It was such a BLAST! “Better than the first show”, is what our critics are saying. The Reggae Rising crew was on fire last night!
I have never been privileged enough to share love and music with such a patient and understanding crowd. Moreover a crowd that emitted such positive vibrations. It was peace and love! The fans had been exceedingly patient since technical problems had delayed the start of the show until well into the midnight hour but we did not disappoint. The force was with us.
The Big Hills band played amazingly well despite any technical challenges and once the sparks began to fly, it was over. Ras Boomba, Fiifi Selah, Yasmeen, Jahwi, Knii Lante destroyed the stage one after the other, drawing cheers and much love from the crowd. Blakk Rasta and the Herbalist band were there to continue into the wee hours of the morning along with other artists on the bill including Osagyefo. Great show, great vibes, great people.
Enjoy the pictures and follow us on social media with hash tags #ReggaeRising and #ReggaeRisingTour. You can keep up with our show schedule via my reverbnation page http://www.reverbnation.com/yasmeen
Tomorrow the Reggae Rising crew will join a large celebration at the Akuma village to mark the anniversary of the coronation of his majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I the first. It is a movement that brings to light a special and important piece of history. A movement that believes in Africa and emancipation from mental slavery. Reggae Rising is an element of the new revolution for truth and the revival of humanity’s collective soul.
It’s all about conscious music and I will be there alongside Knii Lante, Jahwi, Osagyefo, Fiifi Selah, Black Rasta, Ras Kuuku, Orthodox, Redfyah, Conscious Generation, and more.
Yesterday we were hosted in the studios of radio Gold 90.5fm by the beautiful Empress Lomo who also happens to be the MC for tomorrow’s show. Damage is only 10ghc and doors open at 6pm.
We are all so hyped because the show was really great! We had a great crowd, and despite the fact that it rained earlier on in the evening, people still came out to enjoy the concert.
The Big Hills Band started the show really well with a nice mix of cover tunes. Jahwi hopped on and got the crowd going with his impressive new set of conscious songs including “the call”. Osagyefo followed and got the crowd hyped with his motivating and socially inclined lyrics. He performed his song entitled “Oko Vanderpuye” which got a good chuckle out of the crowd. Moving on swiftly and smoothly with King Lagazee as the MC, Black I delivered his groovy set ending with “Asante Mama” and then it was time for the only female performer of the night. Guess who? Lol
It was such a great feeling having a large number of people in the crowd singing “paddy” with me!
Fiifi Selah was next and delivered nicely with his “taxi driver” and other tracks. Knii Lante was the last performer. Killing it completely with his exciting performance featuring songs from his new album “True Feelings”.
It’s only the beginning. The Reggae Rising tour looks very promising. Not only are we spreading joy and love, we are sharing truth and wisdom in the spirit of togetherness. Watch out for our next show.. still in Accra!
Jahwi called me up a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in joining him, Knii Lante and a few other artists in a Reggae concert at the Republic. I didn’t need to think too long before I agreed. I’ve been to the Republic bar and grill in Osu and have seen the sort of clientele, food, beverages, and ambience it has. Absolutely groovy! It’s an interesting set up because the party sort of “spills out” onto the street. The stage and half the seating is set up outside on the street, and is fast becoming the place to hang out for live music on Wednesdays.
Ebo Taylor has been there; recently Wanlov and Mensah a.k.a the FOKN Bois were there, Sena was there, Funsho and the Ayetoro band were there couple of weeks ago, and tomorrow it’s going to be a nice line up featuring Knii Lante, Osagyefo, Jahwi, Fiifi Selah, Black I, Ras Kuuku and yours truly, Yasmeen.
The band we are playing with is called the Big hills band, a really talented set. I’ve enjoyed rehearsing with them so far and enjoyed watching how they transition from one artist to the other. We have all had the challenge of time management during our short opportunity to rehearse together before the show but now that we’ve got our act together it’s only going to get better since we may be taking this gig on the road.
We’ve dubbed it the “Reggae Rising tour” and I’m looking forward to coming to a stage near you. Follow our hash tag on social media #ReggaeRising let’s share love and great music. See you tomorrow night at the Republic bar and grill in Osu, Accra. Showtime: 8PM. 😉
Some pics from rehearsal:
Here’s a pic of my annoyed face. Late and caught in traffic on my way to rehearsal yesterday.
I wish I could have blogged in real time when I went to Nigeria to participate in “Felabration” last October however Internet issues wouldn’t allow. Here is a brief recap in pictures. It was a fun trip!
Before we left Accra:
Upon arrival in Lagos I met Femi and Yeni Anikulapo Kuti, children of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
After this meeting I was whisked off to the hotel to get some rest for the following day.
Next day at sound check at the shrine:
And then later that night:
Here I am backstage with Wanlov:
The next show was held at Freedom park on Victoria island and I have to say that was my favorite show:
These last two images were captured by Logor, a truly talented photographer whom I sat and had a chat with for about twenty minutes before the show. He seemed truly passionate about what he does and it shows!
After all the concerts I had a day off for a little sightseeing. Ummu, my assistant for this trip, took me into a Hausa community where I got a sneak peek into the lives of the people who live there. I also got me some awesome Henna tattoos:
When I look at these beautiful designs I think of the women who surrounded me with love and gave me this gift in Nigeria. I remember the beautiful young artist, made to cover herself, not daring to look into my eyes or have a full conversation with me because I am not one of “them”. When she did look at me and smile, I felt her pain and I understood that her art is a huge outlet for her. I think of the ones who rushed over to have a peep at me. They rushed back into their rooms before it was found out that they had actually ventured to go outside. Then I think of the mother of a newborn, who came and handed her 10 day old baby girl to me as if to say, “please bless her and give her your vibes.” It was almost as if she hoped for a different destiny for this baby girl. I couldn’t take pictures with them but their faces are drawn on the canvass of my mind. When I look at these drawings I see the hopes and dreams that may never materialise. These are the souvenirs I brought back from Nigeria.
Physically, mentally, emotionally,.. its been quite intense lately. We are facing great challenges as a nation and each and every one of us is affected. Corruption is the disease that is eating through our governing institutions, and miseducation is keeping most of us in a self imposed jail.
The latest thing is the ongoing “Dumsor” crisis. I mean, this problem has been in existence here ever since I can remember but recently, it’s the worse it has ever been. “Dumsor” means “on-off” in twi – a Ghanaian local language. This is referring to the regular power cuts we are experiencing as a result of inefficiencies in our energy system. Electricity is scarce these days. Cost of having it is so high. Cost of NOT having it is even higher. Businesses are folding up and saying goodbye because they can’t afford to continue running their businesses in such difficult conditions. It’s time for us to find sustainable solutions. Of course we’ve heard of solar power and other alternative energy solutions but where is the effort, hard work, discipline, and selflessness that needs to go into making these ideas work for Ghana?
Electricity is not the only challenge. We have water problems, waste management issues, rising cost of living, and some really serious environmental issues. I always try to look on the bright side of life (no matter how hard it gets) and I must say I’m really proud of some Ghanaians for their “adaptation techniques” [kpa kpa kpa! << inside joke!]. I'm not just an artist, I'm also a business woman, sharing the pain of my fellow Ghanaians especially small-scale entrepreneurs. I've had to adapt, to re-strategize, to manoeuvre, and to "kpa kpa kpa" my way through the first quarter of this year and today, on our 58th independence day, I thank the electricity company of Ghana for keeping my lights on while I take the day off. Today I want to do absolutely nothing apart from having a nice day with my family and as I type this in my bed I wish all Ghanaians a reflective independence day, and I hope the lights stay on.
Here are a few "Dumsor" songs and clips on YouTube (yes it's that bad):
After the death of my kid brother Waleed my life suddenly went really dark. Nothing could make me smile. It makes me wonder how my husband (then fiancé) put up with me through those years. I put down these words during that time of struggle.
Everyone has their form of “Medication”. That thing, or those things that they depend on to help ease their suffering.
Music to me is therapy. It has been a huge outlet for me and I am so glad I could record and share it with you all.
Whatever you are going through and whatever “medication” you are on, stay positive and keep believing in love. ♡