The unusual thing about Africa Calling is the distinctly world famous Ghanaian Yaa Amponsah highlife guitar work that forms the base of the clearly unmistakable Jamaican dancehall rhythm. It is an enigmatic blend of Africa and the Caribbean. The song promises to redefine what Ghanaian dancehall is and provides answers that are certain to put critics in their place with its sheer authenticity.
Africa calls through Black I
The review section of project SPiD-UP® helps to expose and promote great accomplishments by individuals and organizations who consciously and unconsciously pay attention to quality thereby bringing us all to a new level of development. We are especially interested in those that promise to push the set limits and take their vocations to the next level. This is based on the premise that; the world is the way it is because of what we have all done and not done. A better world therefore, is only possible with better performing individuals and organizations. To us at SPiD-UP®, quality equals high performance. It is when expectations are exceeded in a positive direction. In that spirit, we deem it fit to recognize a great piece of work delivered to us by Black I (AKA Nii Quarcoo) a Ghanaian reggae musician based in Atlanta, USA.
I personally chanced upon Black I’s work a few years ago when I heard a song titled “Tiniini kwano” on radio gold. I was quickly taken by the melody, arrangement and delivery. It was by all standards an outstanding piece of work. At the time I couldn’t figure out who the artist was as the presenter made no attempt at enlightening his listeners whatsoever. It will take a few years before I will meet the gentleman who will claim ownership of that outstanding piece of work. His proof ; a well packaged CD titled “African skies” which represents his depute album. “Tiniini kwano” (“The right way” in Akan) which speaks from the very soul of Rastafarianism; reverberating the need to travel the right road by the guidance of God himself was the number 12 of the 13 track album. Anyone who has lived in Ghana long enough will understand the timeliness of this call. The focus of this article however, is another offering which is not even on the African Skies Album.
Our many conversations (primarily driven by my ever probing curiosity) will land me in the musical goldmine of works that are to constitute the many albums he plans to release in the next few years both on the local and international scenes. Among the many great songs I heard, one stood out: Africa Calling. The song featured a fellow reggae artiste Jah Hem a Bahamas born asset who’s vocal excellence is easy to confuse with that of reggae titan; Jah Cure. Those familiar with the work of Jah Cure will have an idea of what Jah Hem adds to the song as he opens with the unforgettable hook that is bound to leave even non-reggae fans asking for more. The song was recorded in Atlanta where Black I has worked extensively with ace producer Kaddafi to create masterful works of art in the reggae/dancehall genre.
It is nature’s way; that every now and then something comes along that redefines the thoughts of the day and takes the world forward one step. For dancehall fans and all concerned, this could be the one song that sets the trend that Ghanaian and indeed African reggae dancehall must follow. Fusing highlife with reggae is not exactly a new idea as many prominent reggae musicians such as Peter Tosh, Buju Banton and Ziggy Marley have experimented in that area; yet this one brings the whole idea home to where it really belongs. We rate Africa calling a five star high performance product and encourage you too, to put more effort into whatever you are doing. So this world can improve because of you. Like I said, the world is the way it is because of what we have all done. #spidup