Documenting the Process

  • Kobina Ankomah-Graham
  • 2 weeks ago

Bringing together guests from several aspects of music making, Process lived up to its billing as 'a summit for creative thinkers, educators and music makers'. The brainchild of popular hip-hop and afrobeats artist/producer, Juls (under the banner of Signatures, the magazine he co-founded with his brother Jason), the event took place at the imaginatively-designed new offices of advertising and talent agency, BBnZ on 24th and 25th January.

Across both days, the thirty or so young musicians, DJs, and producers who responded to the event’s social media campaign were given the chance to network and gather insights from an array of names they look up to alongside others they may not have known before the event, but who they will find hard to forget thereafter. Artists, radio presenters, DJs, producers, and promoters were all put to work across a range of workshops, presentations, practice sessions and panels.

The main features of the first day included a ‘Young Boss’ roundtable discussion between Juls, YFM presenter Official Kwame and the artist, C Real. There was one of several ‘live deconstructions’ in which the producers Rvdical and Mike Millz built beats from scratch in under half an hour; and conversations between Juls, fellow artist/producer Jayso, the artists M.anifest and Adomaa, and Benewaa Boateng of definitive young Ghanaian music blog, Harmattan Rain.

On the second day, Juls went head-to-head with producer of the moment, Kuvie, both emerging with formidable beats over which musicians sang and rhymed. There was a live recording of the ever-popular AccraWeDey podcast, and a later talk on the future of African music.

However, the liveliest discussion was easily the ‘Girl Power’ talk, featuring artists Ria Boss and Adomaa, alongside radio presenter Vanessa Gyan and the promoter Irene Donati. Hosted by YFM’s Akosua Hanson, it generated vibrant audience debate over sexism in the industry (and the country as a whole) pressure placed on female performers to be sexier (and the criticism they face when they oblige) and whether male rappers can respond to disses from their female peers.

A successful event, it marks an interesting progression for Juls into music education. There are already talks of a follow-up retreat in October with less talk and more of a focus on the craft of making music.

Image: Steve Morris M.


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