Kofi Kinaata’s interview is going viral because when Abieku Santana asked him why he doesn’t make songs in English, his response was to ask if Michael Jackson ever made music in Fante.
We understand that he’s implying that he doesn’t need to speak in a language that’s not his, to make music and gain recognition and he’s right.
Music from non English speaking artistes is slowly taking over, giving us proof that language, when it comes to music, is never a barrier.
Everyone who likes music or is on social media has definitely seen or heard about K-Pop. The genre of music from Korea has a huge fanbase and slowly gained popularity especially after BTS, one of the biggest K-Pop groups went global. Their songs were constantly on Billboard charts, they were at the Grammy’s after their song got nominated, they’ve been on several American shows and have definitely grown their fanbase to include the US and beyond including getting American features.
But, even before BTS, there was…
Psy’s Gangnam style
No one understood a word that he was saying but his video quickly became the most-viewed YouTube music video, breaking records to becoming the first music video to reach a billion views. The song came with a dance that became a huge phenomenon and the song itself topped charts all over the world.
J. Balvin is a Colombian singer. He sings most of his songs in Spanish and some of us got to know him after he was featured on Cardi B’s I Like It. He’s topped charts and has worked with several big names in The USA where English is their first language and yet, people still love his music. His song with Cardi B won a Grammy nomination and his song Mi Gente has surpassed a billion views. He even has music with Mr Eazi which was on his recent project, Colores.
If you like rap, maybe you have heard of the French-Congolese rapper, Maitre Gims. For someone whose language may have been ‘limiting’ he topped charts in French speaking countries and went on to top even more in several other European countries including Italy, Switzerland and Denmark. He’s worked with the spanish singer, JBalvin and global superstars such as Lil Wayne, French Montanna, Sia and more.
Did he rap in english? No!
There are a million more but let’s talk about Ghana’s own Sarkodie as well.
Sarkodie gained recognition at a time when most of his verses were in pure twi. No dilution but still, he earned worldwide recognition and is currently Ghana’s most successful rapper. Several people from other countries have mentioned time and time again that they do not understand a word but they still loved his flow. His first BET cypher with Ab-Soul and other rappers where he dropped his famous “irish cream”, he unashamedly started in twi.
Because this is our favourite freestyle from him on the British DJ’s show on Tim Westwood
There are many more artistes doing their thing and being recognized for it without necessarily performing in English so, we think Kofi Kinaata is already on the right path to global greatness whether he sings in English or not.
Click on the comment box below and leave us your thoughts. Thank you