Kofi Jamar is a Ghanaian rapper, singer, and songwriter from Kumasi. He is known for his various hip-hop and drill hits such as In The City, Balling and the most famous song of his Ekorso. He started his music career early by freestyling on radio, doing online freestyle covers. He has a goal of uniting Africa through music and elevating African music to a higher level. During a recent visit to Kenya, the Mdundo for Artists team was able to meet up with Kofi Jamar and discuss his beginnings, music career so far and much more.
Q: You are in Kenya to shoot a video with Khaligraph Jones for a song you have together. This is not your first collaboration with him. Could you let us know how this relationship came about?
I can say that the connection between us happened magically. I had received the beat for our first collaboration, In The City, from the producer. After recording the hook, Ice Prince came to the studio and jumped on the song. He is the one who then connected with Khaligraph Jones to have him on the song. After that my label, GADone records flew both Ice Prince and Khaligraph Jones to Ghana to shoot the video. That was my opportunity to meet him for the first time.
Q: You have worked with various artists across Africa such as Shatta Wale, DJ Neptune and more. Are there any other African artists you would like to work with in the future?
There are a lot of them. For me it goes in phases and right now I am in the East African phase. This is the hip-hop phase and I am doing it with Khaligraph Jones, since I came to Kenya I have heard a lot of good music and I have tapped into their music scene. I would like to work with artists like Bensoul, Nviiri, Wakadinali and Buruklyn Boyz. A Kenya and Ghana connection would be very big on the African stage. There are others across Africa such as Angelique Kidjo, and Patoranking among others who I would like to collaborate with.
Q: As an artist on Mdundo, how has Mdundo helped you to spread your music across Africa?
I first saw Mdundo posting about me last year. They are not just based in Ghana but have a presence all across Africa and they have a unique audience that are getting to know my music through them and it has really helped. They are putting African music out there, I feel like Mdundo is for Africa. They have been promoting my music and because their audience is not just in Ghana but across Africa,it has really helped.
Q: Your breakout single, Ekorso, came out in the middle of the pandemic. Do you feel like releasing music during the pandemic has affected how you create your music?
Since the pandemic came it has overturned the industry but as an artist I must be able to adapt regardless of how things are going. Around that time is when I got my big break but I was not able to go around touring and doing shows because of the lockdown, so that was the negative side. In the end though, the lockdown was necessary for the system to change from the way it was before the pandemic.
Q: When you put out your song, Ekorso, drill was not a big genre especially in Africa. Did you expect the song to be as successful as it became?
The song was an ode to my neighbourhood, it was actually requested by the people who live there. Around the time that drill came to Kumasi it was being done by different neighborhoods and I wanted to make something for my people to jam to. It was a song for the boys in my neighbourhood and before I knew it the world picked it up and it became a big hit.
Q: You are making drill and hip-hop music right now, can we expect you to move into other genres like afrobeat or amapiano?
A lot of them such as afrobeat, bongo, gengetone and much more. I see myself as a free agent and I can move freely from one genre to another without restriction. I feel like my sound can mesh with any genre to create something unique. I want to highlight these other genre because even though afrobeat is the most popular it is not the only genre from Africa. There are more genres that need to be recognized.
Q: What can your fans expect in the future from you?
They should expect more work from me. I am not going to do an album soon but they should expect more singles. I am going to do more songs with East African artists and tap into the sound over here. The fans in East Africa are gonna hear more from me. I love the sound over her and I feel like it will match well with my sound to create something unique. There are a lot of collaborations in the pipeline.
*This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.