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Upclose with Shadrack “Shaddy” Oppong: Berklee College of Music’s power drumming enigma from Ghana

He is currently the only local Ghanaian at Berklee's Boston Campus in the USA

Hailing from the Ashanti regional suburb of Obuasi, Shadrack “Shaddy” Oppong has fought his way to the top of his musical field of drumming.

He is the third Ghanaian to ever be 2 years closer to bagging a degree in Music Business and Music Production from the globally-acclaimed top-ranking Berklee College of Music in America.

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, it’s the largest independent private music college of contemporary music in the world known for the study of jazz and modern American music.

It also offers college-level courses in a wide range of contemporary and historic styles, including rock, hip hop, reggae, salsa, heavy metal and bluegrass.

Berklee alumni have won 294 Grammy Awards, more than any other college, and 95 Latin Grammy Awards. Other notable accolades for its alumni include 19 Emmy Awards, 5 Tony Awards and 5 Academy Awards.

In summary, it’s a big deal for a local Ghanaian kid obsessed with drums to shoot straight out of Obuasi, make a name for himself within the music circles in the nations’ capital of Accra, bag a B.A in Psychology with Philosophy from the University of Ghana, Legon, be ambitious enough to apply into Berklee College and gain admission after months of going on a money hunt for sponsorship to embark on this history-making and record-setting educational journey in music.

Need I say more that Shadrack “Shaddy” Oppong is a national asset and must be protected and supported at all cost.

Detailing his musical journey, he narrated, “It all started when I joined Ebenezer Methodist Brigade in Obuasi, where I was one of the few young snare drummers in the band section.

Around that same time, I found myself playing African traditional drum, “Atumpan” in my primary school even though no one taught me how to play it.

I didn’t know how but I could just finesse my way through anything percussion when I was growing up. I had the drive, passion, I just loved to do it, even till now.

I represented my school, Kwabena Fori L/A Primary & Junior High School in Obuasi, on many “African drum” competitions as at that time through to Junior High school, 2004-2008.

At the age of 15, I started playing the drum set. I had no teacher at that time but kept meeting some good cats in Obuasi to learn from.

Fast forward, the internet, Komissioned Incorporated, Aki Ola exposed me to contemporary music. To me, that was the major turnaround for my drumming”.

Having carved a niche for himself as a solid yet skillfully versatile multi-genre professional drummer, he has been privileged to have performed live and recorded with several top shots in the Gospel music fraternity and many other artists and producers both in Ghana and abroad.

These include being the official drummer for Akesse Brempong (2015-present), Daughters Of Glorious Jesus (Jan 2014- Dec 2014), Royal Chris (2016-present), Darksuburb (Jan 2017-Dec 2017), among several others just to mention a few.

As a proud member of the Tribe of Judah – official band for the multiple award-winning Gospel Reggae/Afrobeat Kingpin, Akesse Brempong, he views the years of experience gathered while working with Akesse as one of the biggest things that has ever happened to his music career and for that, he is eternally grateful.

He worships at the Empowerment Worship Centre where Prophet Gideon Danso and other patrons have been of a great impact to his life and music journey so far.

It is on record that his power drumming delivery while he played during Sunday services was one of the iconic and anticipatory features of the youth oriented gatherings before his flight to Berklee.

Speaking on his course of study and aspirations afterwards, he revealed, “I’m a Professional Music Major with concentration in Music Business and Music Production. Technically, I’m the only Ghanaian here but there are other two Ghanaians who are first generation Americans.

I aim to set up an educational center to train young musicians and producers, as well as upgrade existing producers to help solve the problem of sub-par music productions. I also aim to establish a record label to manage artists, create new music and unearth talent”.

The prospects are high for such a rare talent as this and Ghanamusic.com has got an eye on him to update you on all the amazing things he has coming up in plunging the Ghanaian music industry unto the global markets.

World renowned Pastor, Dr. Medina Pullings, at a visit to EWC where Shaddy plays, confessed in a live interaction on social media to the originality and passion with which Shadrack plays as evidenced in the video above.

Emmanuel Bludo, Francis Osei, among several other global greats are a few of his role models.

Get interactive with Shadrack “Shaddy” Oppong across his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram and Subscribe to his YouTube channel also to be updated on his new drum video uploads.

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Emmanuel Ghansah, Ghana Music

Singer, Songwriter, scriptwriter, blogger, lover of the creative arts, brands and communications expert.

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