Wanlov has registered his name as one of the most inventive architects of original and authentic music and stage performance art in our time making hits that date back to 2007 even before he joined forces with M3nsa in the creation of the untouchable FOKN BOIS. From touring Europe and other corners of the earth spreading the love through organic music aside the many film shows that got to show the musical video series; Coz Ov Moni 1 & 2.

(Wanlov & The Afro-Gypsy Band. Photo: via Wanlov)
(Wanlov & The Afro-Gypsy Band. Photo: via Wanlov)

His Afro-Gypsy Band team mates; Filippo, Sowah, Stevoo and Jerome add up to make a formidable union infusing African rhythms via the Koshka, Shekere, Gome, Kpanlogo, Djembe, Kologo and Frikyiwa intertwined with Eastern European vibes via the Violin and Accordion.

The  music we create and share is a pathway by which we express ourselves and reflect on life, nature and experiences. This connects to our own developing sense of identity protracting a profound form of influence. The universal algebra of connecting to where one is from and using music to tell one’s story and stay in touch with culture and its evolution as well as societal issues describes Wanlov’s frame of talent and work.

Even though the flag of Pidgen language used in music was hoisted by Eddy Blay and the Native Funk Lords group (NFL) being the originators of the genre as the core of the Kay’s Frequency camp; aside Tinniequaye, Cil and Jake, Wanlov made the singing and rapping of Pidgen music mainstream, thereby challenging the limits of Afro-pop culture with his 2007 debut “Green Card”.  He followed with the “Yellow Card – Stomach Direction” satire which was a unique voice against government corruption and then “Brown Card – African Gypsy” to introduce the world to Afro-Gypsy music.

(Wanlov performing Republic, Osu. Photo: Fotombo)
(Wanlov performing at Republic, Osu. Photo: Fotombo)

The peak of his career must have been when he received the Babel Med Mondomix Award in 2013, though he’s had several ‘exposures’, awards and nominations worldwide. His newest song “Never go change” came with a simple but sizzling video. This marks the spot as the  1st single off his “Red Card – Minstrel Cycle” album which drops soon. In it he addresses the frequent power outages Ghana is facing (dumsor), pollution, poverty, corruption and bad leadership. The FOKN world can’t wait for the album!



Vodoo Sakpata here is the classic 3rd extract from the LP “indigo” by Elom 20ce. Differing from the ‘colloquial’ term rap music, the talented Togolese performer and activist calls his art Rhythms & Roots.

About the piece, he explains; “N’entendez vous pas les cris de la Terre? Cette entité qui nous nourrit, nous porte sur son dos pendant la vie, et dans son ventre à notre mort ? Où sont passées les valeurs humaines ? La Nature a ses lois, et elles ne sont pas manipulables. La Terre sur la laquelle nous marchons est une entité vivante. Dans le Golfe de Guinée, au Togo et au Bénin plus précisément, on l’appelle Sakpatè/Sakpata : Vodoo de la variole; la variole n’étant que la punition infligée par elle aux malfaiteurs et à ceux qui lui ont manqué de respect. Êtres de poussière, nous manquons de respect à la terre, donc à nous-mêmes. Le Sage Africain dit que: “Tout ce que tu avales, tu devras le ressortir un jour…”

Translated: Don’t you hear the cries of the earth? This entity that sustains us, we shut the door at her back for life, and in her belly keeps our dead? Where are all the human values? Nature has its laws, and they are not regarded. The land on which we walk is an entity alive. In the gulf of Guinea, Togo and Benin more specifically, it’s called sakpatè / sakpata: Vodoo of smallpox; smallpox is that the punishment inflicted by the earth on the criminals; those who have failed to show respect. Us beings of dust, we lack respect for the land, and to ourselves. The African proverb says: ” everything you take, you have to return one day…””
Listen here: https://asraforecords.bandcamp.com/track/vodoo-sakpata

Prod: Anitek * Trumpet: Elias Kokou Damawou * Low and percu: Alexis Hountondji * Artwork: AKM AKA Giovanni Anthony * Record: Rodi Ade * Mix and master: Reno Musicien Ingé-Son

Elom 20CE (pronounced Vince) is a contemporary griot, who is trying to heal through public speaking and writing, deep wounds of Africa.

African of Togolese origin, an Arctivist (Hear thereby merging the words “artist” and “activist”) in favor of a united Africa, rich in all its diversity, from the Maghreb to the Cape, and Cape Verde to Madagascar.

After competing in the collective Rap University Movement (MUR) and Faculty of Rap (F2R) in Benin, it was in 2006 that he was first heard in the mainstream alongside his brothers of African weapons, Benin, Cameroon and Togo, Avenon, CK One, Easy Mo and Eklin on the mixtape “Rock the Mic Vol. 1″.

Between 2008 and 2009, he served on various projects including performance produced by Lumumba Street studio, DJ mixtapes Cavera in South Africa and Angola and on some musical projects across Africa.

Under the label Asrafo Records, in January 2010, he released “Self Defense” with poignant hits such  “Amen” or “Unshakable” where he handles words like the lucid minded poet he is. This EP tells the ideals of a young third-world aware of its history and challenges in its development.

(Self Defense listening on http://asraforecords.bandcamp.com/album/l-gitime-d-fense-ep)

For the record, the Asrafo, or Asafo Asafu are warlords in some Gulf of Guinea nations including Ghana and Togo. Therefore meant by Asrafo, Warriors.

His first album was “Analgézik” where he worked with Generaldo (45 Scientific) / Crim / Shabazz / Epolar / Engone Endong / Rob Nzaou / Crown (Grim Reaperz) / Ultrasound.

As a prelude to this opus, he offered with his brothers in arms the second volume of mic Rock, released in December 2010. At that point in time 17 African countries had commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of their independence, Asrafo Records stretched the microphone to young Africans on the continent and the diaspora to disperse the vision through rap, slam, reggae and soul music.

(Rock the Mic Vol.2 listening on http://asraforecords.bandcamp.com/album/rock-the-mic-vol-2)

Several scenes followed with the growth, in counting, including Togo, Benin and France alongside groups like Rumor and Ali (45 Scientific). Elom 20CE never stops speaking, embedded in rich culture and witty opinions. He organizes documentary film screenings (showing the (wo)men who marked the history of Black people), art exhibitions and also shows promoting and enabling other rappers and young people from different backgrounds to express their opinions. This is the concept of Arctivism (socio-political commitment supported by the art) which has already celebrated Thomas Sankara, Muhammad Ali, Patrice Lumumba, Aimé Césaire, Che Guevara, Fela Kuti, Mehdi Ben Barka, Angela Davis, Amilcar Cabral, Felix Moumie, Neslson Mandela, Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon.

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