikita, one may be tempted to ask, “What will it take to win a Grammy as a Ghanaian artist?”. Is it just attempting to fit into popular genres or using established genres as a footing to create imaginative, artful, and inventive music?

Ordinarily, most artists would be clamouring at the successful fusion of sounds that has the potential to birth a new genre or direction. However, when two talented creatives meet, the satisfaction is in bringing art and impact to the fore; such is the case of this masterpiece of a song. No No Go! It thrives on rhythmic percussion backed by the pleasing, incessant sound of the Kologo. In what Dr Pushkin calls “Kologo Fusion”, the genre is not just another attempt at creating something new but a conscious fusion of indigenous sound and musical instruments in popular music genres, offering a refreshing listenership to fans and music lovers.

Despite being a fun song, No Go Go is art-in-protest; the lyrics are a resounding reminder of the need to stand firm against the systematic failures of leadership. Time and again, Ghanaians have suffered instances where politicians use state institutions to shut up people who speak against the system’s wrongs. However, No Go Go! is a reminder to the powers that be about the relentlessness of the people despite the oppressive antics. It is a reminder that the people will match and protest till the wrongs become right.

Who else to recruit for such an experimental sound but Ko-Jo Cue? Kojo Amankwah Cue, better known as Ko-Jo Cue, has proven to be an amazing lyricist, storyteller, and voice for the voiceless. While he doesn’t pick up a megaphone to chant impactful messages, his music has always contained a full dose of serving as a person. It, therefore, came as no surprise when Dr Pushkin chose to collaborate with him on creating a beautiful song set to be the anthem for protests in Ghana and beyond. For a rapper whose album “For My Brothers” contains so much about life, he is well-experienced in life to put that to a beat.

Ataman Nikita, a brother to Dr Pushkin, also brought on his melodious voice to No Go Go with hooks and a chorus, giving the song a flawless transition from one point to another. His impressive vocals combined with the rap performances by Dr Pushkin and Ko-Jo Cue over the beautiful Kologo Fusion instrumental by AzkonnaBeatz has birthed No Go Go, a new sound capable of putting Ghana at the top of ingenious music production.

What is Kologo Fusion?

Kologo is the popular 2-string guitar found mostly amongst the Gurune-speaking ethnic groups of the Upper East Region. It has become a symbol of what truly exudes the musical culture of that particular ethnic group. The instrument is behind successful and ingenious artists like Atongo Zimba, King Ayisoba, Stevo Atambire and several traditional musicians from the Bolga area who are conquering the world with its unique sound.

Kologo Fusion is a blend of the musical instrument in popular music genres. While rap has likely been fused with it for decades, the current modern iteration of the sound can likely be traced to Soorebia’s “2 Strings” – a track produced by AzkonnaBeatz and featuring rapper Akan. Artists Wanlov The Kubolor and Stevo Atambire have also contributed immensely through their collective “Alostmen” and their unique brand of Rap. No Go Go! is the first of Dr. Pushkin’s fusion songs, and we can expect several more to appear on the album, including one with Stevo Atambire.

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Savanna Music

North2South Experience: A Musical Journey Set To Captivate America’s Heart

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Dr-Puskin---Energy

North2South Experience in America

Having staged 2 Successful Music events in Accra & Bolgatanga, Texas, Ghanaian Rapper Dr Pushkin has dared to test the waters in the US. Under the North2South Experience franchise, the event seeks to bring Ghanaian artists in the Austin, Texas, Area and their American Counterparts to the same stage. The event will occur inside the Volstead Lounge in Austin on December 3rd, 2023, from 7:30 PM. While admitting a dichotomy between the North and South divide worldwide, the musicians billed to perform each represent the North or South of their respective nations. The idea is to foster a creative unity to help defy the economic disparity often associated with the North and South divide.

Dubbed North2South Experience – Austin, the event is a collaboration between Isolirium Entertainment and Underground Voices Live, an independent creative platform in Austin – Texas, dedicated to giving new and upcoming artists a voice. 

North2South Experience Performers

North2South Experience Austin is a Hip Hop and Afrobeats Festival featuring incredible performances by Dr Pushkin, Koo Kusi, and Quata Budukusu, representing Ghana. Aggie, Ative, SpaceGoonz, The Boy, and WyldThang will represent America. The venue opens at 7:30 PM.

If you are in the Austin – Texas, area and want to be at this event, click the link below.

North2South Austin Experience in Austin at Hotel Vegas & The Volstead Lounge (do512.com)

North2South Experience
North2South Experience

What is the North2South Experience?

The concept was born of a desire to see Ghanaian artists have a tour opportunity with several stops that could span the entire country. Considering how polarized the Ghanaian Entertainment Industry is, a deliberate attempt to draw artists from the North and South of Ghana for a Nationwide Tour became necessary. With the above in hindsight, Dr Pushkin, who has been promoting his Outlandish Album, took the absence of an initiative like North2South Experience to initiate the same. Doing so through his Isolirium Entertainment Record Label, the rapper who doubles as an Artificial Intelligence prodigy has not only marketed his music but has created an opportunity for others.

The First two events under the North2South Experience franchise came off in Accra at the Alliance Francaise and in Bolgatanga at Jocom Golden Hotel. Both events saw an array of artists drawn from the North of Ghana and the South of Ghana. All artists on the bill proved worth the spotlight as they took turns mesmerizing fans who graced the events. Despite being a self-sponsored initiative, Isolirium Entertainment ensured stellar logistics characterized the event to give patrons quality output through sound, stage, and lighting.

The success of both shows has informed Isolirium Entertainment of the need to inject further ingenuity into future editions. Thus, subsequent editions will see an increase in venues and the creation of a Festival that would bring the North & South together through Art and entertainment.

Dr Pushkin is an SXSW 2023 Alumnus named an “Essential SXSW 2023 Act” by the Austin Chronicle. He first shot into prominence with his genre-bending conscious Trap tune “Questions” – the song highlighted the deficiency society suffers through a leadership that makes bad choices for the people.

North2South Experience, Austin, is the first event powered by Isolirium Entertainment outside Ghana.

Check a short documentary about the North2South Events in Ghana below.

North2South – Episode 1 – YouTube

Dr. Pushkin is an intriguing Ghanaian Artiste of Gurune extraction currently based in the United States of America. He holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Sometime in 2019, Dr. Azunre made international headlines for his contributions to advancing the state of Optical System Design optimization algorithms. Many least expected the nerdy scientist to have a major interest in music. However, developing an algorithm that can guarantee to find the “best possible design” to an optical design problem was just the start of his quest to change society.  Today, he’s giving fans and music lovers something musically thrilling and mind-stimulating. 

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