Several musical acts are proudly selling Ghana to the outside world and one of them is the Cape Coast-based African Footprint International (AFI) led by Samuel Kweku Addison.
The group’s act may be a quiet but important effort to let the world know what musical and dance treasures abound here but those not privileged to keep up with its foreign exploits can listen to the members on the three albums the group has produced so far.
The latest one is a 12-track collection called Journey and it was recorded live at Addison Square Gardens, Greenhill-Cape Coast and Motor City Studios in Denmark.
AFI’s trademark is a rich base of solid African percussion and voices topped up often with Western horns. The blend has given the group a unique identity which has bowled over audiences at its concerts across Europe and America.
The Journey album showcases the versatility of the group as it gallops along on throbbing percussion instruments only, pure vocal tracks and songs that delightfully fuse Ghanaian and African elements with Western harmonious treats.
On San Bra, for instance, infectious gong sounds kick off the piece before rattles and drums join in to float a typical Afro-beat feel. The tenor guitar beautifully colours the vocals which forcefully requests all our people abroad to come home and help with the developmental process.
A completely different kind of mood is created on Asafo which employs only chants and some ferocious drumming.
Guest singer Mette Marie Jensen-Ornstrup sounds sweet on Remember and the fast-paced Wonyi No Aye praise song qualifies in every way to be described as a gospel piece.
Hailing from the Central Region, African Footprint is always quick to demonstrate its firm grip over rhythms and folk song patterns from the area.
The group was established in 2000 by Addison, who saw the need to tap into the talents of the underprivileged and disabled in his community. Members of the group have taught in music conservatories across Europe and offer training in drumming and dancing for foreign students whenever it is at base in Cape coast.
The music on Journey exemplifies what good cultural ambassadors African Footprint have turned into for this country.
The group’s music may not be your everyday fare on radio but the members are still determined to keep on enthralling audiences in Europe, America and elsewhere with the wonderful musical resources of Ghana and Africa.
The Journey album was produced by Samuel Kweku Addison, Seth Olinsky and Jacob Meyland.
African Footprint International is currently on a three-month European tour dubbed ‘Move 2013’.
The tour is supported by a number of outfits including www.artsghana.com, Royal Academy of Music (Aarhus) and Adisson’s Mighty Works Apps.
By Kouame Koulibaly
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