Ghana is famous for its many styles of traditional and modern music due to its cosmopolitan geographic position in Africa. The most famous of them all is probably the Highlife genre which has its roots in Ghana. Highlife dominated the country’s music industry for many years until the introduction of genres like Hiplife and Hip hop in later decades. In recent times, the country’s music industry has evolved massively and there has been a continuous growth in the export and appeal of Ghanaian music. From established afrobeats superstars to heavy hitters in the country, here are 10 amazing musicians from Ghana you need to know, with hits that are on everyone’s playlist.
R2Bees is a Ghanaian Hip-hop group from Tema consisting of Faisal Hakeem (Paedae da Pralem/Omar Sterling) and Rashid Mugeez (Mugeez). They have been considered a huge blessing to the Ghanaian music scene because of their unique style and close bond. They’ve remained close friends since childhood and have allowed nothing to come in the way of their friendship. Their songs are delivered in the native Twi and Pidgin English and have received numerous nominations and awards in their thriving music career. They have 3 music albums together and have featured artists such as Wizkid, Tinchy Stryder, Davido and many others.
The Ghanaian artist who really needs no introduction: the rap machine that is Sarkodie. Unarguably, the number one artist in Ghana in recent times and one of the hottest rappers in Africa, Sarkodie is not just the leading Hip-life and Hip-hop artist in Ghana, he’s also one of the country’s biggest brand ambassador. A great freestyler, Twi, the mother language of Sarkodie is his preferred rap language and he makes great music. In 2012, Sarkodie won the BET best international act category and his album “Rapper Holic” got twelve nominations of which he won 3 awards in the 2012 Ghana Music Awards. Sarkodie has his own record label called Sarkcess Music, and if there is a rich list, Sarkodie is up there as one of the richest musicians in Ghana. He’s real name is Owusu Addo.
Famous for introducing the Azonto style into the international mainstream Music scene, Fuse ODG made a name in the London rap scene after growing up in the South London, United Kingdom. He’s 2013 hit single Antenna reached number 7 on the United Kingdom’s Singles Chart and has since maintained a strong presence in the music scene both locally and internationally. He has worked with artists such as Sarkodie, Sean Paul, Tiwa Savage, Ed Sheeran and many other local and international artistes. He’s real name is Nana Richard Abiona.
Once dubbed the Ashanti of Ghana by the media, Becca is a Ghanaian singer, songwriter and actress. She initially came into the spotlight as a contestant on TV3’s yearly singing competition “Mentor” and has since dropped at least 3 music albums. She has won numerous awards and she’s currently has music contracts with Sony Music Records, Waner Music Norway and Ghana based EKB Records. Notable artists with whom she has worked include M.I, 2 Face Idibia, Tiwa Savage, Uhuru, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and other artists as well. Her real name is Rebecca Acheampong.
Reggie Rockstone is often referred to as the godfather of African Hiplife. He was born in the U.K but raised in Ghana. He raps in both his native Akan and English and started the Hiplife movement in 1994, a type of Ghanaian styled Hip-hop which has dominated the country’s music industry. He owns a slick bar in Osu, a huge lounge in Accra known as Rockstone’s Office and is a major player in the Ghana nightlife scene.
Another Ghanaian artist with a strong global reputation, Shatta Wale is more of a dancehall singer than afrobeats. Shatta Wale was featured in the Beyoncé’s afrobeats-inspired soundtrack album – The Lion King: The Gift. His most popular work is probably “Dancehall King” which won him the Ghana Music Awards, Artiste of The Year Category, in 2014. He is a recipient of numerous music awards in Ghana is a brand ambassador to Guinness Ghana Breweries, Rush Energy Drink, Kasapreko Company and Boss Baker Beef Roll. Shatta Wale has worked with artistes such as Davido, Tinny and others. His real name is Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jr.
At just 24 years of age, King Promise is the great hope in the music scene in Ghana. He has collaborated with such African music luminaries as Wizkid, Sarkodie and more, and has well over 20 million YouTube views, making him easily the most well-known and respected new artists in Ghanaian music. King Promise is one of the Ghanaian music artists you should be listening to, in order to stay in the know with the new sounds and get to know the latest songs in Ghana.
One of the best female afrobeats artists, Efya, is a multiple award-winning Ghanaian singer, songwriter and actress from Kumasi. She was introduced into the spotlight when she participated in the maiden edition of the Stars of the Future talent show. She won four successive Ghana Music Awards in the Best Female Vocal Performance category. She has a remarkable stage presence and is probably Ghana’s best live performer. She was signed to Wizkid’s Starboy Entertainment in 2016 and has two albums to her name. Her real name is Jane Awindor.
Okeyame Kwame nicknamed “Rap Doctor” is a Ghanaian musician, songwriter, creative director and entrepreneur. He’s known for his unique Hiplife style and was once a member of a music group known by the stage name Okeyame Kofi. He is a recipient of several awards including in music and philanthropy. Married since 2009, he has two kids and is one of the wealthiest musicians in Ghana.
Stonebwoy is an afropop, reggae and dancehall artiste from Ghana. He is also the CEO of Burninton Music Group. Stonebwoy is popular for his multifaceted style in music and he won the Best International Act category at the 2015 BET Music Awards and a plethora of others. He has worked with artistes such as Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Teni and others. His real name is Livingstone Etse Satieka.
We also recommend our guide to the apps to download before visiting Accra, Ghana.