Okaidja Afroso, The Palm Wine Sea

Michael Brummett

Artwork credit by the m2design group

Okaidja Afroso is a singer/songwriter from Ghana, West Africa. He’s best known for his culturally informed sound and active willingness to take artistic risks.

Background

Attracted by musicians who value their authenticity, Afroso’s artistic vision is heavily influenced by the often seductive rhythms of Ghana’s Palm Wine music. As a tribute to Okaidja’s willingness to take risks, his blend of his Ghanaian roots with a Latin American style is enjoyable found in The Palm Wine Sea.

Born into a family of musicians and storytellers in the village of Kokrobite, he began his career as a dancer with the acclaimed Ghana Dance Ensemble. Touring internationally, Okaidja was enabled to expand his own artistic influences, becoming a praiseworthy multi-instrumentalist and arranger.

Afroso cites Paul Simon, Bobby McFerrin, Johnny Cash, Sting, and Lokua Kanza as his greatest musical inspirations. Okaidja produced the record with the help of a handful of friends at Ibori Records in Portland Oregon, including: Chaz Mortimer, Rick Clifford, Andrew Nagatori, and Dana White.

Thoughts

The Palm Wine Sea is an entirely new kind of music to me — as it may be for most listeners. The only comparison I could draw would be with Mumford & Sons’ Johannesburg, which was such a change of pace from their sound that it still impresses.

Joy and excitement is the immediately consequence of indulging in Okaidja’s latest creation. But it is the fluidity of the innumerably complex sounds that makes his music timeless and soothing.

The vast range of his vocal arrangements tease their limits in “Kenklé”, while “State of Mind” is the relaxing day-at-the-beach backdrop that rounds the ruggedness of whatever it comes into contact with.

Support

You can find Okaidja Afroso on Facebook, sharing his thoughts, news, and announcements.

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