Ghanaian artiste defends patois

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Ghanaian reggae and dancehall artiste Stonebowy has defended his practice of performing a lot of his music using the Jamaican patois.

The artiste was forced to defend himself after being accused of selling his native Ghanian culture short by performing using the Jamaican popular language.

Veteran Ghanaian musician, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, accused Stonebwoy of putting another culture in his songs rather than his own Ewe or Ghanaian. He cited the artiste’s collaboration with Grammy award-winning artiste Sean Paul, titled Most Original, noting that the Jamaican was selling his home with his language but Stonebwoy had sold nothing Ghanaian in the song.

In his response, Stonebwoy noted that he does perform in his native languages but at the same time he sees nothing wrong with injecting the Jamaican patois.

“I am an Ewe and there are Ewe songs I have performed on big platforms. I speak Twi and Ga in some of my songs but I am fortunate enough to have been able to study and cross over to other languages, including English. I see nothing wrong in being able to master a craft so well that I am accepted globally, or else I may not even be able to get to where I am today. Times are changing; music is evolving and our understanding is getting broader. There is nothing wrong with the patios,” he shared during a radio broadcast in Ghana.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer in Miami a year ago Stonebwoy, whose given name is Livingstone Etse Satekla, said his attraction to Jamaican music came through his travels and being exposed to a wide range of musical genres.

“One ting me know is that this whole movement is not new; it has always been heard of, but I am a proper representation of its existence. Jamaican people know about Afro beats and the other type a song dem. Jamaican people know seh dem roots is in Africa and all the music that come from the continent. I born a Ghana, grow up in Ghana, but I travel around a lot, so the influence of my music is not only Afro beats but Afro beats that has the dancehall and reggae elements in there. History shows me where all these music come from, so I am a physical representation of that movement. We are one people; it’s just because of the slave trade and what that did, so now di culture is diverse. In these times music is a universal language and now it’s gonna get broader than just reggae music or just dancehall. right now it is the combination of all these musical forms that goes into creating my sound.”

Stonebwoy made his début on the Jamaican stage at Reggae Sumfest last year. He has also collaborated with Jamaican artistes and most recently recorded with ‘dancehall king’ Beenie Man.

“I have an album out that has I-Octane. I have also worked with Kabaka Pyramid, Sean Paul, Agent Sasco, mi do a collaboration with Sizzla…whole heap a Jamaican artiste…Beenie Man, Christopher Martin, most of the Jamaican artiste dem. This is showing that the music all comes from one source,” said Stonebwoy.

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