The people of Agona and part of Gomoa states in the central region of Ghana celebrate the Akwambo Festival. The colourful festival starts in the month of August and attracts a lot of people from the length and breadth of Ghana to witness the activities involved. Thousands of people joined the chiefs and people of Agona Swedru in a grand durbar to climax the week-long 2017 Akwambo Festival, amid pomp and pageantry.
David Alan Painstil of the Ghanaian Chronicles reported that the crowd was so huge that the Chief of Swedru, Omanhene Ogidigram Okrupi Nana Kobina Asiedu Botwe II, was overwhelmed by the turnout at the festival, which also marked the 40th Anniversary celebration of his enstoolment as chief of Ghana’s notable trading city.
Beyond the usual expectations of the festival to bring together the people of Agona, make merry, promote culture and tourism, the 2017 edition of the festival gave birth to an international dance craze, “One Corner”.
Despite performances from Patoranking and Medikal, the One Corner dance single-handedly publicised the festival to the world at a point where Ghana was busily putting itself together in the tourism sector. More people got to read about the festival and attendants are expected to double in this year’s edition; an economic and touristic value of “One Corner” that everyone is trying to ignore.
‘One Corner’ and Its Controversies
The ‘One Corner’ dance fever spread quick like wildfire to do so much than Azonto Dance. Ghanaians celebrities Funny Face, Kumawood stars and host of others danced ‘One Corner’. The craze traveled internationally to see Nigeria’s superstars Wizkid, Don Jazzy, Falz and Reekado Banks dancing and reacting to it. Ahbi, Tanu, Alia, Raj and other Kumkum Bhagya stars also displayed some ‘One Corner’ moves. Nigerian comedian, Kenny Blaq performed it as Chris Brown.
The dance moves, that involved the secluding of oneself in a corner and perform a sexually stimulating dance, was admired and performed by many. It became a street craze and two or three people could not meet without discussing the dance. It raised a social medial challenge and loads of “one Corner’ videos were circulated across the various social media networks. Youtubers took advantage to compile the videos to rake thousands of dollars from the giant video sharing platform. Everyone was so quick to watch the latest in the “One Corner Challenge”.
While a great number of people were in love with the craze, a section of Ghanaians had other opinions. The spokesperson for the Association of Virgin Pastors, Apostle Job Antwi and Mrs. Rev. Jennifer Selly condemned it, citing biblical reasons. Kwasi Kyei Darwkah popularly known as KKD, who once stood trial for rape called it “foolishness”. The reigning Gospel Artiste of the Year, Joe Mettle, who also had his “2017 VGMA Artiste of the Year” award questioned by many, said it’s backed by an evil spirit. Gospel Musician Sonnie Badu was not certain about his views as he condemned it and at the same time called on Telecommunication companies to invest in the craze. Prophet Kumchacha gained so much popularity after he claimed to have spiritually buried CDs of the song that brought about the ‘crazy’ dance.
Things became serious that a section of the public were calling for the government to place a ban on the ‘one Corner’ song as people were seen doing the moves in the streets, behind moving cars and other risky places. There were even reports of a young lady dying while performing some gymnastics in a ‘One Corner’ dancing competition in the Central Region. Another unconfirmed report from Nigeria had it that two people died while dancing ‘One Corner’.
‘One Corner’: The birth of a Superstar
Then an underground artiste who had been making songs for close to two decades, Patapaa and his Pa2pa Sojas came up with the dance moves to back a Ras Cann-featured track ‘One Corner’. The dance carried the name of the song. The song talks about Sanitation, Road Safety, with a piece of folk music. It is currently not known why such educative song was backed by an adult dance moves.
With several controversies surrounding ‘One Corner’, Patapaa rose quickly to become one of the A-list musicians in Ghana. He became so busy that he missed several shows including the RTP Awards. CEO of Tunes Liberia Inc., Elvis J. says ‘One Corner’ is very big in Liberia which won him a gig in the Oppong-Aweah’s country.
Lil Win and other underground artistes released their own versions of the song but they couldn’t see the light of the day. It became so popular that it was ‘noncompetitive’ during award ceremonies but music lovers were shocked at the 2018 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards when the Most Popular Song of The Year was awarded to Fancy Gadam’s ‘Total Cheat’. Patapaa and a greater number of the general public received this news with displeasure. Organizers blamed fans for not voting but the voting carried only 40% of the decision. Many have questioned the integrity of the Board and Academy who carried 60%. The song was so popular that everyone would expect the board and academy to vote all the 60% in favour of ‘One Corner’. May be because of Rashida Black Beauty’s ‘Malafaka Jigwe Award’ that was criticised by many, the organizers did not want to embrace ‘mediocrity’.
The Board of the Award Scheme is expected to make major changes in how the Most Popular Song of the Year is selected. Industry experts were shocked of “Total Cheat” winning and Patapaa became the subject of discussion days after the awards ceremony. Music Producer Hammer described the song as the most popular song of all time. The night’s biggest award, Artiste of the Year, which was picked by the late Ebony Reigns, Shatta Wale’s missing out on several categories, Stonebwoy and Joe Mettle big wins were all ignored by the media because Patapaa was ‘totally cheated’. Talk about the musician and his oversized suit continues weeks after the event.
‘One Corner’ beat ‘Taking Over’ by Shatta Wale feat SM Militants, ‘Confessions’ by Kofi Kinaata, ‘Ladder’ by Lil Win and ‘Bronya’ by Wutah to win the ‘Viral Song of the Year’ award at the maiden edition of 3Music Awards. Patapaa Amisty was also awarded a new Huawei smartphone at 2018 edition of ‘Music, Magic & Comedy Live’ concert. ‘One Corner’ was adjudged the DJ’s song of the Year at the 2018 Ghana DJ Awards.
Since 2018, Patapaa has had 10 songs and features including top acts like Mr. Eazi, Shatta Wale, Pappy Kojo, Flowking Stone and Medikal. ‘Akwaaba’ by Guiltybeats that featured him, Mr. Eazi and Papay Kojo, and ‘Shake for Daddy’ which he has with Flowking Stone have been tipped to be some of the biggest songs of 2018. The ‘Akwaba’ song which has been widely recognized by many Ghanaians has as well received enormous hype from some celebrities, including actress Yvonne Nelson on social media and even became a street anthem in Japan. Patapaa’s manager, Godfred, told Asembi.com that depending on several factors, his act takes USD 500 to USD 2,500 to be on one’s song. A music featuring Patapaa is expected to be released every week.
There is no doubt that Patapaa is the reigning artiste in Ghana now. With better grooming and management stepping up their game, Patapaa could sweep all the plagues in next year’s various award schemes. Entertainment Editor of Pulse Ghana, David Mawuli described Patapaa as the “BUSIEST and HOTTEST Ghanaian artiste at the moment”. Radio and TV Broadcaster at GBC TWIN CITY RADIO 94.7/ 88.1fm, Kofi Dadson, also repeated Mawuli’s statement in a Facebook post. GHBase.com admitted when posting on Patapaa’s collaboration with Flowking Stone that he “is the hottest artiste now”.
The future of Patapaa
Patapaa currently is the most sought-after musician in Ghana now, with his name being on almost every major show in the country.
Award winning rapper Sarkodie described his brand as very strong; one which is very organic as well. Nigerian Afro-beats artiste, Mr Eazi has promised him a big deal that could turn his life around.
AMG rapper Medikal also described the “One Corner” crooner as a gem adding that it’s wrong for anyone to underrate his talent.
Asembi.com has also learnt that there are talks in the pipeline to see the artiste perform at the annual Party in Park celebrations organized by Ghanaians in the UK among other shows this year.
Indeed, becoming an overnight sensation with just a single hit and having achieved so much in such a short span, we don’t need a soothsayer to tell us that the old champ has a bright future ahead of him in the music industry.
(Frimpong Prince of Eonlineghana.com contributed to this article)