Yaa PONO (real name Solomon Adu Antwi) is a ten year veteran of the underground scene who never stopped developing his craft.
After winning rap competitions on local radio shows, it was Dr. Duncan’s Kasahari Level show that finally opened up the doors.
Yaa PONO reigned undefeated in the freestyle competition for an unprecedented 16 weeks, so perhaps the fact that he has evolved to become one of Ghanas favourite lyricists is not surprising.
The name Yaa P.O.N.O. meaning Prince Of No Origin, represents his approach to originality. A person with no origin is a true original.
Whether in Akan, Pidgin, Ewe and Ga, PONO’s witty use of language and sharp social observation are not the only reasons why he is so popular.
Yaa PONO has always put EVERYTHING into his incredible stage performances, and this left an indelible mark on audiences, which led to a lot of social media support.
Yaa PONO was Ghana’s first internet/smart phone phenomenon, with his freestyles helping him to become the first Ghanaian musician to pass 1 million YouTube views.
His verses were also bluetoothed millions of times, and for the first time, verses that had never been heard on the radio were being studied and recited by millions of young Ghanaians.
In the Golf City neighbourhood of Tema, Yaa PONO formed Uptown Energy with lifelong friends, Shuga Kwame and Joe Black.
The aim of the movement is to direct ghetto youth to achieve their goals by studying, working hard and remaining dedicated to their chosen fields.
Joining Pidgen Music in 2009 offered PONO more opportunities to develop and broaden his creative repertoire whilst working with some of the finest producers in the country.
Musically Yaa PONO grew in leaps and bounds, and he developed his singing skills and continued to blend elements of highlife, hip hop, rock, dancehall and afrobeat to demonstrate his versatility.
Yaa PONO continues to build his career in music now signed to the newly established Uptown Energy Records.
A positive outlook, dedication to his art, humility and hard work has produced PONOs biggest hit to date, the anthem ‘Amen’ which contains elements of chants heard at the New Afrika Shrine during Felabration (2013).
Amen serves as a fitting tribute to the Pioneer and King of Afrobeat, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, whose Pan Africanism and positive and proactive message to the World, inspired Yaa PONO.
Amen is currently on consistent repeat and airplay on radio and television stations in diverse countries such as Ghana, UK, US, India, Australia, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Germany and Poland.
Yaa PONO is the best live performer in the whole World!! This is not an exaggeration! – F.O.K.N. Bois
Performances and Tours
Yaa PONO has toured extensively throughout Ghana, Europe, UK and is a favourite for Festivals, including Asaabako, Indie Fuse, Chale Wote Street Arts Festival, High Vibes, Salah Fest and many others.
His high impact performance was a sensation at the Felabration 2013 and he was invited back for Felabration 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria and also performed at Crystal Club in London for the 58th Ghana Independence Day in UK .
His musicality is best heard when Yaa PONO is accompanied by a live band.
Yaa PONO at Felabration 2014
Photo credit: Logor Oluwamuyiwa, (@_Logor)
Nominations and Awards
2011 – Record of the Year Good Morning ft Efya – Ghana Music Awards
2014 – Traditional Artist of the Year – Ghana Music Awards
2014 – Best Hiplife Video Amen – 4Syte TV Music Video Awards
2015-Popular Song Played Amen-Ghana Dj Awards
2018-Hiplife Song of the year Obiaa Wone Master ft Stonebwoy-Ghana Music Awards UK
2018-Best Collaboration of the Year-Obiaa Wone Master ft Stonebwoy-Ghana Music Awards UK
2018-Best Rapper of the Year-Ghana Music Awards UK
2019- Hiplife Song of the Year Obiaa Wone Master ft Stonebwoy- Vodafone Music Awards
2019-Best Male Video of the Year-Control ft Dun D- 3RD Awards
2019-Hiplife song of the Year Obiaa Wone Master ft Stonebwoy -Ghana International Arts Awards Europe
Film & Television
2013 Coz ov Moni II Appears as Himself
2014 Bongo Bar Appears as Himself a weekly TV3 sitcom
2007 – The Psalms Mix tape
2007 – 007
2010 – Mmoasem
2011 – Shopping Mall
2012 – I Dey Feel You Die
2012 – Go Harder
2013 – Bayla Trap (Original Mix)
2013 – Tare Tare
2013 – Amen
2014 – Part II
2014 – Ghetto (Uptown Energys compilation album)
2014 – Talk of Gh Sarkodie and Yaa Pono ft. Lil Shaker
2014 – Black Stars
2014 – Rap Fever (Freestyle)
2017-Faster Than gods Album
2018-Obia wone Master ft Stonebwoy.
2019-Control ft Dun D
Uptown Energy Crew
Follow him across social media @Ponobiom
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