If the verdict rested with me, I would not waste anyone’s time going round and round. I would just say that Samini is the Dancehall King of Ghana in response to the piece published last week under the title Who Is King Of Dancehall In Ghana? After noting the industry-tested criteria lsuch as originality, awards, relevance, stage presence, longevity, consistency, impact on culture and influence on the industry, I am more than 100 percent convinced that Samini is the best bet.
Let me start with originality. There’s no day you’ll listen to a track by Samini and mistake his voice for any known dancehall superstar. Anytime you hear “Kpoi” which has become his signature tune, you would immediately identify that it is “Sa-Sa-Mini-Mini”. He doesn’t copy anyone’s style and from the beginning had been himself from the very beginning.
One unique thing I like about this dude is his ability to use local languages such as Twi to do dancehall music which most dancehall artistes in Ghana would find difficult to do. Samini and good old Yoggi Doggi are the only Ghanaian dancehall musicians who can do this effortlessly.
Samini was part of the crew that started dancehall music in the late 90’s in Ghana and he’s still in the game. All the pacesetters of dancehall music in Ghana are nowhere to be found on the music scene today.
Root I is now a presenter at TV3 and Prime FM, General Marcus and Yoggi Doggi jetted out of Ghana in the early 2000 for greener pastures, Sonni Balli of Gee-Life fame currently resides in the UK, Abrewanana just vanished from the music scene.
So clearly, Samini is the only pioneer who is still hoisting the dancehall flag. He’s the only current Ghana dancehall artiste who has stood the test of time.
Name any album by Samini that wasn’t a success and I will look you in the eyes and tell you how lost you are. He’s arguably the only dancehall artiste who churns out hit after hit. Since he hit the limelight after being featured on Mary Agyepong’s Twe No Bre Me, this dude has not looked back with hit tracks.
For his stage performances, he has no competitor. He is the only dancehall musician who gets an encore after a performance and has organised successful concerts. He brought Jamaican dancehall heavyweights—Movado and Demarco to Ghana and beat them to it on stage. This is the epitome of a king.
Being a king of a genre doesn’t only require talent but self-discipline which is a key to making it to the top and Samini has exhibited that over the years. And when we talk of awards, he has plethora of them. From Ghana Music Awards, Channel O Music Video Awards (South Africa), MOBO (UK), he has got them all.
He has his own record label and mentored other artistes like Kaakie and Stonebwoy. How can you be a king of a genre when you don’t even have a record label or mentees?
Nobody would ask you who Samini is if you mention his name in Ghana. What else can a king of genre demand after all these feats which are iced with a mouthwatering endorsement deal with a branded company like MTN? That is the dancehall king for you.
Before I end, let me add that Samini has shown versatility over the years by starring in TV series and movies. He emceed the prestigious Ghana Music Awards twice and performed well. He is definitely the type that can’t be pigeonholed. He’s indeed a jack of all trades and master of all. So Ghanaians, I introduce to you the King Of Dancehall music in Ghana, Saaaaaaa-mini!!!
By Eugene Selorm Owusu