Ever since Burkinabe rapper Art Melody met Ghanaian musician and singer Stevo Atambire, it’s been an uplifting and artistically magical journey fueled by this stirring musical productivity. The duo teamed up to form Mabiisi, which defines the ‘natural’ situation in which their diverse talents merged when they spewed freestyles together a few times at the Last Chance Studio in Dzorwulu. The duo would work more with time to churn the creativity to create a rare sounding vibe that is almost going global overnight.
Two very different but alluringly amalgamated sounds is what Mabiisi is about. Stevo is known for strumming splendidly vibrant tunes from his two lute kologo which he is attached to almost as close as the calabash gourd resonator on the instrument. While holding up his high-pitched sizzling Bolgatanga-flavoured voice, audiences from Navrongo to The Republic Bar & Grill, Osu-Accra walk on air whenever he harmonizes on stage.
Art Melody, on the other hand, born in Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso, has always nurtured the passion for hip hop since the early 90s when the genre exploded on the African continent. The basis of his inspirations, he explains, is “interior, to know everything buried deep within.” Art Melody is an emcee with a powerful voice, confident delivery and energetic focus. He believes in shedding light on socio-political dynamics of his motherland; “In my texts I react to the ills that plague society denouncing the injustice I see every day.”
The duo recently made the Transglobal World Music Chart for July 2016 after they had released their debut album; Mabiisi with Akwaaba Music in June. The Fader describes their music as a sound metaphoric of “spring time”. Benjamin Lebrave who works close to the team in an interview on France 24 mentioned that “traditional music plays a central role in the Mabiisi music.” We certainly get glued to the folk hip rhythms which have a great potential for the global space of fusions.
Here is a list of gigs featuring Mabiisi this month folks. Catch the thrill if you can:
July 16, Rotterdam (Netherlands), White Nights, Colourful Stories in the Museumpark, International Film Festival Rotterdam
July 22, Brussels (Belgium), Recyclart
July 30, Göteborg (Sweden), Clandestino Festival