Many Studios
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Documentation of Kobi Onyame Versus Ashanti Harris

Kobi Onyame Versus Ashanti Harris

Live Performance: Wed 28 March 

 
 

Project film directed by Etienne Kubwabo.

Kobi Onyame Versus The Artist opened on Saturday 3rd March, bringing together the work of six artists responding to Kobi Onyame's third album, Gold. As part of the exhibition, Ashanti Harris has developed new work titled Emi Ori Cse which the artist will perform on Wednesday 28 March. The evening will also include live music by Kobi Onyame.

Emi Ori Cse refers to the three selves in Yoruba thought. Emi is the breath imported by the supreme being. It's the part of self that is alive and has the automatic will to continuing being alive. Ori is the inner head or the inner deity. Its the part of you which considers things and it's where your particular morals and ethics come into play. Cse is your individual strife or struggle. It's the part that drives you forward and the part which actualises the will of the Ori. In Yoruba theory, the three selves are connected but don't exist as one being.

Harris' performance draws upon Yoruba culture and builds parralels between Ochun and the journey that Orichá culture has taken to the Caribbean, bringing in references of masquerade and concept of a mask.

 

Ashanti Harris

Ashanti Harris is an artist, teacher and community activist, working with dance, performance and installation. Harris' work focuses on themes of mobilities - the movement of people, ideas and things as well as the broader social implications of these movements, specifically in relation to the diaspora of West Africa and The Caribbean.

Harris' current research is concerned with the body as a repository of incorporated histories which are communicated through dance and movement practices. As part of her creative practice, she also works collaboratively as part of the collective Glasgow Open Dance School (G.O.D.S) – facilitating movement workshops, research groups and collaborative performances; and as co-lead artist for Project X – a creative education programme, platforming the dances of the African diaspora.

 

Kobi Onyame

UK-based, Ghanaian artist, Kobi Onyame's music has been creating music for over ten years, releasing his third album Gold in late 2017. His music is a melting pot of traditional hip-hop and Ghanaian rhythms such as highlife and hiplife, creating uplifting music that draws heavily on West African culture — both sonically and visually. Onyame is an award winning artist and has collaborated internationally with artists including M3nsa, Wanlov the Kubalor, whilst also supporting musical greats such as Kanye West, Nas, Wu Tang Clan and De La Soul. GOld is available to buy via http://www.kobionyame.com/

 

Kobi Onyame Versus The Artist
Artists: Ashanti Harris, Ayo Akinwande, Bumi Thomas, Hakeem Adam, Sulaïman Majali, Selorm Jay
www.manystudios.co.uk/gold for full biographies

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In November 2017, Glasgow based, Ghanaian musician, Kobi Onyame, approached The Gallow Gate to develop a project that responded to his new album, Gold. Gold is Onyame's third ablum and was released in September 2017 following a staggered, online reveal where the artist unveiled the album track by track over six months. This album draws from Onyame's Ghanaian heritage, influenced by highlife music which he would hear his mum and dad play in his childhood.

Following an open call for creative practitioners, we selected six artists who responded to 1-2 tracks from Onyame's album. The artists are Ashanti Harris (Scotland), Ayo Akinwande (Nigeria), Bumi Thomas (England), Hakeem Adam (Ghana), Sulaïman Majali (Scotland), Selorm Jay (Ghana). Over the last two months, the artists have created new work that responds to the themes; making process; narratives of the tracks from the album, through video, photography, writing, performance.

This project explores the process of making music and the subsequent interconnectivity between art forms. The album presents a complex collection of reflections that consider globalisation, hope, identity, privilege, and post-colonialism. Onyame was interested in exploring ways in which the songs could be unpacked and distorted by handing them over to another artist, simultaneously exploring where music overlaps with literature, literature overlaps with dance and beyond through a dialogue that not only uses the album as a point of departure for discussion, but also the artists’ own identities and the ways in which collaboration can bolster, challenge and inspire one another.

 

This project is supported by Glasgow Connected Arts Network (GCAN) and The National Lottery through Creative Scotland.