Canadian based Ghanaian musician ‘More Defiant’ is set to explode on the World music scene like dynamite.
Also known as Ras Israel, ‘More Defiant’ was born Israel Bentum-Mensah in Ghana, West Africa but now resides in Toronto, Canada.
Some people were born with silver spoons in the mouths, for ‘More defiant’, it was just the opposite.
Now, after withering the storm he is looking forward in becoming a famous musician ready to explode and be heard in every corner of the world.
Recollecting how it all began for him, the artiste who was born and bred in Ghana begun his journey from a very small town [APAM] in Ghana.
In a typical middle class home in Ghana, education is seen as paramount; hence any member of such a family must embrace it with alacrity. ‘More Defiant grew in such an environment, where music was seen as just a hobby and not a profession.
“Every afternoon after our homework was completed the neighbourhood children met under the trees to play. As we did not have normal toys like some other parts of the world, apart from the traditional games we played, the youth always tried to come up with something different to play with.
It was through these creative innovations that I started making musical instruments and we entertained ourselves on a daily basis.” He reminisced how the musical adventure began for him.
He continued that, at that young age with no instruments, they started making their own musical instruments which dished out good sounds to their ears. At that age, they couldn’t tell what a fine sound was but they loved what they did. With the help of his friends, they used strings and tins for guitars, buckets and boxes for drums, aluminum plates for Hi hats and anything else they could make a good sound out of them.
Soon, his love for music saw him through to form a three-member band with his friends and they became the entertainers in the hinterland. They continued to entertain the village folks until his family migrated to the capital, where life and things were completely different. In the city, More Defiant’ was opened to a whole different lifestyle.
His love for music motivated him to join his school choir and that was when he actually came close to real musical instruments apart from the traditional drums. A village boy who with the help of his friends made their own instruments and once dreamt of seeing the real instrument had his dream somehow come true.
He was so happy to see the piano, the guitars, and the real drums.”
After high school he went to the university to study Business Accounting and Management. In his first year, he met a musician “who I started writing songs for” he said. The first song he actually wrote for him was an instant hit and he managed to make some money. And guess what – the first thing he thought of buying was a musical instrument – guitar of course.
Unlucky for him, as soon as his dad discovered his involvement in music, he stopped paying for his education. With a lot on his head, ‘More defiant’ dropped out of school for a while and ended up on the streets.
That didn’t deter him, he started writing and playing music with various bands and musicians who needed his services. He did this for a while until he was introduced to Michael Morgan, the cousin of the Morgan Heritage family.
The royal band was the opening act for Buju Banton on his Til Shiloh African tour. He was employed as a bassist and a back up vocalist. After the tour he migrated to England with the money he made co-writing songs and playing music as a session musician.
While in England, ‘More defiant’ played couple of shows through his association with a reggae and pop band called the Pillars. He recorded a couple of songs that weren’t big but rotated in the underground world.
In 2002 he recorded his first album [one love] then went back home to promote the album with the Ghana Customs Band. He also established a recording studio which helped promote local musicians and also gave him the chance to experiment on his own musical style.
He returned to England in 2004 and had a huge musical success when he wrote a song [say no to racism] against hate crimes for the BBC Humberside. He was then invited to perform on a live show which was telecast for a month. He continued to play in a couple of clubs until he migrated to Canada in 2005.
In 2006 after playing shows at Lula Lounge and a couple of other small venues, he was eventually spotted by the organizers of Afrofest and he played to the entertainment of all who were around to see.
He then did a couple of interviews with the major stations [CBC, OMNI, CHRY, CKLN]. After some very positive feedbacks, he decided to take some time out of the music scene to perfect his act and he is now ready to explode like a Dynamite.
One Love, 2002
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