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    Wanlov making it big everywhere

    by Chris Koney, JIVE
    posted Monday, 24 August 2009 11:15| 0 Comments
    Wanlov recently returned from a brief visit to the United Kingdom, a country he was once refused an entry visa due to reasons best known to the British mission in Accra. The man was not there just to admire the beautiful edifices of the queen’s land, rather strengthening his brand and selling his music to that part of the world. He managed to grab the headlines even in a knotty British music scene.

    A jumbo bash with fellow Ghanaian act and respected producer, Mensah Ansah is a perfect vindicator. Wanlov did raise high the flag of Ghana rightly in the face of its colonial masters.
    Many folks; either related to the artistic industry or not are convinced the GH music genre, Hip Life, is here to stay. The genre which is believed to have survived several generations is not without peculiar features. It is another variety with the ‘bling-bling’ fashion which is more allied to the America Hip Hop music.

    The status quo for its practitioners is the smoky fashion craze and their ‘pimpish’ attitude. One artist who has deviated from this phenomenon is Wanlov Kubolor. The Romanian-Ghanaian emcee has shown to be a non-conformist from the very moment the music public took notice of him.

    Wanlov showed his interest in the trade from his early years of youthful exuberance, when he was used to sagging his panties. This was in his high school years at the illustrious Adisadel College, one of the prestigious high schools lying on the coastal area of Ghana. Then the emcee was known to his peers as Spooky. This was a name that portrayed his stage craft and an excellent talent. Just as a properly positioned product rakes in profits, Wanlov has carved for himself a unique persona, separating him from the pack.

    The Hip Life artist is not any archetypal GH artist who would invest a fortune into trendy urban fashion brands and go hungry. Even without that swag, Kubolor commands a larger fan base and receiving the needed recognition and attention. His trademark is rather rare - he always appears barefooted with a wrap cloth piece hanging around his waist accompanied by a flying dread logged hair. You will see him either in a singlet or light top and sometimes bare-chested depending on the time of the day. This exposes him as very primitive but he seems to be appropriately dressing to the sunny Ghanaian weather.

    Born Emmanuel Owusu Bonsu, Wanlov announced his presence on the Ghanaian music scene over a year ago, when he switch base to Ghana. This witnessed the release of several singles which were followed by the Green Card album, his first major project. Tracks like ‘Kokonsa’ and ‘Bail Money’ were much appreciated and received rotations and spins on radio. He suddenly earned the name ‘Ghanaian Bob Marley’ which became common on the lips of his American fans. Green card is a chronicle of Kubolor’s experience in the United States where his intended missions for higher education revolutionize into seeking greener pastures.

    Kubolor as an artist has gradually become a power house on the musical scene even before he gives a date for his sophomore. He has performed and shared a common stage with musical giants locally and internationally. As the Ghanaian rep on the Route to Root campaign, he was paired with African musical legends after which he embarking to the UK. There he performed and recorded with the very best and finest emcees around. Travelling the distance to his native Romania before stepping foot in UK, took nothing away from his performance. He did kill the show and left his footprints on the minds of money.

    Wanlov can boast of a larger fan base and an excellent reputation both locally and international. Right from Ghana through the hard land of Mali and then to the United Kingdom, he is widely known. He also enjoys support from folks in the United States where he resided from 2001. He has proved to be multitalented and versatile from track after track with various styles. This is evident in his album, a fusion of Pijjin, Twi and English lyrics. Apart from entertaining, he uses his music for social commentary, advocating for a paradigm shift.

    With a music loving nation like Ghana and beyond endorsing Wanlov’s work, the burden lies on his shoulders to break the sophomore jinx associated with his trade. The multi million question is whether the Ghanaian Bob Marley can sustain his brand and keep his songs at the very top for a long time. Can he repeat the magic that shot him to international stardom as the music world patiently awaits another album soon?



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