Singing breaks the language barrier, widens reach | I've benefitted immensely – Kofi Kinaata

Ghanaian star artiste Martin Kofi King Arthur, alias Kofi Kinaata

Ghanaian Highlife star Kofi Kinaata has revealed the thought behind his switch from rapping to singing.

The 'Behind the Scenes' hitmaker was with Doreen Avio on Accra-based Hitz FM today, Tuesday, December 20, 2022, when he was asked why he now sings instead of rapping.

"It's because I speak [and perform predominantly in] Fante," he answered.

Acknowledging that not everyone understands the dialect of the Akan language, he postulated that song lyrics are poetry and asked: "What is [the use of] a poem if you don't understand it?"

For the serial hitmaker whose music is often studied in local and international universities, singing is superior to rapping because melodies break the language barrier.

"If the poem has melodies, even if you don't understand the language or the lyrics, you'll enjoy the melodies and rhythms," he argued. "So instead of the Fante poems in rap form, I reasoned to sing and add melodies and harmonies so that even if you don't understand it, you'll feel [like] it."

Secondly, for the artiste who burst into the Ghana music scene as a formidable rapper, singing is a challenge he took upon himself and thus represents growth instead of a mere compromise.

"You know for everyone when you start something you'll start from somewhere," he explained.

Also, "if you don't challenge yourself, free your mind and be open to experiment, you won't even know your strength," he noted.

"So I started as a rapper, I was not in a box, I decided to think outside the box [and said to myself] 'It's music. It's big. Let me try everything," he further explained his perspective.

He stressed that: "I'm very much okay with criticism," and not afraid of mockery. This attitude, he indicated, aided him in his experimentation.

Kinaata took the opportunity to encourage his audience to "feel free. Get out of your comfort zone. Try certain things."

"Take risks," he raised his voice a tad. "That's how we learn."

He was proud to declare his experimentation with singing has paid off bountifully.

"I took a risk to sing and now, the fans and I have gradually migrated from rap to another kind of music that we all are enjoying," he observed.

The Team Move leader then stated the current place of rap in his career.

"The rap is still in the songs. When I sing, I do a little bit of rap," he said.

Again, "when I'm featured on a song, and the person is singing, I will rap," he revealed. "So the rap is still there. It's just that we don't do much of it."

Noting that his "fanbase has grown wider than usual," due to diversification, he stressed that he would not want to do music that will only be intelligible to some people in his town "Effiekuma" or city "Takoradi" of birth.

"It has to be broad," he dramatized with a deep voice. Kinaata's latest music offering is titled 'Everyday (Essikafo Ammba Ntem)', a song that preaches financial prudence and celebrates self-reliance.

The celebrated singer-songwriter has promised a debut extended play (EP) early next year.

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