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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).

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…Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège

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ANNOUNCING… the group Derrick Ashong & Soulfège will be participating in GMGE!!!

Their sound is 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. The group has appeared for the likes of Obama, Oprah and Bill Clinton.

Take advantage of of their Million Free Download campaign and cop their latest album ‘AFropolitan’ here. More on their Facebook.

Jonathan Gramling, left, and Derrick Ashong, who met and formed Soulfège while students at Harvard