I like to stay “streets ahead” when it comes to music. Kwabena Adjepong (Kwabs), the son of Ghanian immigrants to the UK, is a multi-genre singer on the rise.
The young British singer gained some prominence in the UK after appearing in early 2011 on the BBC show, Goldie’s Band, where young musicians are mentored by industry experts, led by drum ‘n’ bass pioneer Goldie. – Soulforce
While on the show Goldie’s Band, Kwabs performed at Buckingham Palace in front of Prince Harry and others. The richness and passion of his voice captivated the entire audience as he belted out the first line, “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child”.
Kwabena has tremendous range and vocal control, but the “Motherless Child” song strikes me as raw and emotional. After reading his tumblr, I believe that those lyrics had personal relevance for him because according to a post he wrote, he seems to be a foster child.
In Kwabena Adjepong’s case it’s all the more creditworthy, given that he survived a horribly abusive mother and has been in foster care for 10 years. Now he’s studying music and is a talented gospel singer; see him on YouTube. - The Independent
Kwabena recently took a trip to Ghana where he met his family for the first time.
I’m off in a plane at 11:45 tomorrow morning to the Gold Coast, where I’m checking out the culture, my heritage but mainly spending time with family who I’ve NEVER MET BEFORE in a country I’ve NEVER BEEN TO on my bloody OWN. Oh goodness.
For various reasons, up until this point, my west african blood relatives seemed to have escaped my conciousness. Other than the occasional random call from an aunt or uncle, wondering when I’m going to visit the motherland, I’m completely clueless as to who they are and what they’re about. To be fair ‘grandma’, ‘aunty’ and ‘uncle’ and all alien concepts to me in the strictest sense anyway. Family has always been a state o’mind. And a good state o’mind it is too… I’m bloody terrified. And excited. This must be kind of like my music in that it’s still early days really. Right? There is still so much to discover. Oh my is there a lot to discover. Don’t even get me started on the long lost siblings. It’s all good though. It’ll give me something to write a song about that’s for sure.
After checking out his tumblr, it’s clear that he is a solid songwriter in addition to his prodigious vocal skill, as evidenced by the additional lyrics he wrote for his cover of James Blake’s “The Wilhelm Scream”.
There really isn’t much material available on Kwabs’ biography or discography. However, the videos that are available show that he is an incredible vocalist and has Adele-like potential. Here he is reworking “Like A Star” by Corinne Bailey Rae.
In addition to covers, Kwabs also has some compelling original material available. On the song “So”, you can really hear his vocal range and control.
Finally, after traveling to Ghana, he wrote candidly about the experience. I would expect his writing to grow and for his new material to be impacted by his interactions with his family.
So… I definitely fell out of contact with world while I was out in the Gold Coast. Keeping everyone up to date with the my discoveries definitely happen. Internet access was pretty scarce you see. And to be fair I had a lot of discovering to to get on with.
I’ll keep It short. Friday evening I stay over with m’cousins Vera and Bridgette and get my self settled in their REALLY NICE home. I think I definitely got a sense of the have/have not situation in Ghana – interesting. Anyway Saturday afternoon I emerge from my room (being unable to do too much other than uni assignments at that time – oh dear) and go into the living room where, low and behold, are (slightly) long lost aunts and uncles sitting there in a line.
I have to do the formal Ghanaian thing of greeting everyone from right to left…
This was daunting to say the least – ridiculous in fact. I think (New) Auntie Elizabeth started at me for about 5 straight minutes. Fair enough – she hasn’t seen me in 18 years and apparently I look like her brother (the other uncle, who is currently in Italy – urgh, brain hurts). So I just sat there and asked questions for about an hour or so. About mum, her history and also about the twenty cousins I apparently have. Seven of them are Auntie Elizabeth’s. Bloody hell, good on ya, Liz. I also had explain that there are some really good reasons why I haven’t been around for almost my entire my life and that family hasn’t always meant to me what they think it should. We’re all a bit more at peace now that we know that the deal is, as it were.
So perspectives on life changed massively. And I’m even nervous to say in this post just how important and rare the experience was, but it just WAS. And it’s only the beginning.
Hopefully there will be more to come from this artist, and I will keep you updated.