INFOS

artist : K.O.G & The Zongo Brigade

Release date : March 8th
genres : Afro Funk
format : Vinyl / Cd / Digital
label : Heavenly Sweetness / Pura Vida Sounds
reference : PVS005

TRACKLIST

1. For My People 03:16 2. Money 05:03 3. Suro Nipa 06:02 4. Medowo 03:09 5. Imela 01:02 6. Home 05:21 7. Agoro 05:04 8. Mona Lisa 03:09 9. Transmission 01:42 10. Mad Up 04:47 11. Wahala 01:45 12. Dr Mensa 03:03 13. Wonderful Life 04:29 14. Sahara 01:23
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Wahala Wahala

Son Ghana natal, Kweku Of Ghana a.k.a K.O.G. l’a quitté à la fin des années 2000, direction Leeds et le nord de l’Angleterre. Un parcours où chaque mur franchi en révélait un encore plus haut, des wahala proportionnels aux kilomètres engloutis.

Wahala. En swahili, problème, souffrance.

Par centaines, des raisons de baisser les bras. Un poids immatériel et pourtant tellement écrasant sous lequel K.O.G. a refusé de se laisser engloutir, préférant retourner les contraintes, les réduire en copeaux et les distiller en liqueur avec lequel lui et sa Zongo Brigade sont partis au combat pour faire tonner la musique du ghetto.

Vibrations dures, mental de guerrier mais toujours la farouche volonté de faire danser l’assistance, que le combat se fasse dans la joie. Car, dans chaque douleur, il y a de la joie, cette joie qui en Afrique rythme même les funérailles.

WAHALA WAHALA ou la musique pour prendre possession des corps et les paroles pour parler à l’esprit et à la conscience. Racisme, rejet, inégalités, exil, le fond est grave mais la forme toujours festive, irrésistiblement dansante dans sa profusion de rythmiques dangereuses. Car, malgré la distance désormais intercalée entre lui et le Ghana, les liens n’ont jamais été rompus. Familiaux, amicaux, musicaux, même exilé en Europe, K.O.G. a toujours gardé un pied puissamment enraciné en Afrique quand l’autre, libre et aventureux s’abat en rythme pour trembler sous les basses du reggae, s’agiter sur le funk, se déchainer sur le rock ou enfiler le treillis d’un afrobeat combattant.

Un lien avec le continent, robuste comme un câble sous haute tension dont la gaine a fini endommagée par les arcs électriques des cuivres, les tonnerres de percussions et les arêtes acérées des guitares. Un câble qui termine ses branchements dans le micro de K.O.G., chanteur survolté, poète, percussionniste, concepteur d’un album intensément inspiré par ces mères qui élèvent leurs enfants malgré les difficultés et la tourmente, avec force et fierté.

Partageant les vocaux avec le rapper Franz Von pour aussi s’emparer du hip hop, K..O.G & The Zongo Brigade opère comme une fusion africaine qui absorbe tout sur son passage sans jamais diluer son âme, un composite de tradition et de modernité. Avec le son rude et incandescent d’un groupe qui enregistre live et ensemble pour ne pas perdre un infime degré de sa combustion musicale.

Afro-fusion 8-piece band K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade are pleased to announce the release of their debut album ‘Wahala Wahala’, released 8thMarch via Heavenly Sweetness.

Under the guidance of the outrageously talented Ghanaian force of nature Kweku Sackey, aka K.O.G, and the whirlwind of energy that is Jamaican rapper Franz Von Song, the Zongo Brigade deliver infectious, high-energy West African grooves via Sheffield, drawing on afrobeat, soul, funk, rock, hip hop and reggae which has fast gained recognition in London and all over the UK.

K.O.G’s signature mix of high-energy songs, raps, operatic vocal effects, along with the hard-hitting patois raps from the spirited Franz Von Song and a dedicated band of serious musical badmen, has led the band to perform on some of the biggest stages including Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds Festivals and numerous clubs and venues around Europe.

Writing and composing the songs himself with a little help from the Zongo Brigade, collectively they felt that the best way to catch the energy of the band was to record ‘Wahala Wahala’ as live as not to lose any of its original musical combustion.

Deeply rooted in stories from Africa, the album draws on love, peace and social issues. K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade’s motto “Unity in Diversity”stems from Kweku’s African origins and also embraces the eclectic mix of nationalities which make up the band.

Leaving his native Ghana in the late 2000s’, Kweku Sackey’s journey to England was not without ‘Wahala’ (‘problems’ in Hausa, and a general West African word meaning ‘stress’ and ‘trouble’). Eventually settling in Sheffield, he encountered many battles along the way which he was determined to fight like an African warrior. By learning to fuse these bad vibrations with positive energies, K.O.G and his Zongo Brigade’s form of ghetto music began to take shape and despite the distance between K.O.G and Ghana, the links have never been broken. Family, friends, music – he has always kept one foot strongly rooted in Africa, with the other free and adventurous.

With a backdrop of unmistakeable African rhythms that include electric brass, thunderous percussion and sharp-edge guitar, ‘Wahala Wahala’ takes possession of the body as the words excite the mind. Racism, rejection, inequality, exile – the subject matter is always serious but the delivery irresistibly upbeat and rhythmic, guaranteed to get the feet moving because in every pain, there is also joy.

New single ‘For My People’ merges the indigenous rhythms of Africa with an energetic mix of tones and grooves while songs like ‘Suro Nipa’ and ‘Home’ offer subtle takes on jazz. K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade’s African fusion absorbs everything in its path without ever diluting its soul. Hip hop, street sounds, mutated jazz, indigenous music are all key ingredients while the fizzing ‘Mad-Up’ is a heady brew of rock, ragga, funk and soul.

“This album brings to light the strength and endurance of us as HUMANS. A personal journey and documentation of most of the obstacles we have faced as we have moved from 2 different worlds and how we have overcome these struggles through the freedom of art and music through a firm connection with our roots and culture. It’s music from our soul telling stories how we were told growing up and merging grooves and African rhythms to exhibit the spirit of AFRICA in relation to where we are in the diaspora”,says K.O.G.

K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade have received support across national and global radio including BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Introducing Sheffield and BBC Radio 1.

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