Exploring African Identity & Creativity E17
Since his musical debut, M3NSA has continually pushed the envelope of creativity in Ghanaian music. From his days as a founding member of The Lifeline Family to producing music for esteemed Ghanaian musicians such as Samini, KK Fosu, Obour and Tic Tac, M3NSA’s work has earned him international recognition from the KORA, MOBO Awards, and the Ghana Music Awards.
On top of that, he has even toured alongside iconic groups like the Wu-Tang Clan and The Roots.
M3NSA released four solo albums to date, 2001’s Repablic, 2004’s Daily Basses, 2007’s Weather Report, and 2011’s No.1 Mango Street.
During this episode, he talks about balancing his career and role as a father while emphasising the importance of pursuing one’s aspirations and staying determined and steadfast.
Hear M3NSA’s story of transformation and success on Women Who Rebrand and learn how his focus on creativity, travel, musical partnerships, and family have played a part in where he is today.
The Global Reach of African Identity and Creativity
Music plays an integral role in African culture as the heartbeat of its identity, expressing itself in fashion, soul and art.
It’s full of soul and emotion, from traditional rhythms to the beat of drums, the lilt of voices and the harmony of instruments all come together to celebrate its culture.
African music and creativity is a beautiful and powerful thing that has been around for centuries. It is a source of joy and inspiration and has been the lifeblood of many African cultures.
Influences have been integral to music’s development, significantly impacting the global music scene. From the beats of traditional drums to the rhythms of modern Afrobeats, African music has shaped the sound of music worldwide. Artists like Fela Kuti, Youssou N’Dour, and Angelique Kidjo are just a few African musicians whose music is embraced by many.
Rhythms, melodies and instruments have influenced popular music styles ranging from jazz and hip-hop to reggae and salsa. African instruments such as the djembe and kora in modern music have also been incredibly influential. The djembe, a type of hand drum, is often used to add a pulsing and driving rhythm to songs. The kora, a stringed instrument made from a gourd and played with a bow, is a popular accompaniment to African and global music.
The influence of African music and creativity has also been seen in the work of some of the world’s most influential musicians. Artists such as Miles Davis, Bob Marley, Santana, and Fela Kuti have all drawn inspiration from African music and incorporated its sounds and styles into their work.
The African continent has long been renowned for its influential and vibrant culture, embraced and celebrated by creatives worldwide.
Traditional African garments such as kaftans, caftans and dashikis are bright and colourful, often featuring vibrant African prints and designs. These garments are often juxtaposed with modern fashion to create unique, stylish and eye-catching looks.
In fashion, African prints and patterns have become a staple in many designers’ collections. Many prominent designers, including Diane Von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, and even Louis Vuitton, have all incorporated African prints into their collections, bringing African culture to the forefront of modern fashion.
Artists like Yinka Shonibare, El Anatsui, and Wangechi Mutu have all drawn inspiration from African culture in their art, creating works that explore themes of identity and culture.
From fashion to music to visual art, African culture has left its mark and is sure to continue to do so in the future.
African music, culture and the arts have a unique and dynamic energy that has inspired generations and will continue to do so for many years to come.” – Youssou N’Dour
“BONDZIE, The Making”, Official Teaser Video
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If you were to ask many Ghanaian rappers why they rap, the answer would likely be a resounding: “Because of M3NSA”.
His instantly recognisable sound and compelling storytelling have earned him a distinguished place in the music scene in Ghana and abroad.
M3NSA – Bondzie Mensa Ansah
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