YFM, Ghana’s number one urban radio celebrated the ‘Big Six’ (6) of Ghanaian music to mark the sixty-third (63rd) Independence anniversary through the innovative concept ‘Motherland Radio’.
‘Motherland Radio’ is a concept to celebrate themes that represent Ghana and that are also relevant to Africa. It identifies YFM’s pride in its connection with Ghana through the station’s music drive, especially the urban genre.
YFM meticulously went through the careers of the musicians who started making music since November 2008, and selected the top six (6) who have worked tirelessly to project Ghanaian music on the international stage and who are still relevant in the country today and named them the ‘Big Six’ (6). Mimicking the ‘Big Six’ (6) heroes of Ghana’s independence.
On ‘What The Friday’ with Benny Blanco and DJ Snoop, the man with his own ‘signature tune’ ’kpooi’ was revealed as one of the ‘Big Six’ (6). Samini released his debut studio album ‘Dankwasere’, which was well-received by fans winning him two awards at the Ghana Music Awards. The album was supported by the single ‘Linda’.
Since then, Samini’s career has gained international recognition, most notably in the UK where he won the Best African Act Award at the 2006 Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards. Samini has also been honoured at the Headies, Channel O Music Video Awards, Bass Awards and MTV Africa Music Awards.
He has worked with artists such as Sean Paul, Akon, Kevin Lyttle, Shaggy, Wayne Wonder, Damian Marley, Beenie Man, Jay-Z and Chaka Demus & Pliers. He has recorded with Steel Pulse and Etana, and has performed in the Netherlands, Canada, UK, Germany and Italy.
Samini has released seven albums namely Dankwasere (2004), Samini (2007), Dagaati (2008), C.E.O (2010), Next Page (2013), Breaking News (2015) and Untamed (2018).
Stonebwoy whose real name is Livingstone Este Satekla is a 30-year-old afropop, dancehall and reggae artist with a quite impressive career. He made his official debut in 2012, and has been at it ever since bagging several achievements along the way including winning Best International Act: Africa at the 2015 BET Awards.
With a couple of great albums, several international collaborations and a couple world tours, Stonebwoy has definitely proven himself as a mainstay in Ghanaian music, and like his mentor Samini, Stonebwoy is gaining grounds as a live band performer.
Stonebwoy was revealed as a member of the ‘Big Six’ (6) on ‘Weekend Rush’ with Brown Berry & Mz Orstin.
His musical career began during his high school days at the Winneba Secondary School where he learnt to play keyboard and received routine vocal training at the school’s music class department, then known as Doggy. After secondary school, he took time to work on his music.
Revealing Shatta Wale as a member of the “Big Six” was the sacred duty of Winston, Jonny Stone & Dj Antonio Cesar on 360. Having achieved street credibility in a fairly undeveloped Ghanaian dance hall genre at the time, he soon gained recognition with his hit single, “Moko Hoo”, which featured fellow Ghanaian musician Tinny in 2004 using Bandana as his stage name.
The song earned him a nomination at the Ghana Music Awards that year. Bandana followed with the hit songs “No Problem” and “Obaa Yaa”. At this point, he was receiving heavy rotation on radio and was backed by a fan base that shot him into the mainstream Ghanaian music scene. Despite his prominence, Bandana went missing in the music circus in Ghana.
Mayor of Worcester, Joseph Petty, presented Shatta Wale with the Key to the City on 8th July 2017, in recognition of his contributions to the arts.
On 18th March 2018, Wale was presented an honoree award for his outstanding contribution to reggae in Ghana and globally at the 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards (CMA), in conjunction with the 36th International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA).
Wale received an honoree award on 11th May 2018, alongside Sizzla, Queen Ifrica, Chronixx, Daddy Fresh, Winning Jah, Jah Cure, Sean Paul, Ben Priest and other personalities at the Obaland Royal Awards in Nigeria. The awards were held by an entertainment firm owned by King Ewuare II of Benin City, Edo State. The Obaland plaque was reportedly valued by specialized anthropologists and museum critics in Benin City, and declared to be worth US$34 million.
Blaqboy & AD Dj had the honour of reavealing Sarkodie as another member of the ‘Big Six’ on the Finish Line.
Most Ghanaians do not say it enough but Michael Owusu Addo is notable in reviving the rap genre in Ghana. With most of his colleagues leaving the scene to pursue other things, the rapper stuck to his core until he achieved greatness.
His contributions to the Ghanaian music industry have earned him numerous accolades, including the Vodafone Ghana Music Award for Artiste of the Decade. Sarkodie winning the 2012 BET Best International Act: Africa ,being featured on the 2012 BET HIPHOP Awards Cypher and being announced the very first winner of BET’s Best International Flow Act in the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards further solidifies him as one of the best rappers in Africa to ever come out of Ghana.
He is also considered one of the major proponents of the Azonto genre and dance.
The artiste who has been active since 2005 is known to be among the few Ghanaian rappers who trusted the process and has seen his hustle pay off.
Fuse ODG is the Urban Music Award Best Afrobeats Artist of the year 2012, a Ghanaian-UK based musician who has set the music scene alight! In March 2013, Fuse ODG reached the number one spot in the iTunes World Chart, cementing his status as the first Ghanaian musician in history to achieve such a feat.
Born Richard Abiona, the singer grew up in London but returned to Ghana, at a later stage. This provided him with the opportunity to soak up the culture, which is now evident in his music. Fuse describes his sound as ‘life-changing music seasoned with his African roots’, and his aim is to elevate the world through music.
Frenchkiss DJ on the Overdryve revealed Fuse as a member of the ‘Big Six’. Fuse started the ‘This Is New Africa’ (TINA) movement which urges Africans in the Motherland and the diaspora to use their skills to rebuild their community and show the world the more beautiful side of Africa
It came as no surprise to many when the Lioness of Africa, Wiyaala, was named the only woman amongst the ‘Big Six’ on Friday Nyt Mix with Nockus and DJ Pak.
Wiyaala means “the doer” in her local Sissala dialect. Her music is a potent fusion of West African folk songs and stadium Afro-pop informed by her personal interpretation of traditional West African mythology and storytelling brought to life with spectacularly energetic traditional dance moves.
In 2012, she made the long journey to the capital city, Accra, and against the odds won an emphatic victory in the Vodafone Icons Reality Show. After being “spotted” by Rita Ray of BBC’s Global beats in 2014, the door opened and Wiyaala has emerged as one of Ghana’s leading international touring artistes.
Wiyaala is also a member of international female band GRRRL and a committed supporter of the arts in Northern Ghana having created and organized the The Djimba World Music Festival annually.
She is also an active influencer for UNICEF Ghana and fights for the abolition of FGM, Early Child Marriage and the rights of children.