They say you don’t choose your family—that you only choose your friends. I beg to differ. Although, the circumstances that brought the team behind The Stub together were unpremeditated, they are as much a family as any. The Stub, Accra is a multipurpose studio, production company and creative hub run by a team of seven. The company itself is quite youngl, having only been founded in 2019. However, before that, Joshua, Evans, Reynolds, Desouza and Adomaa belonged to an independent record label called VI Music.
The team has been working and creating together for 5 years, and a lot of the experiences that they have shared are from their VI days. What The Stub is … is the latest chapter in the journey of a family connected by bonds that go beyond the biological. Each member gifted in their own right, the team aims to provide a sense of belonging for every creative that walks through their doors. So, now let’s meet the crew.
General Manager. Producer. Engineer.
The Adjemans—Joshua, John and of course, Adomaa—all come from a musical family. In fact, Joshua insists that the siblings all just have an inherent connection with music. In his case, he didn’t study music in the university. No, his coming into the field took on a much more practical approach. At VI Music, he exposed himself to different aspects of the creative and technical process. Pair that with his natural inclination and abilities, and you have a producer/engineer.
In addition to on-the-job experience, Joshua studied Sound Production at SAE Institute in South Africa. As far as his style goes, he has a tendency to favour vocal-led productions. As he says, he’s always motivated to do interesting things with voices. And that’s only natural, because the people who inspire him, are people who do interesting things.
In my experience, creatives always come up short when you put them on the spot and ask about their influences. But Joshua attributes his inspirations to Jacob Collier, Gallante, 80s sounds and film music.
Evans Kafui Offori
Content/Brand Manager. Administration and Strategy. Creative Director.
Evans Kafui Offori is a Theatre Arts and English graduate of the University of Ghana. He traces his musical background all the way back to his days in Achimota School, where he was a member of the Aggrey Chapel Choir. It was during that time that he started to seriously develop an ear for music, as he found himself introduced to classical compositions and choral music. Things only picked up from there. After Secondary School, he began to write plays, musicals and compose songs them. Feeding off of that creative energy, he started a YouTube show after university. It was through that show that he properly met Adomaa—an encounter that would significantly affect both their lives.
At VI Music, Evans was the Head of the Label, Creative Director/A&R and an Artiste Manager. During his time in the less creative roles, he picked up the skills have become so essential to the management, administration as well as formulation of brand and strategy for The Stub. His other role as Creative Director though, taps more into his creative side. As Creative Director, Evans acts as the bridge between artists’ ideas and their final product. After listening to the creatives’ initial ideas, and getting information on what they’re trying to accomplish, he crafts a narrative and creative vision for the project, which he brings back to the team to make into reality.
Evans scripts and oversees the course that a project is going to take, and the team at The Stub is more than capable of bringing that vision to life.
Reynolds The Gentleman
Studio Manager. Producer. Part-Time Engineer.
The Gentleman, Reynolds Addow, has accomplished enough over his career to make any artiste drool. Before we get into that, let’s take a quick look at The Gentleman’s formative years as a musician. Back in primary school, Reynolds brought the energy to his school’s Our Day celebrations with his stage performances. Back then, he played the drums during assembly and at break times. He was also an instrumentalist at church, and it is through that that he picked up lead guitar, bass guitar and the keyboard.
Reynolds grew up to be a part of the Mfantsipim School Band and after, the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) choir. He has also been on competitive musical shows such as Gang Stars and Stars of the Future. Reynolds The Gentleman has two albums, a host of singles and a few music videos to his credit. Then, there was VI Music. At VI, Reynolds produced for himself and the other artists on the label (Adomaa, Robin-Huws, Omari Kissi, Akotowaa and FRA!).
Currently though, the talent has to his name, work done with artists like M.anifest, Medikal, Efya, King Promise and Worlasi, to name a few. He has also toured in France, Belgium, Australia and the USA with M.anifest, where The Gentleman served as Music Director, Instrumentalist and Vocalist. In addition to all of that Reynolds has also worked on several film scores for movies like Side Chick Gang and Aloe Vera, the latter of which he worked on with Joshua.
John is the youngest member of the team and the Adjemans at The Stub. He is currently a Level 200 student at the University of Ghana, studying Music. If he had to count, John believes that he is conversant with about 5 instruments in all. Those include the saxophone (self-taught), the drums—his primary instrument—and the guitar. He can also hold his own on the keyboard, although he prefers to remain modest about that particular instrument.
As Studio Assistant, John’s job description is whatever is assigned to him. And his team members are usually enthusiastic about finding work for him. He does everything from cleaning to setting up session and even assisting with engineering. As you can imagine, balancing a school course load with work would stretch John thin. So, usually when school is in session, he takes a break from his role at The Stub.
Henry Desouza Nelson
Henry Desouza Nelson is a multi-disciplinary creative. He also acts as a brand manager for The Stub, Accra. Just like the rest of the team, Desouza was also a part of VI Music. I say multi-disciplinary because Desouza is also a musically gifted creative. He was part of the Brass Band back in school, plays the guitar and the drums, and is learning the trumpet. His musicality is also something that he was born into; his mother and aunt both being singers—his aunt, professionally—and his dad constantly filling the house with music while he was a child.
The music aside, Desouza is also a talented visual creative. He does everything from photography to shooting videos, graphic design and editing both photo and video. In addition to being a part of The Stub, Desouza also works as a freelancer, which means that he’s usually travelling for long periods at a time—sometimes even for a month.
Henry’s freelance work started while he was still in school, at the Takoradi Technical University. And at the time, the school curriculum made it difficult to balance both work and school. It was especially difficult because lecturers wouldn’t stick to the calendar. So, there would be a period where Henry would travel for work only to discover that a test had been moved forward, and he wouldn’t be able to make it. Henry dropped out.
However, using his career as evidence, school is hardly the only measure of a person’s success. All images in this article were shot and edited by Henry Desouza Nelson.
With a reputation as one of the most powerful female voices in the country, you wouldn’t believe that Adomaa started out as a closet singer. Needless to say, Adomaa didn’t see any of this coming back then. All she knew was her love of music—growing up in a musical family and all. She also grew up in Nigeria where music is taught as a subject in the earlier stages of education. It was a passion that she though she was going to keep to herself. As we all know though, things didn’t quite work out that way.
In Ghana, Adomaa met Evans who wanted her to be on his YouTube show. From there everything followed a natural trajectory until the team all gathered under the VI Music label. There, Adomaa worked as an artiste herself, and was also a partner on the label. Currently, in addition to her music and acting careers, Adomaa also works as the Operations Manager of The Stub. What that means is that she oversees the day-to-day running of the studio and makes sure that everything works as it should. She keeps things working smoothly.
The Doors Of The Stub, Accra Are Open
What you get at The Stub, is a team that is so tightly knit and so comfortable working with each other that you are drawn into that familiarity too. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re an artiste looking for a studio, a production company, or just space to shoot a video, reach out! You’ll find their contact information below.
Email: [email protected]
Contact Number: +233 59 531 4165