In the video for their first single “Kologo,” extracted from a forthcoming eponymous album, Alostmen apply resourcefulness and virtuosity to the traditional Ghanaian lute.
Inspired by rap, reggae and traditional Malian instruments, the Ghanaian group revisits the sounds of the kologo, a two-stringed instrument from the traditional music of the Frafra people in northern Ghana. Formed by Stevo Atambire, Alostmen features Jo Ajusiwine on goje fiddle/vocals, Aminu Amadu on talking drum, and Sowah on gome box/djembe/conga. The band call themselves Alostmen “because we were lost in the street, the forgotten people,” explains Stevo. “My people listen closely to my lyrics so I never just sing anything. People at home see music as a teaching so I always try to send a good message. I talk of this region, how they used to live and what they experience today. I try to bring development, peace and unity to the community, to give them hope to achieve.”
Stevo Atambire brings a new approach to purely traditional instrumentation, in the style of Jimi Hendrix, for instance: tone slides, bends, dead notes, syncopated playing, etc. He sometimes even plays the kologo with a pedal, thus revolutionizing its playing style. It is this ingenious art of resourcefulness that shows the abundant contemporary creativity of Ghanaian artists.
Kologo will be released on January 19, 2021 via Strut Records.