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Music is a universal language we all speak, no matter where we come from. But each culture has their own artists who reflect what’s happening within that culture, telling the world who they are and where they come from with their music, lyrics and overall style.
In light of the recent 2018 VGMAs (Vodafone Ghana Music Awards), Ghanaian music has won a special place in our hearts. Ghana currently has a very vibrant music scene and is home to a flux of diverse musical styles and fusions. After all, it was Ghana that brought the world the “Highlife” genre, which later evolved into the “Hiplife,” when a new generation of artists twisted it with their unique sounds.
There’s an array of intoxicating artists to discover who hail from Ghana, so it’s hard to really pinpoint the top influencers. But here are some Ghanaian musicians that NEED to be on your playlist:
Shatta Wale
You can’t go a single day in Ghana without hearing a song from Shatta Wale! As the undisputed king of dancehall in Ghana, you won’t be able to help yourself but to dance to his infectious, body-shaking tunes. Many turn to his afro dancehall beats to get them through everyday Ghanaian life. The 33-year-old performer is best known for his song “Dancehall King,” which led to him winning Artist of the Year at the 2014 Ghana Music Awards.
To perfect his dancehall musical prowess, he traveled to Jamaica to learn everything he could. A rarity in the industry, Shatta Wale is the CEO and founder of his own record label and has even acted in a few movies including “Shattered Lives” and “Never Say Never.” And he’s never not working on his music! Shatta wale has been known for putting out at least 100 songs in any given year, which is probably why his concerts always sell out. His image is so well known that he’s been featured in numerous ad campaigns for the likes of Guinness, making him a huge Ghanaian influencer and musician despite his many interesting monikers including the “Tupac of Africa” and “Mayweather of Africa.” This year the infamous Ghanaian artist took home the ‘Best Collab Award’ of the Year, at the VGMA’s, but he had a ton of major hits in 2017. Here’s our favorite:
MzVee
There’s a lot of female empowerment in Ghana’s female artists, and MzVee is one of the females representing hard right now in the music scene. This female dancehall powerhouse has a voice like no other and leaves her mark on listener’s ears. She has one goal, and that’s to get you moving, and she gets us every time! The 25-year-old songstress has been going strong since 2012 and doesn't show signs up letting up any time soon. Her musical preferences mix elements of dancehall, R&B and afropop, resulting in a unique sound that is 100% her own.
Born Vera Hamenoo-Kpeda, MzVee’s hit singles off her solo album include “Borkor Borkor,” “Natural Girl,” and Dancehall Queen.” She’s signed to the notable Lynx Entertainment label and won the “New Artist of the Year” award at the 2015 Ghana Music Awards.


Stonebwoy
The 2015 Ghana Music Awards was a huge year for Stonebwoy, who racked up tons of awards, even going home with the highly coveted “Artist of the Year” award. Although many might want to categorize his music in the ‘hiplife’ genre, he’s more afropop since it’s doused with heavy dancehall and reggae inspirations, creating the perfect mix of what a dance track should be!
Born Livingstone Este Satekla, Stonebwoy is currently one of the leading dancehall artists in Ghana and doesn’t let anyone forget it. He began making music at a young age and got his ‘Stonebwoy’ moniker when he was in high school, touting himself as an underground rapper. With the full support of his family, he appeared on the rap competition “Kasahare Level,” which helped jump start his musical career.
But not only is he a talented artist, but the CEO of Burnition Music Group is also a huge philanthropist, establishing a “Livingstone Foundation” branch that helps youth in Ghana. Stonebwoy took home the ‘Reggae Dancehall of the Year’ award this year at the VGMAs.

Sarkodie
Having been in the industry since 2009, Sarkodie has climbed his way to the top of the charts with is new school afrobeats. Thanks to his killer talent and swift delivery between English and his native language of Twi, Sarkodie can battle like no other. He’s won numerous awards and his hit song “U Go Kill Me” became an anthem for the Azonto music and dance movement.
Born Michael Owusu Addo, Sarkodie is often named as one of Africa’s hottest hip-hop artists, with many touting him as the top Ghanaian rapper of all time. Raised in Tema, he started rapping as a child and rose up the ranks as an underground rapper during school. His career has been so successful, that he’s one of the Top 10 Richest African Artists of his time. He’s even shared the stage with other world-renowned artists like Ludacris, T-Pain, Miguel and Trey Songz, to name a few. Although he’s known internationally, his main fan base is throughout Africa and he’s one of the most celebrated icons in Ghana today. He’s also very involved in his ‘Sarkodie Foundation’ that helps support children in Ghana. Among his two other awards, Sarkodie took home the ‘Hiplife/Hiphop Artist of the Year’ award at the 2018 VGMAs.

Kaakie
When you’re an up-and-coming artist, you do whatever you can to get your voice heard. Such was the case for Kaakie, who loved music so much she used to record karaoke versions for all of her favorite hits. Born Grace Kaki Awo Ocansey, the 27-year-old dancehall artist got her big break on a reality TV show called “Stars of the Future,” which led her signing to her first record label, Xtra Large Music. She’s been making music since 2012, winning numerous awards for her talents, including “Reggae and Dancehall Artist of the Year” in 2013 at the Ghana Music Awards. There’s been some controversy with Kaakie since she left her label, but she’ll no doubt be back on Ghana’s music scene in no time given how much she loves her music and her fans.
What are rules unless they’re broken? That’s why we’ve added a surprise 6th song to our list. We absolutely LOVE this song by Ebony. And due to her unfortunate death, her career was so short lived. This is a remembrance of the bold and creative Ebony. R.I.P