Where Di Money Riddim – A Thunderstorm Of African Talent!
By: Kwabena Danso
What started as softly as the fluttering of the proverbial butterflies wings, has become a surging storm in reggae circles around the globe.
Where Di Money Riddim is the brainchild of Kormantse Muziki a fledgling record company with legendary membership and ownership.
With the premise set, this will be the first in a series of articles that will seek to delve into the creative processes and the lyricism of the artists featured on the riddim.
Where Di Money riddim began to make some buzz within the Ghana reggae community in late October of 2021, and some artists were invited to officially ride the riddim by Kormantse Muziki. By the end of November the first batch of songs began to trickle into the mixing studios, with most of them being recorded in December 2021 and January 2022. By Mid February most of the songs had been mixed and mastered. Once it took off it was like a run away speed train with no brakes.
The first few artists on the “Where Di Money riddim” wrote and performed such amazing feats of melody and lyricism, that many other artists were highly amped and inspired to be on it also.
The initial idea was to put artists from Ghana only on the project and use that as a platform to promote the unknown talent of this West African country to a wider reggae audience globally. However, very quickly Reggae practitioners from other parts of the globe who reside in (or have a connection to) Ghana were soon on the riddim making it a truly Pan African experience.
This is not the official statement from Kormantsi Muziki but it is rumoured that the riddim was cooked in a lab in the heat of Ghana one sweet harmattan day. With regards to production credits and other technical details, we shall cover that in another article.
Where Di Money riddim as an instrumental has allowed so many forms of expression due to the unmistakable familiarity of Reggae but also the freshness of a new age sound. The riddim evoked performances of spoken word, dancehall, and authentic roots reggae from the featured artists. The riddim also strongly draws on the strings of emotion with a soulful Saxophone providing a beautifully haunting melody. For those who are into the more melodic and musical side of the spectrum, there are instrumental jazzy versions with featured artists on instruments. There are several international features from Reggae stalwarts that gave the riddim a good nod of approval and appreciation in a summary.
Topics for the songs were left to the artists discretion and they were not bound by the theme of the riddim, this brought a very varied approach to the messages found in the songs, even when the topics were broaching similar issues and subjects the versatility of the artists made them more of a symbiosis than a saturation of thought. Topics include International Governance, Race Relations, Relationships and Sex, Economics and Commerce, Religious Opinions, Ancestral Veneration and Social Commentary. As a whole project, this will take a good afternoon for one to listen through but it is well worth the time and the enjoyment.
As at the writing of this article the official number of artists on the riddim stands at 31 and the producers have assured us, that the final call is done and all the collated songs are in different states of release. Some of the songs already boast of lyric and music videos and certain djs have had the privilege to out door some of the versions and the riddim on their radio shows and social media. The versions are on radio from Ghana to South Africa, The Netherlands to The United States and certainly available online in all digital stores and streaming platforms.
I guess the question to the riddim “Where Di Money”? has been answered by the massive response to this project by producers, promoters, artists, djs and the fans… the money is in the unity of effort and the unity of action to make a progressive project a reality. Ase Oooh!
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