Ghana’s infectious rhythms have a long history of making hips wine, with the recent azonto craze reinforcing Accra’s position as a major provider of African jams. Jowaa, aka Gafacci & BBRAVE, take this fertile terrain into fifth gear, by using stripped down electronic arrangements, turning Ghana’s rhythms into a dangerously palatable sound for a wide international audience of dancefloor aficionados.Jowaa came to life early 2017 after brewing for two years, ever since Gafacci and BBRAVE met and realized their common passion for both Ghanaian and electronic music. After several musical trials and tribulations, the pair fine tuned their sound and concept – getting people to dance hard, “jo waa” in Accra’s Ga language.
However Jowaa aims for a lot more than just dancing. Bridging worlds, diversifying sound, connecting people are constantly in the back of Gafacci and BBRAVE’s minds. With the rise of genres such as kuduro in Luand a or gqom in Durban, both believe there is room in Accra for minimal percussive electronic music. More than just sound, Jowaa believe there is time and space to carve around their innovative sound: Jowaa’s objective is to offer alternate means to connect people and open up minds.
1: Perception is reality
2: Only constant in life is change
3: Disco dancer is the best asorkpor bollywood movie ever.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
It has changed over the years since I started doing music. But there is one that still does the trick for me, it’s going back to Labadi when I get the chance. Because every time I walk around the neighbourhood I hear something that makes me go like “Sh!t i gotta put this in a song.”
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I grew up around music. I have always seen my dad with a keyboard or guitar and all the time it never occurred to me I would or could do music. I spent most of my childhood wanting to be a painter and every support I had from my parents was to become good at painting and drawing. They would buy me color books and drawing books. Everything changed when i was in High school. Painting become harder and harder and I started feeling I had been wrong about being a painter. Fast forward to 2009, the year I was first introduced to Fruity Loops 8/FL studio. I started watching a lot of Fl and music production tutorials on youtube.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
I don’t have a top five but I listen to this
1. Eminem – The Eminem show
2. Muse – The resistance
3. Wyclef – Ecleftic
4. Enya – The Celts
5. Tinny – Makola Kwakwe
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
There is an electronic music scene in Berlin and I feel very happy to meet people who are open about pushing the boundaries in the electronic music scene there. There are so many musical activities, it’s mind blowing.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
My favourite place is a no brainer… The studio. Lately the beach is giving the studio tough competition. I love the beach just because I am likely to see people from my old neighbourhood.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
First, life would suck big time. I would maybe be a video gamer but come to think of it I would have to do that with no sound. Sh!t! life would really suck. I can’t imagine a world with no music.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
DMX – The Great Depression
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I have a long list but I love these guys so much – King kong, Niska, Dengue Dengue Dengue, MHD, Nadia Minaj, Spice, Busy Signal.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I don’t mean to be biased, but the best gig I saw was by Mabiisi in Burkina Faso.
As a performer my best performance was my first gig. Not too many people came to the gig but I was playing like I was playing to 50 000 people. It was my first so it meant a lot to me.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology is a vital part in everything I do, from connecting with my audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Making music in the studio with the DAWs. Now there is a cloud to backup important data. So technology is inevitable in my day to day activities.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
First my Charles thinks I am a weirdo. That my big brother you know! He is a DJ who loves music and he tells me if something isn’t right about my music. I appreciate that about him.
To listen: https://soundcloud.com/akwaabamusic/sets/jowaa
Gafacci is part of the Loop 2017 at Funkhaus, alongside a curated program you can find here: https://loop.ableton.com/2017/participants/