Lots of telephone calls have been coming in and Kojo Antwi’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have also been inundated with congratulatory messages since he was announced at the beginning of this month as the musician to be celebrated at this years MTN Legends and Legacy (LAL) Ball.
It is not that the man referred to by names such as Music Maestro and Mr Music Man has not already been appreciated by his numerous fans.
With his trademark dreadlocks, admirers wave at him in traffic. They called him ‘legend’ before Imajin Advertising broke the news of him being the central figure at the LAL Ball slated for November 1 at the Accra International Conference Centre.
Many cheering fans would obviously be at the show, but the faces the man who has warmed many hearts with his incisive love longs would be looking out for the most would be his sweetheart Rocklyn and his three sons: Nana Asiamah, 24; Marley, 23 and Ohene, 19.
This is his immediate family and he dotes on them more than any other creature on earth. Marley is schooling in Switzerland but the musician lives in Accra with his wife and the two other young men.
He may be seen as a busy traveller playing shows all over the place but he says he is a devoted family man.
“I have time for my family because they mean a lot to me. Music keeps me busy but we are used to travelling together abroad for my engagements whenever possible,” says the Music Maestro.
“We have travelled through Africa, Europe and America. The boys are grown so we are more like friends and we enjoy each other’s company.”
Though his sons exhibit musical abilities, Kojo Antwi’s rule is that they must get as high as they can on the educational ladder before they think of doing music in any serious way.
Several things can be celebrated about the Maestro. These include his well-arranged songs, carefully crafted lyrics and careful selection of instrumentalists for his live shows and recordings.
What the man takes seriously about himself, however, is his spirituality. When he recorded a song called Spread His Love and dedicated it to his friend, Rev. Mensa Otabil, some people felt the song was out of place with what he was already massively identified with.
Antwi’s answer to that is he does not wear his spirituality on his sleeves. For him, loving God and living for Him is primarily a personal thing and people should not be judged by their outward appearance.
“I wear dreadlocks and people immediately label me as Rastafarian. What I represent is bigger than Rastafarianism. That’s something with Jamaican origin with people yearning for their roots in Africa.
“They sing about that and dream about that. I’m already in Africa so how can I go looking for my roots and God by a Jamaican route?”
What Kojo Antwi admits he has been looking to portray is statesmanship. In his view, people at a certain level, should stop aligning themselves to parochial blocs and rather seek to represent the bigger picture.
“Wherever you travel to in this world and you say you are from Ghana, people right away mention Kwame Nkrumah, Abedi Pele and Azumah Nelson. That tells you the kind of global recognition people have for them and that is the height I aspire to.’
Musicians who have already been celebrated at previous LAL Balls are Daddy Lumba (2011), Amakye Dede (2012) and AB Crentsil (2013).
“You may have lots of people loving you and your music for years but the LAL Ball sort of puts an official stamp on how the people feel about you.’
If for nothing, Kojo Antwi has through his music succeeded in articulating the feelings of men which they ordinarily might feel too coy or macho—or both—to express.
Songs like ‘Akonoba,’ ‘Groovy,’ ‘Hini Me,’ ‘Me Nko Medo,’ ‘Menya Ntaban,’ ‘Medofo Pa,’ ‘Odo Mayea’ and ‘Rocklyn’ all attest to that.
It is the ladies, however, who seem to have enjoy Kojo Antwi’s lyrics the more. As one lady fan says: “ He speaks for us.”
‘Meto Nko’, ‘Me Ndaadaa Me,’ ‘Bo Me Nkomo De,’ ‘Dadie Anoma’ and ‘Makoma Doctor’ are examples of the songs that make the ladies flock to his shows.
The man plays keyboards on some of his recordings and live shows but his main instrument is his voice. It has been heard by the public since his days with bands like Boom Talents, Classique Vibes and Classique Handels.
“I think it is much the way I sing that makes my music different and acceptable to many. I don’t tell long, winding stories that sometimes become boring to fans.”
It has been a few years now since Kojo Antwi put out a new album but he says one will definitely drop before the end of this year. The audience at the 2014 MTN LAL Ball may be lucky to catch bit of the yet –to- be –released songs.
The show will, however, not be just about Kojo Antwi. Other artistes due to perform on the Bill include Wutah Afriyie, Edem, Efya, Nacy, Akwaboah, Kwabena Kwabena and Kaaki.
They are all known for their distinctive approaches and command reasonable amounts of following. Stylish lawyer, Nana Asante Bediatuo, has also been mentioned Imajin Advertising as one of those to mount the stage on the night.
The Music Maestro says he is happy to have contributed something modest to music in Ghana and is itching to get on stage on November 1 to do what he enjoys doing best for his fans.
“I think for a solo artiste to have been up and kicking for so long is something worth celebrating. I feel blessed that I’m able to still compose, write, sing, record and produce music. Let’s get it on at the MTN LAL Ball,” said Kojo Antwi who will be backed by his Freedom Family Band.
Source: Graphic Online