Tuesday, 13 January 2015

This Is New Africa: Fuse ODG unveils mission to change the world's perception of his motherland through music

He burst onto the scene back in 2013 with the infectious song Atenna which helped launch afrobeats in the UK chart. But keen to prove he wasn't a one hit wonder, Fuse ODG unleashed the monster of a track Azonto which went onto to become a massive dance craze. 

Now with the release of his debut album, TINA, the 26-year-old rapper is hoping his music will change the world's perception of Africa. Speaking to Empty Ice Cream Tub about the release, which is an acronym for This Is New Africa, Fuse revealed that the journey to the creating the LP was a life changing experience.

Letter To TINA

The MOBO Award winner said of his choice to become an afrobeats artist: 'It was a conscious decision to reconnect with my African roots and African music so I could bring it to people outside of Africa in an authentic way.

'I took that decision in 2011 when I went to Ghana and I was learning about the culture again and learning about the music.'

Continuing he added: 'But I realised that it actually became bigger than what I was going to do when I started to share my story of Africa as it started to inspire other people and that's actually how TINA came to me.

'I realised that there has to be something that encapsulates what Africa is now and not the old Africa that they keep showing, and that is how This Is New Africa came fruition.'

Born in London but raised in Ghana, Fuse ODG, real name Nana Richard Abiona, came to capital at the age of 11 to begin his secondary education an experience which he admits was difficult and scarred his perception of his African heritage. However it was an eye-opening trip back to his motherland three years ago which set his music career in motion and his need to showcase his view of the continent.


Alongside the likes of D'Banj, Wizkid, Ice Prince, Sarkodie, P Squared and Davido, to name a few, Abiona has played a crucial role in helping afrobeats into the mainstream. Explaining how it feels to be a part of the movement which is changing the clubbing scene, the rapper asserted: 'Right now being African is so cool and it's because all these platforms are playing our music.

'Trust me when I was growing up if afrobeats was as big as it is now my school life would have been so much easier. Growing up in the UK would have been so much easier, I would have felt more proud to be African.'

He added: 'When I go to clubs and I hear African music being played like as part of the main playlist to me it just means that we're moving forward as a continent, we're moving forward as Africans and it's not just the negative impression that they used to have, we've given them other stuff to talk about.'

With four top ten singles under his belt, Fuse's debut body of work TINA was released to rave reviews and features collaborations with Wyclef Jean, Sean Paul, Angel, Krept & Konan and G FrSH. Describing the LP in his own words, the Antenna hitmaker said the album is made up of 'feel good songs' embedded with messages. 

Fuse added: 'It's an album that showcases my experiences of Africa just packaged in a form of music.'

Come Closer

1 comment:

  1. Looks like decades ago stuff. Can't they come up with their own ideas ?


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