Get Familiar With Joshua Owusu Afriyie a.k.a. Josh Blakk
A new music sensation is here to hit Ghanaians with quality and top notched songs; and he goes by the name Joshua Owusu Afriyie, known in the music circles as Josh Blakk. The 23 year old artist was born on the 24th of september 1991, from a family of 11, which consist of 5 brothers and 3 sisters; and every one of them is blessed with musical talents. Josh Blakk told us even though they all have musically talented, their parents are directly the opposite. “Funny thing is my parents don’t really sing, I mean they have “Okay” Voices, but nothing to write home about.” Josh Blakk told Loud Sound Ghana.
We had a couple of questions for Josh Blakk and this is what we talked about…
LSGH: How deep is your passion for music?
Josh Blakk: I have an insane love for music. I have been through a number of life changing scenarios in my life, and everything but my love for music changed. if it did, I only fell in love more, as I realized and learned new things. I had my first instrument when I was about 7 years, a little keyboard, but i started playing more when I was 13.
I played in Church since I was 13 and I still do. I have always been the guy who loved to discover, The person who found this or that out. So I never had any form of education on instruments, well I had a man teach me a twi song, and I took matters in my own hands afterwards.
LSGH:Give us a scenario of how your childhood days looked like, where you grew up, and some of your favourite activities.
Josh Blakk: My childhood days, was full of adventure. My dad has always been the typical Ghanaian father that dictates for his children, as to what to learn and what not to learn. I remember when I was 14, there was a guitar in church that I wanted to learn on my own, my dad locked it up, he had different dreams for me. it was always about school, and getting better grades or maintaining the grades you had. So you can throw your mind as far as you can, to the kind of fun and adventurous childhood I had. I was born in Accra, but after some years, we moved to cote d’voir , Abidjan. After a year and some months, we came back to Ghana, Kumasi. Lived in kumasi for about 3 years, and then moved back to Accra and from there it has been either Kumasi or Accra, but most often I am in Accra. so I had a mixed childhood, too many memories, but I can say for certain that music was always hidden, You dare not bring the keyboard home for practice. I played Once a week, (Sundays only), and that was even trouble. so my days were full of school, Football, and other sporting activities, including T.v and computer Games.
LSGH: How has combining music and education been for you? Will you choose music over education or vice versa?
Josh Blakk: After my second year in the university “me te chain” I took off my shackles and went in fully, the deceit and acting was enough. Reading Economics was not what i wanted and needed at that time. The calling was greater. many people really have a lot to say out me dropping out of Central university, but I always say this, “I am the one to bear the consequences, Thank you very much for you love and care” but I am extremely happy and comfortable with what I do. I will go back to school, get that degree or masters or even the PHD, I will end all forms of Education, But first things First. MUSIC!
For as far as my memory can, and old pictures can take me, in kindergarten, I lead all singing activities. In primary 5, our teacher asked a class of about 23 to each sing a song, I was the last to sing, everybody before me did a gospel song, I came and did a mixture of songs by shaggy and Cisco. Got a good whopping, and reported to my parents as well.
LSGH: Do you have a favourite role model or someone you look up to?
Josh Blakk: You know; I never got to enjoy music from people like Obrafour, Lord Kenya, Shaggy, Cisco, Boys 2 Men etc. it was listening to only gospel in my House. So any time I got to hear something else, I could never forget what it was. I was always about melody, never about lyrics. I craved for melodies, aside jazz and Gospel music or melodies. So I had this Great appetite and entreats for music, and why it made me feel how I felt. I don’t have one favourite Model, But if my Favourite Models had one Name, it would be My Family.
LSGH: What is the focused messages in your song or what do you intend to preach through your music?
Josh Black: I always say Music is the greets medium of delivering messages. The message in a song is also a factor when considering the genre of the song. I simply want to promote LOVE, in all the ways that I know it. Every song Inspires, but songs are written from Inspirations, So I have stories, about my life, stories about the lives of other people, I am inspired by these stories, I turn them into Music, and the listener of this music, will also be inspired. if it is a song for peace, the rebel minded decision that someone wants to take might be vanquished because of my song. So there is this need for me to preach, through my music. that someone will get it and it will change their life. I am just giving back what I receive through my music.
LSGH: Which age group or gender or country do you wish listen to your songs more?
Josh Blakk: I wish the world will sing and dance and appreciate my songs, my music.
every age group, I wish my songs are taught in the kindergarten, like the way we learn A,B,C,D’s… I am not limited or limiting the message. music knows no language, Music is soul, and full of expressions and feelings, language is not a barrier, its only a helper, and can be easily replaced. this is why Asa will sing in Yuroba but an Ashanti man can sing it all without even understanding what is been sung.
LSGH: Can you boldly say the Genre of music you do is active? And do you think you can easily be at the top looking at your musical contents?
Josh Blakk: I wont say it is fully active. Ghanaians love to dance, I love dancing too, so that and highlife are really active, Afro-pop and the fusion of different genre’s of music is not one that the everyday Ghanaian wants to enjoy. in Ghana to reach the masses your song must have the dance element. even when “sad” events like Funerals are going on, People are dancing. no time for slow music. However, with this been said, there is an uprising of music lovers who wants to do other things than just dancing. people are paying attention to Lyrical content, Melodies, etc. and they are appreciating efforts been made to explore other genres of music.
I respect the effort of every musician, it is not easy to do what we do. the sacrifices and all, so I wont say one genre is better than the other, but if resources are been put into Azonto music or hiplife and dancehall, and same was done for the Afro-pop and hip-pop etc guys, there will be an active market, because there will be competition.
You have every potential manager, looking for the guy who can get the next Azonto hit song out, the next dance hall KING. And no matter how talented you are, you are looked down on and limited to Reality singing T.V shows… So the Genre is not fully active, unless by performing only in bars and getting little air play is a form of an active genre of music, But it is growing, and I wish there is enough competition and investments to make it gain grounds and stand firm. Because Ghana has beautiful singers/songwriters and amazing Musicians. But they all want to travel out because they believe it is not possible here.
LSGH: If you are asked to change something in the Ghanaian music scene, what will that be?
Josh Blakk: Oh if I had the opportunity, I will have a reconstruction, not a change. People talk about changing the industry like it is a decision we have to take, No, change is constant, because we learn, and improve. so sure there is a lot to change, A reconstruction is pulling everything down and starting all over. with the help of everyone, including the registered musician playing in the northern region. and not treat music in Ghana like it is only for this who settle in Accra. I think personally that, it should change from Ghana Music Awards to Accra Music Awards. But I really want some of those awards, and I wish I can Beat Sarkodie’s Records.
LSGH: What can you promise Ghanaians and what should we expect from you regarding releases, music videos and performances?
Josh Blakk: I can assure Ghanaians that this Dream will not end or die, and they should expect a never ending series of releases and videos and musical concerts each and every year. I am working with people who do not only believe in my music, but believe in me, and the encouragement and “Vim” alone, is a big statement. I am presently working on my first album, with guilty beats and I am with Jeed Rogers’s Mastermindz Records. we are family there and i am really grateful for them.
I want to use this platform to extend my gratitude to everyone that has helped me reach this far, My Family, GuiltyBeatz, Jeed Rogers, Ozion, Fii, Sepha, Ehalakasa, People Of equal Thoughts, Republic Bar, My manager, and even you reading this article, the love and support is great, and I appreciate it. Thank you too Loud Sound Ghana, for making this platform available. thank you all
Watch “Bloody Woe” by Josh Blakk below.