Ghanaian Afrobeat artist King Promise has recently teamed up with Ghanaian/British Afrobeat star Fuse ODG for his new single ‘Thank God.’ Presenting a highly captivating, feel-good anthem which is spiritually themed and morally up-lifting.
King Promise has previously worked with the absolute elite of Gold Coast artists including the legendary Sarkodie. Indeed, it was through Sarkodie’s connections that King Promise was first signed to the ‘YB’ record label headed up brother and sister (CEO) duo Yasmin and Amir Behzadi. This deal led to the anticipated ‘The King Promise EP’, which was recently recorded in Dubai.
Taking influence from his worldly travels and experiences, King Promise has shaped his music drawing on sounds, rhythms and moments that he has witnessed. The Afrobeat artist favours experimentation; mixing his sound with Jazz, Funk and R&B, he also alludes frequently in his lyrics to his Christian upbringing and faith.
We were pleased to invite King Promise to TBB this week and here’s the best of his interview with Albert Yanney…
King Promise welcome to TBB. Let me start by asking you which was the first Afrobeat record that really captured your imagination?
Thanks & I would say…R2Bees and Wande Coal’s “Kiss Your Hand”…
By switching and mixing musical genres (as well as your lyrical content) you attempt to provide a specific variant of Afrobeat as a new artist. Is this an accurate observation?
Pretty much so. There’s usually a story behind the songs I write, even the party records. That’s my major difference. But basically I channel my Ghanaian influence with other vibes I’ve gotten from other places and people & put them into my music.
Who are your key musical influences in Jazz and R&B?
I listen to a lot of different people across several genres, I barely have a favourite. I listen to Michael Buble a lot when it comes to jazz and with RnB it’s widespread; a lot of Usher & R Kelly growing up. These days it’s more Chris Brown and Drake amongst others.
Your Christian faith is clearly paramount to your music. Is it difficult to create a ‘spiritual niche’ in a market which is saturated and commonly stereotyped as ‘African party music’?
Not necessarily. I mean I’m all for the “African party music” as well. I’m an artist and I look to share my music based on my influences and religion is a big one. In the end it’s all vibes for me. ‘Thank God’ came up as I reflected on things and how far I’m getting and I could only be thankful.
Why did you not simply decide to make conventional Gospel records?
I can do anything I put my mind to. Like I said it all comes down to vibes and Thank God was produced as I reflected on life and the journey. I’m not limited to any genre.
How did you find the experience of collaborating with Fuse ODG?
It’s a blessing for an up and coming artist like me to have such greatness feature on a song. I’m glad he loved the music and added his touch. I’d never met him until we had to shoot the video. He did his verse even before we met, so I can’t talk about the experience but the video shoot experience was lit. He’s a great guy you know; big artist yet very down to earth.
Tell us a little bit about ‘The King Promise’ EP?
It’s coming [laughs]. We’re almost done with it. I’ve got the legendary producer Killbeatz handling the project so even I’m very excited for what’s coming.
Do you have any immediate frustrations and concerns with the Afrobeat scene?
Not really. I think I’m just going through the process like every new artist does and with time and hard work, everything will fall in place. I feel blessed actually. Working with Fuse, Killbeatz, and YB records…that’s a blessing.
How influential has the superstar Sarkodie been on your career?
That’s my mentor, Sark is a big brother. He’s watched me grow and still directs and advises me from time to time. He discovered me about 3 years ago. He put me on to my management at the moment and he’s been there through the journey. I appreciate him a lot.
Do you have a vision of how Afrobeat music can evolve in the next few years?
Yeah the world is catching onto Afrobeats. Recently Drake jumped on the vibe with ‘One Dance.’ Pioneers like Wizkid and Sarkodie etc. are getting bigger and reaching wider audiences. People are accepting the music. It can only get better from here.
Any future releases or albums we should know about?
The King Promise EP. That’s going to be my first full project – should be out soon.
When and where are you performing this summer?
I’ve been performing on several platforms in Ghana and looking forward to more. I love being on stage. I can’t tell you now where exactly… but be on the lookout.
How can King Promise supporters keep up-to date?
Through social media. You can reach me on Twitter & Instagram – @IamKingPromise, Facebook page is King Promise, Soundcloud is also @IamKingPromise, YouTube, KingPromiseVevo.
What are you doing once this interview is over?
Heading to the studio! Its work work work [laughs]. Thanks for having me.