“Highlights: the riotous beats and irresistible delirium of Onipa, whose rogue strain of griot hip-hop and charismatic front man KOG have the entire marquee beaming » (The Guardian on Damon Albarn’s Africa Express).
ONIPA exploded onto the European scene in 2018 with a unique fusion of African music and electronics, drawing on a wide range of influences: Ghanaian Hi Life, Congolese Soukous, Mali Blues, South African Shangaan Electro & Township Music, Nigerian afro-disco, Moroccan Gnawa - combined with UK dance music, jazz and hip hop. The brainchild of producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Tom Excell (founder and band-leader of acclaimed afro-jazz project Nubiyan Twist) and charismatic Ghanaian vocalist Kweku Sackey (K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade), the 4 piece live show features live bass synth and percussion from Dwayne Kilvington (Steamdown Orchestra, Wonky Logic) and drums from Finn Booth (Nubiyan Twist).
After a successful first EP in September 2018, co-released by UK afro jazz pioneers Wormfood and French afro-electronic specialists Mawimbi, they follow up with 2 powerful summer singles.
« Maadi 3 » is a modern take on traditional Ghanaian highlife, written in the the style of a traditional folk story about 2 lovers, one of whom falls in the river and has to be rescued.
Mali meets Ghana meets Jamaica. In the words of producer Tom Excell: “This track started life as a vocal chant, then guitars doubled the vocal line to create a heavy, riff based, trance-like, hypnotic, repetitious feel. From there we formed the groove, a mix between dancehall and afrobeat rhythms, giving the framework for raga vocals, floaty electronics and Malian guitar interspersions. Mali meets Ghana meets Jamaica. To me it represents the importance of being yourself and following what you believe in no matter that circumstances.”
released July 19, 2019
All music composed and performed by Tom Excell
All vocals composed and performed by K.O.G
Mixed and Mastered by Tom Excell