“My first performance to a crowd of thousands was in the year 2000,” retorted Adalba Agana-Nsiire who is known professionally as Adalba, to TheAfricanDream.net during an interview tracing the genesis of his career.
“I was a meager 12-year-old, and even though I was barely a teen at the time, I knew something important was happening and I felt privileged and honored to be there in the moment and to experience it,” continued an excited Adalba.
Describing that moment to TheAfricanDream.net Adalba said he was standing in the center of a football field, surrounded by spectators from all over the country, trying not to expose his nervousness while hiding the fact that he was terrified. The Ghanaian rapper/songwriter said he put on a brave performance that earned him a standing ovation and 3rd prize award in that year’s edition of the annual National Arts and Cultural Festival’s Sight Reading contest in Ghana.
He was the youngest competitor representing the Northern and Upper Regions of Ghana at the competition which took place that year in Ho, the Volta Regional capital city.
Move on into today and almost 2 decades down the line Adalba is still pursuing his musical dreams and winning the hearts of fans. Maturing into his hip-hop-songwriter-and-music-producer persona, he has released mixtapes, a number of singles, and music videos all in the lead up to the release of his debut EP — LIVE African.
“I know I am maturing, obviously I am no longer that 12yr-old from 2000, my career in hip-hop music has evolved from my days at the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School (PRESEC), where I developed an interest in poetry from my elder brother who was a senior at the same school. This molded my passion for rap music,” — Adalba.
The rapper goes on to reminisce about how PRESEC was his gateway into the capital city of Ghana, where he first heard of the legendary producer Jayso – who coincidentally is also an old PRESEC alumnus. “My desire for rapping was inspired by Eminem and Jay Z but Jayso’s influence as an artist and producer is what motivated me to take on other roles to eventually become a Sound Engineer and Producer,” explained Adalba.
Because Adalba couldn’t afford the high fees involved in recording commercially, he became self-taught, “Jayso made me know it was possible” and armed with this knowledge and skill Adalba recorded a few songs of his own, but continues to idolize Jayso by saying “he is a master of his craft and that is something I also aspire to be.”
In 2008, then known as Dazz McRoi, he released his first mixtape titled ‘TheScrapbook’ which was in 2010 followed by ‘The Scrapbook Reloaded’ — The Scrapbook series introduced him into the limelight, it also surprised many especially friends who were experiencing his artistry for the first time. “I also discovered my die-hard fans through those tapes and they have to this day supported my movement.”
TheAfricanDream.net discovered it was at the end of 2016 that Adalba released his first music video for the song Jisonaayili which pays homage to a neighborhood he grew up in. The video is a collection of footage portraying different aspects of Jisonaayili and its surrounding neighborhoods.
“After the Jisonaayili period, I stumbled upon a video interview of fiber optics innovator Dr. Thomas Mensah that moved me to find out more about the inventor which led to my inspiration for the song My Country.” According to Adalba, My Country is a tribute to the renowned inventor and Nanotechnologist. Featuring additional vocals from budding Ghanaian singer BJZ makes the track a timeless song — watch the video, released on YouTube in 2017 below.
“Through my journey, I have learned from a lot of mistakes and discovered a lot about myself. I am growing every day and I have an amazing family that has always supported me no matter what, as well as great friends who constantly help shape me positively.“
“Permit me to highlight,” said Adalba, “My go-to producer PapaBenyi who has always offered his unflinching support, I have also had tremendous help from Selormey’s Synmation Studios with some of my videos — these are my teachers and I respect and appreciate them tremendously, and to all those I cannot mention, I love you all, you know yourselves.”
This multi-talented rapper mainly produces his own work so far although he has intentions of collaborating with other artists and producers. For those of you who might now know this, Adalba also produced Ebony Reigns’ acoustic ballad about infidelity, ‘Real’ – a song which shows a more intimate and vulnerable side of the late singer and is a standout piece from her award-winning album of the year 2018 titled Bonyfied.
Adalba spoke to his own future when he told TheAfricanDream.net that LIVE African symbolizes new beginnings; the transition from Dazz McRoi to Adalba. “This EP is my re-introduction to the music scene. I’ve never understood myself better and I feel like I have better stories to tell now. As a ‘LIVE African’ you ought to understand your roots and your personality and try to emulate your true self always,” he philosophized.
Adalba through his music and self-discovery has come to realize that he has “the passion and creativity of my Mother and the Conqueror spirit of my Father. I have traced my roots all the way back to the days of slavery and I’m proud of my history, my heritage, and my country. My dream is to live in a world where people are not defined by their color or ethnicity, but by their contribution to society.“
Check Adalba out on all social media portals as @AdalbaGH, you can also sample, download and stream his LIVE African on Aftown Music.
Written by Oral Ofori for TheAfricanDream.net