Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Stonebwoy enters the ‘5th Dimension’

Afro-dancehall artiste to release new album

Published:Tuesday | April 4, 2023 | 12:34 AM
Stonebwoy at Rebel Salute 2023 at the  Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann on January 21.
Stonebwoy at Rebel Salute 2023 at the Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann on January 21.

Ghanaian superstar Stonebwoy, pioneer of Afro-dancehall, an infectious blend of reggae, dancehall, and fusions from Africa, recently revealed the cover artwork and tracklist of 5th Dimension, his aptly titled fifth career album, set to arrive in stores on April 28 via Def Jam Recordings.

In addition to his current single More Of You, the album will also include Life & Money, featuring Stormzy, the album’s lead single, produced by British-Ghanaian producer JAE5 (who has worked with the likes of Burna Boy, J Hus & Koffee.) The track shows off the potent fusion of reggae, hip-hop, Afrobeats, and trap talent that has made Stonebwoy one of Africa’s most important new young artistes. Featured artistes on the 5D album also include Davido, Angelique Kidjo, Shaggy, and Mereba, among others.

Stonebwoy is an award-winning superstar who, since 2012, has been placing the continent firmly on the musical map with international touring, standout collaborations, and hugely popular singles. He has duetted with international artistes, including Keri Hilson, Sean Paul, Trey Songz, Burna Boy, Alpha Blondie and many more. He has rocked some very notable stages across the world from 2019’s Rottotom Sunsplash Festival (Spain) to 2020’s Afro Nation (Puerto Rico), 2021’s Yam Carnival (UK), and more recently the 2022 Fifa Fan Festival (Qatar).

In January, he performed at Rebel Salute at Plantation Cove in St Ann. Event organiser Tony Rebel noted that Stonebwoy “is an avid reggae fan and considers himself a reggae artiste”, and moreover, he has long advocated for a platform to bridge the gap between Caribbean and African-linked roots.

Stonebwoy’s numerous awards include Best International Act: Africa at the BET Awards; Artiste of the Year at the Ghana Music Awards; and two Billboard plaques. He recently became the first Ghanaian artiste to hit 100 million streams on the Audiomack platform. His high-profile presence on social media — Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, and Twitter — ensures Stonebwoy’s close connection with fans in every corner of the globe.

Stonebwoy Burniton, given name Livingstone Etse Satekla, realised his passion for creative arts, scripting and acting in the drama club, and putting words together rhythmically. Thus began a lifelong devotion to singing both songs that he has written and composed, as well as those by artistes who have influenced him.

In his first year of high school, Stonebwoy met up with Doctor Duncan, a radio DJ/presenter who at the time was the host of ‘Kasahari’, a real time rap battle programme that introduced Sakordie, Dr Cryme, and many other relevant rappers in Ghana. “I battled my way out every weekend without defeat to date,” Stonebwoy recalls. “Music chose me, I didn’t choose music.” His first radio hit, Makuma (My Heart) was released during his second year of high school, and other tracks soon followed. In his third year, having amassed a flaming underground popularity, he released Empress, a hit that sustained him for years after leaving high school in 2007.

Things happened quickly, as Stonebwoy began working with S24 studios in 2008. He later joined Samini (a revered Ghanaian dancehall artiste) and his High Grade Family and remained there until 2012. That year, Stonebwoy formed his own record label, Burniton Music Group (BMG), putting into practice all he had seen and learnt. He worked day and night with his team to ensure that they achieved the best, starting with his debut Grade 1 album (2012). It was followed by Necessary Evil (2014), Epistles Of Mama (2017), and Anloga Junction (2020).

At the same time, branding began to play a very important role within the BMG group, not just Stonebwoy’s globally popular catchphrase – “BHIM!!!!! (Bless His Imperial Majesty)” – but also via organic partnerships with Tommy Hilfiger (in 2017), and as the second-ever brand ambassador for Samsung Ghana (in 2019).

Along the way, there were collaborations with international acts from Africa, UK, and Jamaica, among them Sean Paul, Trey Songz, Kranium, Samini, Obrafour, R2Bees, Patoranking, and Burna Boy, to name a few. Stonebwoy’s Beenie Man collab, Shuga, saw a record-breaking first week views of more than 500,000 on YouTube. On top of this is Stonebwoy’s reputation for electrifying and energetic performances onstage, including the Fifa Fan Festival in Doha performing in front of over 40,000 people.

He has attracted a worldwide fanbase, having toured in the UK, USA, Australia, Italy, Amsterdam and many more countries, sharing the bill with acts ranging from Miss Lauryn Hill to MHD, Morgan Heritage, Wizkid, and more.