Featured Artist: Blakk Rasta – The Kuchoko Legend Reigns

Photo Courtesy: Blakk Rasta

Ghnewsnow Entertainment Desk  is proud to present to you the 20 sterling Ghana reggae and dancehall artists featuring on the Where Di Money Riddim.  These artists span the entire generational spectrum  of the  genre in Ghana right now.  From  Kente to Elis Koina, the Where Di Money project will unleash a barrage of experienced artists featuring alongside raw and new talent and here at Ghnewsnow,we  will bring them all to you ahead of the release. Today,we  shine the spotlight on BLAKK RASTA.

 

Blakk Rasta was born on a full moon of  Monday, 2nd September 1974, at 19hrs.20mins and weighed 5.5lbs in Tamale, Northern Ghana, to Samuel Abu Awudu Kumburwah  a teacher/businessman and Adeline Fuseina Adam a teacher, both devout Ahmadi-Moslem. His birth name is ABUBAKAR AHMED.

As a growing youth in the slums of Moshie-Zongo and Aboabo, Blakk Rasta experienced a lot of injustice, favoritism and other social ills.

Born into a home founded on the core principles of  education,  to two educationists, the subject of education was number one on his mind. He grew up as a learned ghetto youth who was a real role model for other youths in the slums. A grade-A student during most of his school days, Blakk Rasta was seen by most in his  neighborhoods as an extraordinary chap with extraordinary academic talent.

Although he enjoyed listening to very popular slow music, the thought of being a musician was the last thing on the  young Blakk Rasta’s mind. Until…

 

Reggae Encounter

In 1990, Osman Habib Dollar, a ghetto youth told Blakk Rasta about a Nigerian Reggae superstar, Ras Kimono. Blakk Rasta was immediately captured by the lyrical presentation of this singer. He particularly wondered why people should fight black people and Rasta.

Blakk Rasta wept over some of the lyrics and started asking about Rastafari and Black people. This research opened up a brand new viewpoint to the young eager mind. He was exposed to several mind-blowing experiences, which led him to embrace the philosophy and ideology of Rastafari, though still a Moslem. 

Blakk Rasta met Ras Kimono in 1993, watched the artiste perform live and, for the extreme love for the artiste, formed a conscious youth club called ‘The Ras Theatre Group’ in Tamale, which acted plays, made movies and performed Ras Kimono’s music.

That was when Blakk Rasta started trying to write his own lyrics. The first one he wrote was Keep on Rockin’ / I & I Rastas.

His first album, “Rasta shrine” came out in April 2000. It was a smash hit with singles like ‘Afreekaswit’, and “Keep on Rockin’ / I & I Rastas

In July of 2002, ‘More Fyah’ was released and the single ‘ Congo Bongo’ was voted as the best reggae song of the year 2003 at the Ghana Music Awards.

Another award was won in 2009 called the National Award for Cultural Excellence (Ghana).

In February 2004, Blakk Rasta visited England where he teamed up with accomplished artistes to produce the hit single ‘ KuntaKinte’ released in February 2005 on the ‘Ganja Minister’ album (his third album). Ras Coz, Moffart, Sista B, Sista Lahnah, Suniel and dancehall great, Macka B all featured on this album. He has shared international stages with artistes such as Busy Signal,Kiprich, Alpha Blondy, Ras Kimono,Elephant Man, Capleton, Mutabaruka, Rita,Damian,Stephen and Kymani Marley amongst others.

With a list of albums and performance experience, Blakk Rasta is currently one ofGhana hottest exports.  His greatest assets are his humility, consciousness and fearlessness; traits he is quick to exhibit on his radio show.

Off Stage

Beside music, writing and traveling, Blakk Rasta is a reggae DJ. on ZYLOFON 102.1 FM, Accra, and judged as the best Reggae DJ in Ghana. He is a vegan with a very simple but sophisticated outllook on life.

Photo Courtesy: Blakk Rasta

 Music Style

Blakk Rasta does KUCHOKO which is predominantly Reggae music fused with African rhythms and energies pouring out conscious lyrics about love, equal rights and justice, blackness, Rasta and spiritual love et cetera.

 The music is mostly rendered in English, Jamaican Patois and some African languages. A hardcore stickler for live band music, Blakk Rasta has a session band  he works with both  in the studio and on stage. 

“I never compromise on harmonies.I love my female backing vocals,especially when it couples with the horn section”, the ‘Kuchoko Legend’ told Ghnewsnow

I never compromise on harmonies.I love my female backing vocals,especially when it couples with the horn section

Roots reggae and Dub poetry are the the backbone of Blakk Rasta’s music though a few dancehall vibes and toasts come flinging in from time to time.   

Photo Courtesy: Blakk Rasta

According to Blakk Rasta his current KUCHOKO sound  innovation came about after a long period of research into a new sound which will ride on Reggae music and establish a sound which will cut across indigenous African sights, sounds and spirituality and be accepted worldwide in these fast changing times of musical tastes and preferences.

 Indigenous African instruments such as the Xylophone,Talking Drum (Dondo), Kette, Flutes, Kolgo, Kora fused with animal sounds, jungle sounds, market sounds  etc.are fused  with Reggae. It is accompanied with indigenous African dance fusions and styles.

Education

Education has always been a priority in Blakk Rasta’s upbringing. He attended the following schools:

  1. Ahmadiyya Primary School (Tamale, Ghana) 1979 -1985
  2. Zogbeli Junior Secondary School (Tamale, Ghana) 1985 – 1988
  3. Tamale Secondary School (Tamale, Ghana) 1988 – 1989
  4. T.I. Ahmadiyya Secondary School (Kumasi, Ghana) 1989 – 1995
  5. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (Kumasi, Ghana) 1997 – 2001
  6. University of Coventry (England) 2015 – 2016

Blakk Rasta holds a Bsc degree in Land Economy and an MSc in Oil & Gas Management. He is currently also eyeing prospects of a  PhD. 

 International Acclaim/Awards

In 2009 Blakk Rasta met former US President Barak Obama after his song bearing the former leader’s name made international waves. Brarak Obama was visiting Ghana for his first visit of that part of Africa. 

Blakk Rasta’s Barack Obama song was the only song endorsed by the President during and after his campaign. This was the first ever song for Barack Obama the world over (first released November 2007).

July 2011 saw Blakk Rasta being voted and confirmed again as the Reggae radio show host of the year by the Ghana Radio And TV awards. He has won other awards such as THE BASS REGGAE/DANCEHALL AWARDS in July,2013.

His album, a 16- track album called BORN DREAD received international acclaim and rave reviews with such singles as Kunkunda, Miss Right, Kwame Nkrumah and others.

Another single, Gaddafi, my hero hit the airwaves in January 2012 and made a huge impact.

A new chart-breaker album, ANCESTRAL MOONSPLASH came out on July, 20 2013.It marked the birth of Blakk Rasta’s new African KUCHOKO  reggae innovation.

 Blakk Rasta has ten (10) full length albums and several singles to his credit. His latest is the unprecedented 32-track album called TIMBUKTU BY ROAD which was released on November 1, 2019 to such a tumultuous welcome all over Ghana.

The ghetto chap has written several plays and directed as well as acted in some of them. He writes novels too and won several writing competitions. Ghanaians know Blakk Rasta as a fearless, uncompromising, conscious,spiritual and inspirational personality.

Apart from Barak Obama, Blakk Rasta has met other world leaders and influencers including Robert Mugabe at whose birthday he was invited to perform, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abass, Thabo Mbeki and President David A. Granger of Guyana.

Photo Courtesy: Blakk Rasta

 

Discography

  1. 2000: The Rasta Shrine
  2. 2002: More Fyah
  3. 2004: Ganja Minister
  4. 2006: Natty Bongo
  5. 2008: Naked Wire
  6. 2010: Voice of the African Rebel
  7. 2011: Born Dread
  8. 2014: Ancestral Moonsplash
  9. 2016: Kuchoko Revolution
  10. 2019: Timbuktu By Road

BLAKK RASTA is a prime headliner on the Where Di Money Riddim

 

WATCH BLAKK RASTA ON YOUTUBE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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