INDUSTRY NEWS

Leadership

REX OMAR

Born on the same birthday as the legendary Bob Marley (6th February), Rex Owusu Marfo aka Rex Omar’s career appears destined to chart a path to worldwide stardom, such as the late reggae star attained. From humble beginnings in his birthplace, Kumasi, capital of the Ashantis of Ghana, Rex Omar has gained wide recognition in the West African region and beyond.

Having performed internationally at a variety of places including Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Benin, Britain, France and Togo Rex is set to explode on the international market. Indeed a performance by him in Britain in October 2000 earned him a description by British promoters, Serious, as “Ghana’s most exciting musical export…” with the London entertainment magazine Time Out predicting Rex is “… going to raise the stakes for Ghana’s music”.

Rex Omar, originally called Rex Owusu Marfo, is firmly rooted in his native criss-cross rhythms and melodic inflections. With this heritage plus the pervasive influence of western pop music and his personal love for jazz, Rex has plays a unique blend of Afro-pop and jazz music. His singing style portrays influences from the praise singers of Northern Ghana and Ashanti. Rex has pursued his own dream of a music career with single-minded devotion since he defied at an early age, his father’s desire for him to become a lawyer.

His recording career has spanned eighteen years with a number of hits to his credit. His album “Dangerous” which includes the hit song “Abiba” has sold over 300,000 units and is still attracting audiences beyond Ghana’s borders. Rex now has a twelve-Piece band, the nu-Ashanty that provides exciting renditions and backing to his music. In November 2002 Rex Omar and his band put up an excellent show at the Jazz a` Ouaga in Burkina Faso.

Their performance in August at the 2005 Les Escales Festival at St Nazaire, France, was so sensational that they had the thick crowd actually chanting for more! A similar scene occurred at the Standard Joy of Jazz Festival in South Africa – August 2005. Rex is the winner of several awards including the Ghana Music Award - Best Contemporary Song of the Year 2004. He was also a Kora Awards nominee in 2004. Rex Omar is a Composer, Arranger, Producer and Culture Advocate

BICE OSEI KUFFOUR

Bice Osei Kuffour aka Obour has been very adventurous, daring and untouchable. He was born at 'Braha Bebu Me' (Dekyemenso) in the Ashanti Region on November 7, 1981 to Christiana Addo and reverend B.O Kuffour. Of his seven siblings, all his sisters and even his mother sung in the church.

At six, he played most of the drums especially the Atumpan in the Juaso-Ashanti Akyem chief's palace where his father used to preside over before accepting Christ. According to him, that inspired him a lot, lyrically.Right from his basic education days at the State Experimental School (Kumasi) through to the Soul Clinic School (Accra), Garrisson Junior Secondary School (Burma Camp) and Mfantsipim School, Obour never joked with his studies. As the first hip-life artist to reach his level at university, smart-headed Obour combine his tertiary education with music very effectively. Several situations tempted him to choose between education and music.

Just after his secondary school, Obour solicited help from his London-based cousin, J. Amano. Important person in his music career hooked him up to his personal Soul Records label. 'Atentenben' won three awards for Soul Records at the Ghana Music Awards in 2002; including Video of the year. That contributed to Soul Records winning the Record Label of the Year. Same video won the Best at Our Music Awards (OMA) in 2002.

His second album was fueled by the track 'Nana Obour', which was earlier on featured on Soul Records' 'Adakamo' compilation album. The album was titled "Dondo" and featured such classic tunes as 'Mesoodae' and 'Palm Wine'. 'Nana Obour' won the Best Video at both Ghana Music Awards and Ghana Music Awards UK in 2003.

He has a Pub in Osu known as Scores Sports Pub. His Music Production outfit, Adwinfi and Family Tree Entertainment label are doing great.

Obour is a remarkable and intelligent young artist who continues to thrill fans with his eclectic style of hiplife. His thought provoking lyrics and rich roots in culture is unparalleled. His igneous tours and live performances as a rap artiste set him apart from the lot. He has covered almost the whole nation with his music and like Obrafour; he has been used for some national campaigns because of his positive and educative lyrics. He won five awards at the 2005 Ghana Music Awards. His albums include Atentenben, Akademu, Dondo and Atumpan.

He currently has an amazing new duet album with A.B Crentsil titled, The Best of the Lifes. His Konkonti Ba hit single still remains the favorite of many music lover. He recently released a socially conscious album and project, One Ghana Peace Project/Obour for President' ahead of the 2008 general elections.

OKYEAME KWAME

Okyeame Kwame is a Ghanaian hip life/hip-hop, rapper and songwriter and has been a professional singer for more than 15 years and is still a force to reckon with in Ghanaian entertainment industry. It shows how transient and focused he is on his singing career.

Okyeame Kwame, together with Daniel Quophi Amoateng a.k.a. Okyeame Quophi formed the popular hip life group of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Akyeame. The Group released four successful albums, and split afterwards. OkyeameQuophi states in an interview with Ghanaweb.com that he had developed interest in “something else”, which was later revealed as studying sound engineering and so spent a few years in the U.S.A. He came back and established his own studio in Ghana and established himself as a prolific radio and television presenter. Okyeame Kwame is quoted to have stated in an interview with youthvillage.comthat his split from the Akyeame group stemmed from his ambition to pursue much higher dreams in his music career and therefore preferred going solo. He set up a record label called One Mic Entertainment.

With fifteen years’ experience in the music industry, Okyeame Kwame remains relevant in changing markets. After splitting with the group, Akyeame, Okyeame Kwame established a formidable brand by which he got featured on most hit making hiplife and high life music. He is arguably said to be one Hip-life artiste with the most collaborations,. His feature list includes Kojo Antwi, Daddy Lumba, Oheneba Kissi, Dasebre Dwamena, Kwabena Kwabena, Obour, Tinny, Asem, Bradez, Old Soldier, Ofori Amponsah, Kofi Nti, Kofi Bee, Olu Mentain, Israel Nation, Morris D’voice, Tattoo, Samini, Richie, Jay Ghartey, Akatakyie, Kaakyire Kwame Appiah and a host of others.

In 1999, Okyeame played the world famous Apollo Theater, Harlem, New York, the Constitution hall in Washington DC, and finally STRATSFORD Rex, London. He has also played Big Brother Africa (South Africa), Ovation Red Carpet (Nigeria) and shared stages with Third World, The Marleys, Double HP, Busta Rhymes, Wiz Kid, Mafikizo, Olu Maintain, Kojo Antwi, Amakye Dede, Dadi Lumba, Sarkodie, Samini and a host of others.

Copyright (C) Musicians Union Of Ghana - 2014
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