Ghanaian rapper and singer-songwriter Kwesi Arthur joins LootLove via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about his latest collab with Bigg Homie Flee, “Drama.”
He also discusses his new album, ‘Son of Jacob,’ how his upbringing in Tema influenced his sound, and how he represents his people through his music.
Kwesi Arthur on ‘Son of Jacob’ Album Title
With ‘Son of Jacob’, I’m representing my people. I come from the Akan ethnic group in Ghana – my dad is Fante, my mum is Akuapem. The Akans and most of the ethnic groups in Ghana and Africa have similar cultural practices as the Israelites in the Bible, so I feel like we’re the 13th sons [of Jacob] that the other sides of the world have forgotten about. These are our conventions, this is me telling our stories, this is me telling our struggles, this is me telling our victories and how we enjoyed.
Kwesi Arthur on representing his people
The reason why I even started to make music was I felt like people weren’t really speaking for the people who come from my side of town. Fortunately or unfortunately for us, we come from the trenches, there aren’t that much opportunities where we come from so life is a certain way but we still love it, we’re still grateful for our lives.
I feel like for me to be in the position I am and still be able to represent my people and talk about what we go through, that’s an honour for me and I’m grateful for that.
Kwesi Arthur on how Tema influences his music
I was born in Tema, a multicultural city so we have people coming from different ethnic backgrounds, different language backgrounds, different parts of the country and the world coming together in Tema, so we’re influenced by different sounds from different cultures and I happen to be in the centre of it all! I see whatever is happening, I hear what is going on so it’s easy for me to tap into all those things because it’s been a part of me growing up. In terms of having these different genres and all, that’s part of me.
Tune in and listen to the full episode this Friday April 29th at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_AfricaNow