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Ghana’s Hottest Arts Network Covers GMGE

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ACCRA [dot] ALT, Ghana’s hottest arts network, gave loooove to GMGE. Check out the article and photo series (reblogged below).

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GMGE Was Amazing!

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Paapa had all of Founders Great Hall dancing azonto to his “Dear Grace” remix. Blitz the Ambassador and the Embassy Ensemble seized the stage with killer sound and visuals. Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège kept the groovy vibes going til the wee hours. DJ Put On finished off the night with West African tunes. Word is GMGE was one of the best shows the school has seen this HaverGeneration. Click on over for PHOTOS…. and a blog post by GMGE photographer Jonathan Yu, HC ’12.

Blitz the Ambassador seized the stage (photo: Jonathan Yu)

The concert was Friday, March 23, but that wasn’t all. Blitz and Paapa discussed music, entrepreneurship, and changing technologies on a panel moderated by Haverford Anthropology Professor Jesse Shipley (director of ‘Living the HipLife‘) that Thursday evening in Haverford’s Sharpless Auditorium. They told stories of their own beginnings in the music industry (some more recent than others…) and weighed in on Ghanaian and African music in a global market. The panel was preceded by a screening of Blitz’s own ‘Native Sun‘ (watch it, 20 minutes, absolutely gorgeous) and Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi’s ‘HomeGrown: Hip Life in Ghana,’ which follows the number one HipLife music group V.I.P.

Paapa led an azonto craze (photo: Jonathan Yu)

Friday before the concert, DNA & Soulfège talked politics and poetics over pizza with Bryn Mawr’s 360° class, and at one point Derrick broke out in rap. The class had just returned from a spring break trip to Ghana, in fact a bit more recently than scheduled given a flight cancellation. Soulfège gave the group the 411 on the corporate structure of the music industry, and how their Million Download Campaign challenges the system and puts the power in the hands of the listeners and artists.

Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège kept the groove going (photo: Jonathan Yu)

If you weren’t there, sorry, cause you missed out!

Blitz's Embassy Ensemble (photo: Jonathan Yu)

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ANNOUNCING: BLITZ THE AMBASSADOR

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GMGE HAS A NEW ARTIST, Blitz the Ambassador! He is one of the top musical artists coming out of Ghana, period. He 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.” Blitz rocked over 130 shows in about 15 countries last year. He was just selected as one of the “Best of SXSW Music Festival.”

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 (click for a full streaming with gorgeous visuals), he takes the themes of global entrepreneurship and digital media to the next level.

Blitz was based in Brooklyn, recently moved to Atlanta, and goes back to Accra frequently. We were able to seize upon the opportunity when one of the band members of V.I.P unfortunately fell ill, and we caught Blitz on the heels of his SXSW performance and before he hits New York for TEDxHarlem March 27.