Two weeks ago I reviewed the first music video from brand spanking new African Electronic Music duo RedRed for their first single ‘Ghetto’. I then caught up with M3nsa (½ of the duo) as he jet packs between London, Accra and Budapest; we discussed what this new direction is and what it means for his individual projects and also for the FOKN Bois, what it was like working with Sarkodie and the current state of GH Hip-Hop.
It looks like it’s been a busy year for you, tell us what RedRed is about & how you got started?
I like to keep busy chale, anything else frustrates me. ELO and I have been collaborating together for a few years now. FOKN BOIS did an EP together with him in 2012 (FOKN Dunaquest in Budapest) and I worked with him on Sena Dagadu’s album (Lots Of Trees). We share a common interest in music technology and we had been sending each other song ideas until it felt like it was inevitable for us to do a full project together… African Electronic Dance Music *smiles*. Recorded in London, Accra and Budapest!
How did you meet Elo?
I met Elo through Sena Dagadu, a half Hungarian half Ghanaian singer based in Budapest. Who also happens to be his wife. And I think I met Sena either through Reggie Rockstone or Wanlov the Kubolor.
Where will we see this journey take you?
We’re making trying to take African Electronic Dance Music through the tiny corners and back streets of little cities and towns everywhere in Africa, with plans to end up throwing raves for 50,000 people from all over the world on a beach somewhere. . The kind of music we’re making is designed for such madness *smiles*.
As an artiste we know you from your individual projects and from the Fokn Bois, where does RedRed fall in this mix?
I’ve always loved the idea of taking on projects, working with different artists where we can bring different ideas to the table and create new things. That’s how FOKN BOIS was born in the first place. Remember I worked on two Reggie Rockstone albums and other little projects in the UK that never got properly released. Wanlov also does some real cool side projects too and we’re very supportive of each other. There’s always time and space for FOKN tins.
Most of the time, your music reflects on issues surrounding you, is RedRed on the same mission?
I think the subject matter can never be compromised on. So in that sense the mission is the same, but the stories are new and sometimes even bolder and more personal than ever. The beats are definitely what ELO and I are pushing the barriers with.
Will RedRed be challenging the status quo/current state in Ghana like how we have seen you do in the past?
Yeah, we talk about things *smiles*, maybe approached slightly differently from how I normally would if it were FOKN BOIS. Funny thing is, we’ve got a song with Wanlov and its interesting to hear us talk about issues but in a non FOKN way. This project is really interesting in that way.
Do you think the message that RedRed aims to portray will reach the right people?
Well, we’re here to make music. And to try and get it out there as much as possible. The right ears will hear it eventually.
Talk to us about your single ‘Ghetto’ featuring Sarkodie.
It originally started as a track MA (one of Ghana’s most incredible producers) and I were working on for Sarkodie. Somewhere along the way it didn’t quite materialise, so ELO just remixed the whole track and this is the result. We really love Sark’s artistry and his dedication – solid guy to work with.
Also as Yoyotinz is all about promoting Ghanaian hip hop, what is your view of the state of the hip hop scene in GH?
I don’t really pay too much attention to it as a movement. But I know for a fact that in recent times there’s been a real change in quality of music… definitely for the better.
and a few others are doing. Its great!
As a grassroots hip hop organisation, what would be your advice on how we use our platform to contribute to this industry?
You guys are doing a great job, I’m a fan with the t shirt and all. Keep seeking out that good shit and bring it to the people!
Is there anything else you would like people to know that we have not covered already?
RedRed is kokorr and beans. Kokorr is always taken for granted until there’s a shortage. Then you’ll see your mother. Always remember that.
Interview by Yoyotinz member Hephzie