The Culture List: Smallgod, the Man Building Bridges Through African Music, Serves Up an Eye-opening Album Debut

Known for his connection to the African music space and his love for fashion, Nana Appiasei, popularly known as Smallgod, has further imprinted his relevance to the music scene in Africa and beyond. For the last 15 years, the Ghanaian music entrepreneur, as well as culture and streetwear connoisseur, has been a force that has pushed for a connection between the diverse African art scene and the diaspora. He attributes his upbringing in Ghana, London, and the Netherlands for his multi-cultural and multidisciplinary mindset.

Known as a master connector, the culture savant has merged his love for music and fashion countless times. From his collaborations with Daily Paper, an Amsterdam-based clothing and accessories brand, to Free The Youth, the Ghanian fashion collective, he has always been able to proficiently marry the two. “I’ve had an innate love for fashion since my childhood,” he shares.

His debut album Building Bridges takes a similar pan-Africanism approach. By connecting a panorama of rhythmical métissage, he takes his fans through an extraordinary journey of alluring sounds. The album pushes boundaries as it features an impressive team of Afrobeat stars, such as Wizkid, Headie One, Tiwa Savage, King Promise, R2bees, as well as comedic skits from the African comedian Eddie Kadi. And, it also pulls upon drill and rap kings, such as, Asakaa Boys, Kwesi Arthur, and Lp2loose. The extraordinary lineup presents a blend of distinct musical genres connecting Africa and the diaspora through its refined and lyrical cadence. Smallgod describes this cultural melodic mix as “Afro-fusion,” where African beats serves as the base for all of the interloping musical genres.

“The reason why I enjoy working with Big Nana is that he understands the human side of music. He stays loyal to people he believes in and values long lasting relationships. He has respect for everyone, be it whether they are a star or an emerging artist. “

wizkid

” Smallgod has been connecting dots behind the scenes for a long time.”

Headie One.

”Smallgod is the OG of the industry. He’s representing Ghana to the global community.”

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King Promise

Smallgod attributes his conviction of taking center stage as an artist to the pandemic. He took the period for self-introspection. Getting that break from the world as it came to a standstill allowed him to evaluate and pursue the creation of the album. He realized there are things he wanted to do that couldn’t be done in his former capacity as an artist manager. 

However, leaving behind the scenes to take center stage has been a tricky transition for the Afro-future creator, for he has to take actions and make decisions in the capacity of both an artist and a manager. He hopes to continue connecting musical talents from both aspects of his career. This may be uncharted waters for him but he is confident about his future in this new space.

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