Whiles working as a cleaner in a new studio, this young man had no idea his life was about to take a different turn. Agyekum like many other Ghanaians found himself in the capital city in search of greener pastures, and after a series of dreadful jobs, finally decided to learn photography. Listen to Hohuo Asem by Agyekum feat. Sarkodie
When that didn’t work out, Agyekum settled as a cleaner in a newly opened music studio and was chanced upon by the epitome of variety and discoverer of new talents in the music industry, Hammer of the last Two, as he was summoned to check out the studio’s equipment.
There in the compound was a young man who sang as he swept and this caught the 'pro's' attention.
He therefore invited him into the studio for testing and although this act of kindness left the young man's world tumbling down, as he was fired from his job and eventually his residence.
However the undaunted impression had already been made and voila!, the next project of the Last Two camp was born. He was then immediately relocated and put to work.
A daring fusion of the rural silky voicing style pertaining to ace high-life singers, Yamoah, Koo Nimo, Kwadwo Akwaboah and Nana Ampadu, backed by melody possessed urban hip-hop beats from hammer, Agyekum's single ‘Hohuo Asem’ translated, "The plight of the traveler" sang in Twi, is high on melancholy and encompasses his life as a sojourner together with the many unfortunate encounters of the one away from home, will definitely linger in the minds of listeners long after the song has ended. We all know Hammer likes to challenge himself with projects that other people dare not venture, example was unearthing tinny when Ga rap was very unpopular and Ayigbe Edem when Ewe rap was and is still unpopular musically.
But this, I call too much of a dare. This sounds more like Amakye Dede on hip hop beats.
Asked if Agyekum had been the reason why he had sprung out of his dormant state, Hammer said "I’m easily bored especially when my mission has been accomplished. I feel Ayigbe Edem has succeeded in putting The Volta on the map but having to record another rap artiste was unlikely since I'm yet to find another landmark rapper with a different dialect. Having said that, I thought a rural-urban merger to once again break the paradigm was a dare worth shaking myself out of hibernation for.
Especially as Agyekum is a singer. “Radio has been quite interesting this year of our Lord 2011 but I fear without enough creative breakthroughs, Djs might unconsciously cause a one line trend”, he said.
Indeed, the enthusiasm with which one of Ghana's best rappers in the industry 'Sarkodie,' hammer's own former student got on board to work together with Hammer on his quest to unearth his new find was very encouraging.
The song begins with background Timpani kettle drums followed by hammer’s signature brass lead, and finally arrives in a beautiful array of heavy drums, groovy snares, string bass and piano works. And surprisingly still manages to achieve the solemn melancholic awareness of the concept, Agyekum’s entrance was definitely unexpected but synchronized so well it nearly brought tears to my eyes. Chorus sounds more like a sobbing individual in distress which then leads to sarkodie’s part which focuses on Agyekum’s plight and journey to Accra. Delivered in a classy sixteen bar focusing straight to the point.
This single is nothing like what is being aired on radio, yet hammer believes it will still get the attention it deserves. We all know hammer to be associated with rappers more than singers but I recently found out that singers are not new to him, as apparently it was through hammer that Ghanaians heard Kk fosu and Kwabena Kwabena for the first time. Hammer went on to dismiss my critical opinion about Agyekum’s single not being danceable.
“If we only made music to our advantage financially, it wouldn’t be fair to the good people of Ghana because following trends is weak art and shouldn’t be encouraged. It deprives us of variety and suppresses creative minds who fear to make a loss so they stick to whats en vogue. I don’t have that problem, he said.
"I dare to be different and i choose intimate audience over mass appeal any day because before I unleash an act, I first have to buy into their objective and urban migration seems to be an ongoing war with governments in Africa so u see, this is not a joke", Hammer said.
Agyekum is the reflection of countless Ghanaians who leave home in search of greener pastures, both in the capital and abroad, and to tell this story is no dancing matter, I expect local radio to have slots to accommodate this kind of music as the west radio stations do the countless genres abroad”. He said, almost losing his cool.
From on point lyrics to spot on beats, it is clear that Agyekum is here to stay. Brace yourself, GH!
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