Ghanian reggae artiste Blakk Rasta, who is a home identify in his homeland, has the distinction of eating with presidents and not shedding the prevalent touch. The yr 2009 is one particular which Blakk Rasta will constantly try to remember in a particular way. He suggests that his tune, titled Barack Obama, was amid the causes that brought the first black president of the United States to Ghana that yr, for his initial check out to that component of Africa. Conference with Obama at a condition supper, and remaining asked by the then president if he could have a photograph with him, was a second he’ll generally try to remember.
“My greatest track was Barack Obama it was introduced in 2007. When Mr Obama came to Ghana, he asked for me exclusively. He reported, ‘Where is the younger male who did that tune for me?’ And the politicians attempted to stop it (the meet up with-up), but I was invited to the condition meal. I was the only Rastaman there, and I experienced on my robe. When Mr Obama turned and observed me, he said, ‘Your tune impressed me to victory. I used it in my marketing campaign, thank you.’ Then he requested, ‘May I have a photograph with you?’ I will hardly ever neglect that second,” Blakk Rasta told The Gleaner.
The artiste, who is a proud pan-Africanist, is identified for his uncompromising activism. He has even had an audience with none other than former key minister of Zimbabwe, the late Robert Mugabe. “In February 2016, he invited me as a unique guest artiste for his 92nd birthday in Harare, Zimbabwe. I experienced a tune for him which I performed. He was so satisfied. He questioned me to remake the song, which was 11 decades old at the time. It is called Robert Mugabe, but the remake in no way arrived out ahead of he died,” Blakk Rasta said unfortunately.
Also well-liked for his fiery poetry, Blakk Rasta hails Jamaican poets Mutabaruka and DYCR, along with late Nigerian reggae star Ras Kimono, as important influences in his remarkable and at instances, tumultuous journey. “I utilised to listen to them and imitate their fashion. Then in 1999 I recorded my 1st album, The Rasta Shrine, and unveiled it the adhering to yr,” he defined, including that new music, remarkably, was not his chosen vocation.
Nevertheless, 21 several years later the outspoken Blakk Rasta, whose musical fashion is a mix of reggae and African appears, has a substantial repertoire that comprises 10 comprehensive-duration albums, some of which have intriguing and relatable names these kinds of as Extra Fyah, Ganja Minister, Natty Bongo, Bare Wire, Voice of the African Rebel, Born Dread, Ancestral Moonsplash, Kuchoko Revolution and Timbuktu By Road. He also has numerous singles, and, with his exceptional style, he has turn out to be a domestic identify in Ghana. His hottest single is a collaboration with reggae singer and Ugandan politician Bobi Wine, titled Bloody Museveni.
“We are two people today of the similar brain. There is too a great deal oppression, and as well typically, it is by our individual black leaders. Men and women brought us together, and we did this tune, which arrived out early in March. I also have a tune, introduced this calendar year, about the slaughtering of people in Cameroon. Why is this going on?” Blakk Rasta asked. He noted that the Bobi Wine collab is poised to do wonderful issues.
Passionate and full of lyrics, Blakk Rasta explores themes of equal rights and justice, blackness, Rasta and spiritual like. It was his 2013 album, Ancestral Moonsplash, that signalled the coming of Blakk Rasta’s African reggae innovation. “I call my fashion Kuchoko, which is the authentic audio of reggae songs, fused with African sounds. I invested a very long time executing investigate into a new seem which will ride on reggae songs and develop a seem which will minimize throughout indigenous African sights, seems and spirituality and be accepted around the world in these rapid-transforming periods of musical tastes and preferences,” he spelled out.
He writes his music in English, Jamaican patois and some African languages, and makes use of reside instruments and effective female harmonies and horn in his recordings. “I like roots reggae, dub poetry and a sprinkling of dancehall,” Blakk Rasta shared. “Unfortunately, I have not but built the pilgrimage to Jamaica, but I have performed in the US, Canada, the United kingdom, Guyana and a variety of nations in Africa.”
The son of educators, Blakk Rasta has pursued each instruction and songs concurrently. He attended the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science & Technologies in Ghana and the College of Coventry in England and holds a BSc degree in land economic climate and an MSc in oil and gas management “with a PhD lurking in the shadows”. He describes himself as “the figured out ghetto youth who was a actual position design for other youths in the slums”.
His journey outdoors of tunes has also taken the ghetto youth — who has published several performs, directed and acted in some of them — to Israel. “Two many years in the past, I went on a take a look at to Israel. I required to realize the Palestinian/Israeli deadlock. President Mahmoud Abbas invited me to fulfill with him in Palestine so I could help spread the concept of peace in the area,” Blakk Rasta, who is however a Moslem, explained.
His latest album launched in November 2019 is the 32-keep track of Timbuktu by Road, which is dipped in reggae, Kuchoko, Afrobeats and soca. “Bob Marley and the Wailers recorded Babylon by Bus, so I am executing Timbuktu by Highway,” he said. Created exclusively in Ghana by Zapp Mallet, King Jay, A B Affainie and Nana Fynn, the album experienced Blakk Rasta travelling throughout Africa to promote, with the intention of creating a pilgrimage to the metropolis of Timbuktu, by highway. Having said that, the pandemic halted his ways, but it could not stop Timbuktu by Street from charting at quantity 76 on the iTunes Top rated 100 Uk Reggae chart.
About the a long time, Blakk Rasta has amassed really a amount of accolades, which includes Most effective Reggae Tune (Congo Bongo)at the 2003 Ghana Songs Awards the Countrywide Award for Cultural Excellence (Ghana) 2009 and Bass Reggae/Dancehall award in 2013. He is also an award-profitable reggae DJ on ZYLOFON 102.1 FM, Accra.
He has shared international phases with artistes this sort of as Alpha Blondy Ras Kimono Coco Tea Mutabaruka Rita, Damian, Stephen and Kymani Marley Hectic Sign Kiprich Elephant Man and Capleton.