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A product of Accra, Ghana, J.DEROBIE represents a new breed of African music act, equal parts dancehall star and afrobeats ambassador. J.DEROBIE was discovered through afropop superstar Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa program, an initiative to mentor and develop emerging African artists. Selected to participate in the inaugural #emPawa100, which provided 100 African artists with the funds to film their first music video, he had an instant hit with his contribution, “Poverty,” landing a remix from Jamaican superstar Popcaan. The track became one of 2019’s biggest Ghanaian hits, landing Reggae/ Dancehall Song of the Year honors from Ghana’s Yrated and 3Music awards. The song also won the Reggae / Dancehall song of the year at the 2020 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. Derobie was one of two artists, along with Joeboy, to advance to the final stage of the emPawa Africa program, receiving an additional investment of US$50,000 which he’s used to record additional music and launch his own record label, J.Derobie Music. Dancehall is hugely popular in Ghana, with artists like Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale attaining icon status at home and abroad with their distinctly Ghanaian take on the sound. J.DEROBIE is the latest artist in that lineage, with a style that combines the predominant flavors of Ghana, Nigeria and Jamaican into one. “Jamaican culture is so embraced in Ghana,” J.DEROBIE says of his flair for dancehall. “We feel we are one, we are connected. We don’t see any difference between us.” Nungua Diaries, J.DEROBIE’s debut EP, takes its name from the Accra, Ghana community where he was raised. “My People,” the project’s lead single, pays tribute to that community and his friends and family who helped raise him there, while celebrating neighborhoods across Accra. The project, was released along with a Nungua Diaries mini-documentary, contains production from GuiltyBeatz, Uche B, UglyOnIt and BeatzFada.
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