Album launch party from October 2
Album is out mid November. The single, No One Knows is out October 25th 2010. Music Video for No One Knows we hope should be out in between those dates so keep watching this space :)
Listen to Album Sample Here
No. 1 Mango Street is a narrative referencing the place where he grew up in Accra, in parts nostalgic (Looking for My Way Home), at times pensive (No One Knows Tomorrow) and even humorous (Yenko’oo featuring Kwabena Jones). It is also remarkably assured and earnest as up until this point, M3NSA has spent a good twelve years perfecting his musicianship both as a producer (for legends such as Hip Life pioneer Reggie Rockstone and London DJ/producer Richy Pitch) and also as a live performer. He has opened shows for Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, Little Brother and the Gorillaz, and more recently rocked the mic with Damon Albarn, The Gorillaz, Tony Allen and Amadou and Mariam at the Africa Express events in France and Spain.
He pays homage and takes a nostalgic trip down memory lane, vividly depicting the rich, varied nuances of Ghanaian life from an adult, almost outsider perspective.
Opening a 14-track set, the title song concisely rounds up the many musical influences of Ghana’s number one beat maker: Nu-jazz, Soul, Hip-hop, Afro beat and High-Life delicately underscore sweet harmonies with his guitarist cousin Ryan Ansah, yearning for the place he still calls home. M3NSA paraphrases, “I talk about going back to pick up from where I left things at, and where everything started. It’s about acknowledging exactly where I come from and bringing all those experiences with me.”
M3NSA’s father Tumi Ebo Ansah was a guitarist in the British afro-pop collective Osibisa, while his mother taught him how to play the piano when he was eight. Now living in London, he enjoys the unique global positioning that cosmopolitan city allows. And No.1 reflects this:
From the breezy pensiveness of the first single, the Nigerian soul singer Asa-sampled ‘No One Knows’, to the party-starter Adjuma (“work”) which could easily be as large as erstwhile Hip-hop club anthem ‘A Milli’ was. Just with the benefit of a dialect switch here and there.
With snatches of Twi and Pidgen, the clever rhyme schemes and narratives are what make this album universally relatable. Says M3NSA, “You don’t have to be into African hip-hop to listen to the album, you just have to be into music.”
Sankofa pictures is in love with M3NSA’s upcoming album. After featuring a song from this album in the Azumah Nelson documentary, and listening to the whole album it was obvious we wanted to do a few videos for some of the songs.
“It was torture!!!! The songs- all so beautiful, so inspiring, so creative, so unique. A work of Art. “ Sankofa comments. “It was hard to decide on which one was my top favorite!!!! The whole time, from track 1 – 14, each one moved me in a way and was so colorful and vibrant, putting visuals upon visuals in my mind. Finally I did settle on one to start. It’s a beautiful piece and features a very beautiful songstress.”
Sankofa is so excited about this opportunity to work with this amazing artist
London revellers can experience the launch set from one of Ghana’s most respected rappers on Friday 2 October at the Rich Mix.