Indeed there are times when we think we’ve heard it all before when artists adamantly insist that their music can not be categorised by a popular music style. We are therefore interestingly taken aback by Ghanaian duo Konfi’s new single ‘Overtaking’, which after disclosing that their music is more confined to the elements of ‘Street Pop’ than Ghana’s extremely popular Hiplife (a music style that mixes Jazzy horns and uptempo sounds with Hip Hop which rose to prominence in the 1980’s), we ecstatically agree that this track falls far from Ghana’s traditional output.
After being involved in the music game for more than 10 years, PJ and Jagoo have set about not only changing the direction of Ghanaian music, but also that of their lives. Once dubbed the ‘Sakawa Boys’ (Sakawa is a name given to a group of criminal activities that Ghanaians often link to a certain type pf voodoo, including cyber and monetary fraud and violence) at the start of their careers due to alleged involvement in corrupt dealings, Konfi have heavily greased the wheels of positive success with Overtaking.
With the help of fellow Ghanaian rap duo Buky Core, Overtaking is rapped and sung in a mixture of Ghanaian language Fante and English. With it’s pulsing sounds, persistent percussion and constant flow, the track undoubtedly toys with Western music genres, particularly UK Garage, the electronic dance-sounding style that dominated UK charts at it’s peak in the 90’s/00’s and Electronic Hip Hop, both notably characterized by chart-topping UK Garage group So Solid Crew and eccentric U.S rap collection, Far East Movement respectively. Then instead of being thrown off by such bravado as: ‘you’re a fine girl, I’m a fine boy’, this confidence only intensifies our attraction to the song’s rhythm and the men behind them.
Konfi- meaning confidence in Fante, allows it’s definition to flourish, so while exhibiting a strong vocal hold on the rhythmic beat, their ability to venture out of the Hiplife and Afrobeat boxes has indefinitely captured our attention.[audio:https://ladybrille.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/KONFI-Overtaking.mp3|titles=KONFI-Overtaking]
–Maria Okanrende is primarily a music contributor for Ladybrille.
Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.