The Soho House Amsterdam member and musician shares his latest album
Akwasi Ansah is a Dutch storyteller, creative visionary, actor, poet, rapper, and musician. Although he’s based in Amsterdam, he loves travelling to the British countryside. ‘My favourite Soho House is definitely the Farmhouse. It was the first time I experienced Soho House and I received so much inspiration on that spot. It really made me feel at ease,’ he says.
Ansah has released four albums with his rap collective, Zwart Licht, his first solo album (Daar Ergens), a collection of poems, and various TV programmes. Now, he has shifted his focus to creating a new album, grounded and shaped by his experience in his home country of Ghana.
He recently received a lifetime achievement award from the Ghanaian embassy for his work in the Netherlands. Today, we experience a shift in his music with the birth of his new album Sankofa, this time curated and produced in Ghana. ‘I want my listeners to know that being a Ghanaian plays an indispensable role in my life,’ he says.
Ansah has taken inspiration from various musical genres such as highlife, a Ghanaian music style that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, which he became acquainted with through his grandparents. Sankofa, his second solo album, is an authentic and pure combination of hip-hop and highlife, touching on jazz, soul, and afrobeat. The new album is also his debut as a beatmaker, alongside producers Hayzee, Mucky, Benny Hunna, Drummakid, and Humphrey Dennis – old friends from Zwart Licht.
Ansah has written and made this album ‘under the Ghanaian sun’, claiming that every song should feel as if it’s shining on you – and if that doesn’t happen, he’s missing something in the album. Sankofa, meaning ‘return and go get it’ in Twi, is a milestone in Ansah’s personal and musical development. The album presents lyrics in Dutch, English and Ghanaian, bridging a linguistic and cultural gap between the Netherlands and Ghana.