Meet Stonebwoy, a Ghanaian Afro-Dancehall star. The artist has been making major waves over the past years which gained him several international awards, such as the BET Award for Best International Act.
Today marks the release date of his brand new album Epistles of Mama (EOM) – a double album which features Reggae on one side and Afrobeats on the other side, with clear Dancehall-driven influences. Each part contains eight tracks in total, and it is impossible to choose a favourite as each song is filled with passion and emotion. It doesn’t lack of guest artists either – the likes of Burna Boy, Sean Paul, Kabaka Pyramid or Sarkodie have all contributed to EOM and helped to create this album into a must-listen for every fan of those genres.
Last week I had a chance to meet the artist, and we had a chat about his album, Ghana’s music scene and much more. Read below!
How would you describe your signature sound in a few words?
My signature sound is word, sounds and power. You hear boom, you hear a word, a sound and power! It’s awakening, it also means blessings in his majesty.
How did your artist name Stonebwoy come to life, how did you come up with that name?
Stonebwoy – stone comes from my name Living Stone and bwoy from the artistry side of things. I do Reggae, Afrobeats and Dancehall. So stone, and bwoy makes Stonebwoy aka the Stonegod, you get me?!
So Living Stone is your name?
Have you always considered doing music as a career? When did you write or record your first song?
When I was a child! I’ve been doing this for a very long time and music chose me. I love music so I gave it all my time and all my attention, and now we’re here today.
Your music takes influence from Reggae, Dancehall and Afrobeats – do any artists across those genres inspire you?
Definitely. I take influence from good music and place it onto my style which, as you can tell – is influenced by reggae, dancehall and afrobeats.
Do you have an idol?
Music is my idol! No particular artist. There are lots of artists that I respect. So if there is one particular idol – it’s only music. Music as a person.
Coming from Ghana, how has the country shaped you as an artist?
Ghana is a gateway in Africa, there is a lot of culture, lot of discipline and good morals. As a youth you will be programmed in a certain way to know your roots. Reggae is a conscious in Ghana.
What is the music industry like in Ghana? What are good artists you can recommend?
It’s buzzing! We have Sarkodie, Samini, a lot more. A lot of talent.
Did you ever expect your music to go global and winning international awards?
I put in a lot of work and I wasn’t actually expecting it. My primary drive is to reach out to people for them to know that I am an African artist doing Reggae Music and Dancehall combined with Afrobeats. Every other thing will come with it. I don’t do music to win awards. It’s still nice, definitely.
So how come you decided to do one album focused on Afrobeats and one on Reggae?
Because the influences of those genres are really deep. I don’t just create one type of music, I create music covering everything. So with this album I decided to split the genres in two, one Reggae and one Afrobeats album – making it a double album.
How did your collaborations with Sean Paul, Burna Boy etc. come about?
It’s the music you know. You realise somebody suits the song. I had a collaborative mind set so that the album feels like a unit – Reggae and Afrobeats artists coming together. I reached out to artists I felt would make it beautiful in the long run.
Can you explain me more behind the meaning of the name Epistles of Mama?
I wanted a title that wold sink down deep into the conscious minds. I know that my Mama is one of the biggest inspirations in my life and my music so I dedicated this album to hear. I also have a song called Mama on the album.
Do you have a specific favourite song of the album?
Not really. I’m not biased, I love every song! I’ll find my favourite.
Obviously the Afrobeats is getting bigger and bigger in the UK as well, what do you think about that?
I believe that music is universal. I’ve got a huge song with Kojo Funds and hopefully do more with others here and get to know them personally and create a good musical relationship.
What’s next for you after the album then?
Doing videos, touring, and pushing, pushing, pushing this record! Musically I’ll be doing greater works.
Listen to Epistles of Mama below: