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GRM Exclusive Interview: Black Sherif Is The Hypnotic Voice Of Freedom

Distant Metropolises on different mainlands that partake a single specific; the action- packed music of Black Sherif.

Anytime “ Alternate Homily ” comes on, the crowd goes crazy. Be it at the Madison Square Garden in New York to a vended- out crowd on one of the most major nights in African music, or on a stormy night at Lagos ’ culturally significant Homecoming event, or ringing across the ecstatic thoroughfares of Accra, the spirited lyrics of Black Sherif will get you moving, and more frequently than not, incite mosh- recesses and delirium.
“ Kwaku Frimpong de asɛm bɛba’oo. Killa man de asɛm bɛba’oo ” Black Sherif choruses on the emotion- winding hymn that blabbed him into the spotlight. “ Kwaku Frimpong will bring trouble if we don’t take care. ” Ansah, a culture watchman and member of indie Ghanaian collaborative, Superjazzclub, approximately translates to me over a voice note. In these lyrics, Black Sherif, born Mohammed Ismail Sharif, assumes the alias of KwakuFrimpong.Born and raised in the fosses of Konongo, a exurb three hours down from the capital Accra, the foreboding of Black Sherif’s explosion had been heralded since the release of his “ First Sermon ” freestyle in May 2021. “ Coming like a raging storm, fasten up your belt. ” Black Sherif bellows on the song that was originally intended as lead- up promotional material for his debut EP. Two months latterly, Black Sherif released “ Alternate Homily ”, bolstering him as an artist to look out for.

Decked by a drill bassline, the twenty- time-old artist narrates a ghetto philosophy on “ Alternate Homily ”. Black Sherif glasses the undauntable travails of a youthful gangbanger trying to make a life in the thoroughfares of Accra. At some point, he begs for heavenly guidance, and at another juncture, he buries himself in escape mechanisms.
“ I feel like I’m touching on spots that people used to not touch and I’m being as raw and real as I can be, ” The Konongo-native says about the hymn that has enveloped Accra and arenas around the world, “ I’m being the voice of that boy outdoors because I’m from there, I’m from the Zongo( ghetto) ”. In December 2021, a Burna- Boy- supported remix of “ Alternate Homily ” graced streaming platforms, cementing Black Sherif as one of the hottest African break- eschewal bents of the time.

Not succumbing on his laurels, Black Sherif, hourly- appertained to as Blacko, started the time 2022 with resounding ascendancy . In March, he released his most successful single yet, “ Kwaku The rubberneck ”. “ Kwaku The rubberneck was a state of mind. We made it in January. I felt like the sound was fresh, and we made the song in twenty twinkles. ” Black Sherifexplains.Within weeks, Kwaku The rubberneck rose to come the most shazamed song in the world, amassing well over a million unique vids on TikTok and peaking at the number two spot on the UK Afrobeats Singles Chart. The lyrics, “ Of course I fucked up. Who noway fuck up? Hands in the air, no hands ” was an ceaseless point across social media. “ The first eight lines, I knew this song was going to go off. Like a month before the song was going to come out, I was telling Joker, my patron, that this song will go hard. ” Black Sherif speaks with an assurance that’s hard to misdoubt.
On “ Kwaku The rubberneck ”, Blacko details the misadventurous trip of a grim youth who owns up to his defects over a hauntingly violent necessary. He credits a shift in his intelligence for the darker sonic palette. “ I suppose my mindset got deeper. When the mindset changes, the sound changes. “

Since the success of “ Kwaku The rubberneck ”, Black Sherif has banded with Arrdee, Tory Lanez, Smallgod, and he has earned signatures from heavyweights similar as Timbaland, DJ Khaled, and Popcaan “ I suppose it’s the verity and rawness in the music. ” He says of hiscross-cultural appeal. vDespite dressing his lyrics in Twi and English, Black Sherif’s music still strikes a piercing passion amongst suckers of different periods and across different ethnicities “ There’s one universal language, love. ” He explains introspectively “ Anything you do with love, people far and wide will connect to it. I put my life into my music and the people connect to the love and pain in it ”
With over two hundred million aqueducts across digital streaming platforms and a plethora ofco-signs, a lot is anticipated of Black Sherif’s forthcoming debut reader listed for release eventually this time. “ I’ve mixed passions about the reader because I’m trying to figure out the whole thing. I’ve been recording so much and I want the reader to come naturally out of me. ” When he speaks about the reader, his tone is amped with passion but shrouded with the emptiness of honesty “ I know what I’m trying to sermonize and when it gets to the right time, we will put the pieces together. ”

For numerous youths across Accra, Lagos, and London, Black Sherif is a flagbearer of anomaly; a voice ofnon-conformity in a world that forces you to conform. He’s the revolutionary with a cause. “ You have questions in your head that you want to ask but they’re stuck in your head. I put those questions in my songs. ” He explains when I ask about the preeminence of hismusic.Through Black Sherif’s words, numerous find an armour of emancipation, and although he’s a long way out from Konongo, Black Sherif is the prophet of freedom for numerous. “ I want to represent freedom, in creativity, in thinking, just endlessness for the coming generation of people making it out of the Zongo( ghetto) ”.

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