Dancehall music has taken Ghana by storm and the youth have clung on it with passion and zeal. Many predicted the genre will fade away in no time.
However it is getting bigger and bigger by the day. Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy are the forerunners of the genre. No other artiste is bigger than them. But before Dancehall became what it is today, some people (who seems to have been forgotten) laid the foundation and prepared the ground for the future generation, herein the current artistes.
Ghbase present to you the artistes who pioneered Raggae/Dancehall genre.
- General Marcus
General Marcus is a veteran musician whose contribution to Reggae/Dancehall music cannot be overlooked. He started doing music in the mid-nineties and I fondly recollect when he sampled a very popular Buju Banton’s song and rendered it in Ga.
That song became an instant hit and this gave him a widespread recognition. He gave Reggae/Dancehall music an identity and this is what has inspired the current crop of artistes who are taking it to a different level
- Root Eye
Root eye, born Kwesi Nyarko is another ‘grandfather’ when it comes to the Reggae/Dancehall genre. He hosts the famous Music Music show on TV3. He is also a radio presenter with 3FM.
When hiplife was in its experimental stage, he infused Jamaican rhythms into his style. This made him different which made Reggie Rockstone and Akyeame feature him on their respective albums.
- Terry Bonchaka
There was a popular myth which says that when Shaggy of Bombastic fame came to Ghana to headline a concert, he was upset that Terry Bonchaka was not around to share the same stage with him because he (Terry) was the only true Dancehall general.
Terry Bonchaka was phenomenal and we all remember how he personified Raggae/Dancehall music. Terry’s big break came when he entered the Miss Ghana hiplife amateur competition and won in the regionals before taking home the title of Hiplife champ 2001 in the final round.
He did lots of hiplife tunes but his true affinity reflected in Ragga. He died in a ghastly motor accident but his reputation will forever be respected.
- Yoggy Doggy
Yoggy Doggy was very phenomenal in his era. If you love listening to C.J Lewis of Jamaica, whose unique voice was the subject of imitation from most of our artistes, then you will equally appreciate the immense quality of Yoggy Doggy.
He did well to make the genre attractive and artiste like Sonni Bali and Samini followed his step.
- Sonni Bali
Sonni Bali is relatively unknown in the music industry but that does take away the fact that he was such a great gem. He discovered and introduced Samini into the game.
He initially started as a hiplife artiste before he metamorphosed into a full Dancehall artiste. He has really been influential.
The list will certainly not be complete without acknowledging Iwan and his immense contribution to ensure Dancehall music is incorporated into Ghana music. It is very unfortunate he is not in the limelight anymore, a situation he has always blamed on saboteurs.
NB: Shatta Wale and Samini are not included in the list because both were doing strictly hiplife music until they switched to Dancehall music recently.