According to Nigerian music star BNXN, Ghana’s Sarkodie encourages the spirit of experimentation that resulted in the creation of Afrobeats and its current rise toward global dominance.
It is for this reason that he loves the rapper and businessman.
BNXN, visiting Ghana, said this on the Accra-based 3Music’s Culture Daily TV programme, Monday, April 3, 2023.
“I love Sark[odie] because Sark just lets me do what I want to do,” he declared.
He said the Ghanaian rap legend, anytime they have made music, “didn’t come to me to say, ‘This is the dynamic I want you to follow’ or ‘This is the pattern I want you to follow’ or ‘This is the kind of music I want you to make’.”
Sarkodie, he added, “would just say, ‘Omo [child; buddy], do [what] you like’.”
BNXN also indicated that Sarkodie would listen to different beats from producers like “Guilty[Beatz]” with him and respect his choice, simply saying, when they have a consensus: “Do it! Do [whatever you want to do with] it.”
It is this creative freedom, he held himself back from saying, that, generally, Ghanaians are “missing” and not taking seriously much to their detriment.
It is the secret to Nigeria’s dominance in the music business, the 25-year-old insinuated.
It is all about “fusion,” he said, “And pay attention to what I mean by fusion.”
Explaining, he cited “a Nigerian producer going to the UK – the initial plan is to study or go to school. He goes there and listens to the sound,” and noticing the different styles, for instance, “Grime,” with “a Reggaton bop,” he starts making “Nigerian beats,” that have the influence of the aforementioned styles and sends it to a Nigerian artiste like Wizkid.
“Maleek Berry did that [such a fusion] and literally sent it to Wizkid,” he said, eyes bulging with emphasis. “That’s ‘The Matter’,” from 2013 thereabouts – “blows up in the UK.”
“It’s the same thing [creative fusion] with Burna [Boy],” he added, arguing that “those changes;” the Afrobeats revolution took shape not with “2Face [Idibia],” and his contemporaries, as some believe, but rather “Wiz[kid], Burna and David[o].”
He evoked ‘Ye’ by Burna Boy as a buttress.
He called attention to “the very moment” the Nigerian artiste “decided to tone down,” on heavy lyrics and “just vibe,” and the fusion done “on the beat, as well.”
A Phantom-produced global hit, BNXN argued that such revolutionary sounds are created by “people that listen to other [diverse] stuff and try to make the best of it,” in their cultural context.
“Hiphop was a force before but now, we’ve tweaked it,” the sensational vocalist pointed out, still in reference to Afrobeats in general, and ‘Ye’ to be specific. “We’ve tweaked it so well.”
“Now you hear it and you say that’s Afrobeats, but tell the producer to break down the beat for you,” he stressed. “Literally, you’ll hear how everything comes together to form what it is.”
It was at this juncture he spoke about the perceived Ghanaian outlook on music.
“What Ghanaians, kind of… I would never even say missing,” he said. “It’s just that… You just have to realise that, ‘Okay, this is how I want to go about it’.”
To him, Sarkodie exemplifies and encourages this spirit of experimentation, freedom, and fusion.
On Friday, November 11, 2022, when Sarkodie released his latest album ‘Jamz’, BNXN was featured on the curtain closer, track 11 ‘Better Days’.