Fuse ODG strengthens Ja-Ghana link with 'Bra Fie'
Fuse ODG invites all Africans of the diaspora - Afro-Caribbean, African-Americans, and British-Africans - to 'come home'.
Last month, the Ghanaian-English recording artiste released his latest single, Bra Fie (Come Home), featuring Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley and produced by Yr$ Truly & OTWoode. This single demonstrates Fuse ODG's primary mission - to nourish ideas that make people think twice about taking a holiday in Europe.
"I want to create awareness of the Africa I know, to get people - our own people in the diaspora - to come home and build together. There's a changing tide that we have as Africans right now. People are paying attention. We're here," he told The Gleaner.
Taken from his upcoming album, New Africa Nation, to be released on February 1, 2019, Bra Fie literally translates to 'come home' in the Twi language - a dialect of the Akan in Ghana. "The album was recorded in Ghana, and it lets you know we're ready to move together in a celebratory way. It's my best work yet. Expect some magic," he told The Gleaner confidently.
"My music is about my experience of Africa, being African in a way that's different from general perception. I want to tell people the real narrative - of the amazing food, awesome people, and culture. I want to tell our own stories. Damian is on a similar mission. He's a voice for the Caribbean and for Africans living outside of Africa. Having him on the record was so important, especially for all the work that he's done before, such as his album Distant Relatives (2010) with Nas," Fuse ODG said.
Fuse ODG considers himself a naturally talented musician, but instead of merely turning a profit, he wants to use music as a platform to help others. "I've always been interested in music but more in love with purpose as a musician," he explained.
Not surprisingly, Bob Marley's musical legacy resonates strongly with him. "He was a musician with a purpose - like Michael Jackson or Fela Kuti. Bob Marley laid the blueprint for the unification of black people that we have to carry on. I think it's my responsibility to take it on. So, reggae music has been a major part of my life as an artist, and a person as well."
We Will Rize Together
Fuse ODG's relationship with Jamaican culture goes deeper than his admiration for Marley. Though split between Ghana and the UK, reggae music has remained a constant in Fuse ODG's life as his parents played it in the house no matter where they lived. As a result, his musical journey has led to philanthropic collaborations with Chronixx, film-maker Donisha Prendergast, and activist Chaka Clarke (Chakabars), to start We Will Rize Together, a crowdfunding initiative launched last year for the benefit of Haile Selassie High School and an institution in Ghana. He also visited the island to participate in refurbishing the school's roof and library. The same treatment is currently being given to a Ghanaian secondary school.
Fuse ODG has other projects in the pipeline destined to strengthen connections between Jamaica and his homeland. He is currently working on establishing direct flights between the two nations. Though there is a treaty that omits visa requirements for travel between Jamaica and Ghana, travellers do require a US or UK visa to book a connecting flight.
"That's one of our main missions to achieve. We preach about connecting, but logistically, we won't spend the time. It's time to break the barriers. People die before they get those visas," he said.