The rise of Afrobeats globally has enabled African acts to secure new markets that never existed for us. Ghanaian acts like King Promise, Amaarae, as well as Stonebwoy, have all toured parts of America and Europe, taking opportunities that previously didn’t exist. Nigerians are leading the charge with their top stars dominating global charts as well as headlining the biggest festivals. As we enter 2023, we are excited to hear the new sounds and artists that will emerge from Ghana. In this feature, PAM names a few of these acts to look out for.
Skyface SDW is a Ghanaian trap artist based in Kumasi under Life Living Records. Skyface burst onto the scene in 2020 when he dropped “M.O.B” feat Reggie and O’Kenneth. Kept it consistent with songs like “Bend Down”, “Bad Boys”, “taking shot” cementing his name as a dominant name in the Asakaa collective. He had an even better 2022 after the successful release of his EP “The Menace” which had his hit ‘Beyi Me’ feat label mates O’Kenneth, Kwaku DMC, Jay Bahd, City Boy, and Reggie. He is the first Ghanaian to be named Apple Music UP Next and is primed to reach greater heights in 2023.
Larruso made an impression on dancehall lovers in 2019 with the release of his hit single “Killy Killy” and has slowly gathered a cult following. 2020 saw him enter new levels as he dropped “Gi Dem” and “One Man” which became street anthems. The reggae/ dancehall musician was nominated three times at the VGMA Awards in 2021 and in 2022 he released his debut LP dubbed “Sounds from the Slums” which was received with rave applause all over the streets of Ghana with songs like “Midnight” helping him churn huge numbers. With an EP already prepped, he is poised to take over in 2023.
A unique and versatile artist Demz has successfully morphed from being a producer to becoming a budding vocalist as well. His experience as a producer reflects in his debut EP titled ‘YUNG’ as he shows his range smoothly blazing through different genres. He is recognized for his Afro-fusion sound, combining western R&B and pop elements with African sounds. Demz is also the youngest producer to have been nominated for the Producer of the year award at the 2021 edition of the VGMAS. He is the producer behind Kwesi Arthur‘s “Baajo”, “Turn on the lights”, and Gyakie’s “Whine”. 2023 looks like a promising year for the singer/producer as he has a new project coming out soon.
SuperJazzClub is a group of nine multi-talented individuals with skills ranging from vocals and production to DJing, filmmaking, and much more. Known for their unconventional approach, the group’s first song together was released in 2019 titled “Couple Black Kids” with their raw creativity shown through not only the music but through their production and visuals. In 2020, the collective released its first project in the form of EP “For All the Good Times”. The 8-song project fully introduced them to the Ghanaian creative scene, with songs like “Wide Awake”, “Till the morning”, “Games”, showing the group’s diversity. They are in the building process, slowly gathering a cult following not only in Ghana but in France and UK as they organize their own gigs bringing together their community wherever they may find themselves. They seem more than prepared for 2023.
Switching from rap in his early days to highlife, Fameye gained nationwide recognition after being part of a talent show, MTN hitmaker S3. He is best known for his single, “Nothing I Get” which helped him win best new artist at the VGMAS in 2020. His music has a unique, versatile pattern with melodious rhythms and vocals that sets him apart from the rest. There’s no surprise he won songwriter of the year with his song “PRAISE” in 2022. His name has continued to come up in conversations about Ghanaian acts exploring new territories.
GuiltyBeatz– Originally working as a sound engineer, GuiltyBeatz became a self-taught producer who has managed to work with Sarkodie, R2bees, Mr Eazi and Stonebwoy. Known for making feel good music that makes you dance, his music is a blend of Afrobeats, electro house and dance pop. He got his major break with the release of “Akwaaba” with Mr Eazi, Patapaa and Pappy Kojo which earned him several nominations. Things changed from there as he’s managed to continue his great work by working with the likes of Beyoncé and Tems. He has production credits for three songs on Beyoncé’s album “The Lion King: The Gift” in 2019 and also signed a sony music UK publishing deal. In 2020 he released his first EP “Different” with soulful house music that makes you dance. He has been exploring new spheres as a Dj following the footsteps of Major Lazor or Black Coffee. 2023 looks good for the artist/producer as he has a new project coming out.
Moliy rose to stardom after her 2020 feature on Amaaraes “Sad Girls Love Money” remix with Kali Uchis which debuted at number 80 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The singer/songwriter released her first body of work during the period of the pandemic. Her fusion of afro, reggae, R&B and soul, combined with her captivating voice have drawn fans attention all over Ghana, as well as parts of Nigeria, Gambia and Kenya.
Baaba J dropped her first official project in 2020 titled “Lumumba Street”, followed by songs like Lovin 21, and Tomboy. A unique lyricist, she sings in English, Pidgin, and Ga and has gradually sculpted her way into the ears of music lovers. With her soothing voice and thought-provoking lyrics, she has been compared to the likes of Asa and Jesse Reyez. Her style and authenticity shine through her most recent hit, “Outside” which dropped in 2022. This New Year looks promising as she’s preparing to release a new project.
Marince Omario merges various genres into a distinct style he terms “Fu”. Hes known for using traditional Ga rhythms with trap, hiplife and R&B into a unique sound of his own. Marince has two solo projects in his catalogue, “Oblitey” which is more of an introspective body of work about living and growing in Accra. He also dropped another EP titled “Tsotsoo”, a project dedicated to the memory of his grandma. His music has a way of teleporting the listener as he gives you different perspectives of lives, its struggles and its victories.
Bryan the Mensah
Bryan is a rapper and producer who announced his arrival in 2017 with his debut EP. He moves between rap, pop, and alternative which is a bit unorthodox for a contemporary rap artist. After his debut “Friends with the Sun”, Bryan has dropped three other EP, and his “Road to Hastafari” album in 2021. The twelve track album features Black Sherif, Manifest, Nigeria’s A-Q and PsychoYP as well as Titi Owusu. 2021 proved to be a good year as his single “Problem no dey finish” was also receiving great reviews and introducing Bryan to a new market. He followed up with a remix in 2022 featuring Medikal which broke even more grounds. 2023 looks ripe for the taken for the multi-talented rapper and singer.