Music of Mon, 17 Jul 20170
MUSIGA, 4SyteTV and Roots Addiction to launch ‘Accra Reggae Weekend’
If there ever was one entity to do the natural ‘patriotic’ duty of putting the genre of reggae music on its deserved pedestal, it more likely than not would be either the Ministry of Culture or that of Tourism.
For, until recently when Shatta Wale reinvented himself, blazing a historic trail that has ushered in Stonebwoy and the likes, roots reggae was the main vehicle for contemporary Ghanaian highlife and gospel music.
Not this time. The elevation of the art form has not come from the expected quarters; the initiative has come from a collaboration between MUSIGA, 4Syte-TV and Roots Addiction at the behest of none other than original dancehall artist-turned roots crooner and TV/Radio personality Kwasi Nyarko Ofei aka Mr. Root Eye, Director of the Reggae Department of MUSIGA.
Together, these three entities are set to rekindle the dimming light that Rastafari has bequeathed the world. MUSIGA, 4Syte-TV and Roots Addiction are launching a musical and social roots movement called “Accra Reggae Weekend” on Friday July 28, 2017 at the 4Syte-TV Mansion at East Legon 6pm. This occasion will provide the backdrop against which players of instruments, promoters, brand advertisers, music industry Execs, the general public and other stakeholders will meet to witness the birth of a phenomenon long overdue.
The Mirror met with the brain behind “Accra Reggae Weekend” Kwasi Nyarko Ofei aka Mr. Root Eye for more light on his initiative. Following, excerpts from the interview:
Mirror: What started this?
Kwasi Nyarko Ofei: Well, the idea is to keep reggae music LIVE in regular venues. We need to establish a vibrant reggae scene in Ghana outside the traditional scenes at the beaches. There are so many wonderful acts and up-and-coming talent that music lovers never get to see because they are not exposed in mainstream venues.
Mirror: How do you plan to fund this?
Kwasi Nyarko Ofei: Every last week of the month – from Wednesday through Sunday – five venues in Accra will host in turn three artistes supported by a live band. All events will be filmed for content for a new program on 4Syte-TV called ‘Drum N Bass’.
Mirror: And how long will this run?
Kwasi Nyarko Ofei: Indefinitely. We will only look at stopping when individual reggae artistes are able to hold their own and headline massive concerts. At that point, we will say we are doing well.
Mirror: What venues are participating?
Kwasi Nyarko Ofei: Countless. We are featuring the best. We have Knii Lante, Oga Chux, Sammy Nukpese, Culture Levi, Kojo Kombolo, Paapa Wastik, Osagyefo, Iwan, Ras Kuuku, JahWi, and many more. They will be supported by Rainbow Generation, Big Hills Band and Protégé and others.
Mirror: You’re not performing?
Kwasi Nyarko Ofei: Of course I am.
Mirror: Seriously speaking though, what do you see as the future of reggae in Ghana? Isn’t it dead already?
Mirror: How would you measure the success of “Accra Reggae Weekend”?
Kwasi Nyarko Ofei: Easy. When we manage to give regular jobs to players of instruments, increase the smile on people’s faces, and pack our stadiums with homegrown talent headlining, we will know we have arrived.