Ghanaian/UK hip hop artist, Kwame Barfour-Osei, better known as Kobi Onyame has released his newest independent album, ‘Green Green Grasses’ on iTunes. The highly anticipated album from the artist formerly known as Jae P is the follow up to his 2008 debut – ‘Unsigned & Hungry’.
Included recently in the Scottish Sun’s ‘Ones to Watch’ list of 2011, Kobi Onyame’s musical inspiration includes the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z and Talib Kweli. The 19-track album (including 3 bonus tracks) clearly shows off the multi cultural influences he has had over the years. The title track ‘Green Green Grasses’ fuses high-life guitars with modern day hip-hop rhythms and features fellow Ghanaian artist M3nsa. On the intro track ‘Akwaaba’ (Welcome), Kobi raps and demands respect from the very start, rapping “Hats off ok, it’s a new era, time for new money, new you, do better”.
Kobi describes the album as: “Acts as a statement of a point in my life. The idea of ‘Green Green Grasses’ is the pursuit of greener pastures and wanting to succeed in whatever you choose to do. Knowing there’s a lot more out there that what you have going on, pushing yourself to do better…a lot of the songs follow on from that concept. I love the album and I think people will be able to relate to where I’m coming from on it.”
Released on iTunes a day earlier for fans of Kobi Onyame on facebook and twitter, the album has managed to enter the iTunes Hip-Hop/Rap album chart in the UK and has so far peaked at number 29 (as of 11th April). This is a huge accomplishment for an independent album and artist. The album artwork is by legendary Edinburgh based graffiti artist Elf. The album features production from Kobi Onyame on tracks like Heartbeat, and Find My Way. Other production features include ‘G’ from Young Fathers on Protect Myself , Jamie Sellers on Dreams and Jayso on the bonus track 4 Walls. The album also features, among other artists, Sway, Saukrates, Danay Mariney, Emeli Sande and Kof.
The lead single, ‘Inner City Lights’ is a synth-heavy, up-tempo record produced by Kobi Onyame and features Canada’s Saukrates and Glaswegian singer/songwriter Alistair Merrick from the pop duo Sixpeopleaway. The video is directed by Breaking Point Flix and can be viewed on YouTube now. Furthermore, the newest record with visuals – Congratulations (again produced by Kobi) – is a mid-tempo song about longing for the success of others. JP Patterson (BBC/MTV/XXL/THE SOURCE/THE INDEPENDENT) recently featured it as his underground track of the month on his BBC Introducing blog segment. It features the smooth R&B vocals of Mista L, heavy piano/string chords and hard-hitting 808 drums.
In recent years, Kobi Onyame has played a range of live shows. He played the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury Music Festival in 2009. He also recently represented Scotland at the BBC Introducing United Nations showcase in Cardiff late 2010. Kobi has in the past opened up in concert for acts including Kanye West (on which he touches on the experience on the song Dreams) Akon, De La Soul, Jessie J, Flo Rida, Tinchy Stryder, Wu Tang Clan and more. He made his T in the Park debut in July 2010 by playing the T Break stage at Balado and was included in Vic Galloway’s (BBC Radio 1 and Radio Scotland) 50 Scottish based artists to watch out for in 2011.
With Green Green Grasses, Kobi Onyame continues his quest for success with a strong and honest record. The music, the live show experience all indicate that greener pastures is indeed near.
Inner City Lights (featuring Alistair Merrick & Saukrates)
Find My Way
One Day (featuring The Canz)
On The Beat (featuring Kof)
Congratulations (featuring Mista L)
Heartbeat (Mick’s Interlude)
Heartbeat (featuring Danay Mariney)
Protect Myself (featuring G of Young Fathers)
Nobody Fault But Mine (featuring Emeli Sande)
Amazing (featuring Flo)
Dreams (featuring Jamie Sellers)
Empty Town (Kobi Onyame & Alistair Merrick)
Winner (featuring Flo)
Green Green Grasses (Teddy’s Skit)
Green Green Grasses
4 Walls (featuring Jayso) – Bonus
He Said She Said (featuring Sway) – Bonus
Inner City Lights (Original Mix) (featuring Alistair Merric & Saukrates) – Bonus