Blitz the Ambassador is armed with a “lightning-fast mind, the political boldness of Chuck D, and the sixth groove sense of Fela Kuti.” Rolling Stone (Germany) says he, “Sounds like the future of African music.” He was just selected as one of the “Best of SXSW Music Festival.” He played over 130 shows in about 15 coutnries in the past year. Blitz connects African music to hip hop and underground to mainstream. He has played with Public Enemy, the Roots, and Talib Kweli. Having self-produced and distributed his own album “Native Sun” on iTunes, he takes the themes of global entrepreneurship and digital media to the next level. His short film ‘Native Sun,’ which corresponds to the album, expands and redefines the meaning of ‘artist.’
Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège sound like “Bob Marley meets The Fugees on a street corner in West Africa.” Their style synthesizes an eclectic blend of hip hop, highlife, reggae, funk, and world beat, which they dub ‘World music/AFropolitan fusion.’ Soulfège was formed by Derrick N. Ashong and Jonathan Gramling when they were students at Harvard (Derrick is from Ghana). Derrick garnered a publicity boost when an unplanned street interview during Obama’s election campaign turned him into a “YouTube phenom” (read about it in the New York Times). He hosts a TV show on Al Jazeera English, used to host a radio show for Oprah, and the group has appeared for the likes of Oprah and Bill Clinton. Their Million Download campaign challenges the corporate structure of music industry by putting the power in the hands of artists and listeners.
Cop their latest album ‘AFropolitan’ from their Million Free Download campaign here.
Paapa, , a young artist fresh on the scene, was signed to Skillions Records in Accra at age 17. He creates what he calls “music that matters,” while pursuing his freshman year studies at Reed College. With songs that sample sound bites from the streets of Accra to soulful urban melodies evocative of John Legend, Paapa’s music is funky, contemporary, and grounded in faith. His words express hope, and he uses music to inspire. As a new artist establishing himself at home in Ghana and here in the U.S., he harnesses new digital technologies in order to gain a fan base. Instead of producing a traditional album, he has turned it into an “album experience.” He releases songs one at a time on Solar Sundays and promotes them through social media.
‘HomeGrown: HipLife in Ghana’ is a feature-length documentary about V.I.P (Vision In Progress). The film documents ten years of their journey from the ghetto in Accra to their first international tour. They grow from being teenagers with a shared dream to musicians with fans around the world. ‘HomeGrown’ has toured across festivals and schools in Ghana, the U.S., and Europe, and won the audience award at the Denver Pan-African Film Festival. Directed by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, produced by Eli and Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi and Hashim Haruna.