Originally published in 2018. Some dates have been amended for the purpose of the article.
Today marks the 63rd anniversary since Ghana gained independence from the United Kingdom and established itself as the nation it is now.
Their influence remains strong in the UK however, particularly in the world of music. In honour of the festivities, we’ve drawn together a list of 15 of the most influential people of Ghanaian decent, people who have made a serious impact on the industry and the scene we all love.
From Dizzee Rascal, to Lethal Bizzle, to our very own CEO Posty, take in the full list below now on GRM Daily.
The man of the moment has established himself as one of the most decorated artists of our time, and he’s only been here for a couple of years. The number one album in the country, charting off a freestyle, big brand partnerships and all whilst remaining independent, Stormzy has paved the way for many to follow in his footsteps.
This guy needs little introduction. One of the forefathers of everything that has come since, creator of grime’s original blueprint and somebody who’s influence continues to reign over the scene. He might be in a different headspace now, but the Boy In Da Corner show proved that people still care over a decade later about this half-Ghanaian donny.
Some people are one of a kind, but this family produced two legends. Both of the Boateng brothers have had illustrious careers in the industry; from signing some of the biggest stars we have now to record labels back in the day, to presenting iconic breakfast shows, the pair of them have thoroughly made their mark.
He founded our very own GRM Daily platform and has provided a platform for countless artists on the come up and beyond over the years. Add to that the Rated Awards and the no-holds-barred conversations on NFTR and Posty’s influence on the scene is obvious. Catch him repping for the culture on huge establishments like BBC News and Buzzfeed.
He might not be a musician or even in the same industry per se, but he’s unquestionably had an influence over it. The hottest chick in the game has been wearing his garms – US superstars Rihanna, The Weeknd and more have all been spotted in Trapstar – as well as just about every UK rapper and MC.
Another one who is highly decorated in both music and business. More Fire Crew, Pow, Dench, SnapChat, Ferrari. The list of bangers and savvy moves is endless and remains an inspiration for every artist right now. Salute a real life living legend.
One of the most respected personalities in the game and he’s got bucketfuls of it in abundance. You can catch him on the airwaves spinning the sickest new music from our scene. Plus, he’s hosted the first two Rated Awards too, which is pretty cold if we do say so…
Another half-Ghanaian, Kojo Funds might still be grafting a name for himself, but his influence on music right now is apparent. “Dun Talkin”, “Fine Wine” and “My 9ine” were some of the biggest songs of last year and now he looks to have another certified smash on his hands with “Warning”.
Sway has been an important artist, as well as a successful businessman in the industry over the years. He’s dropped fan favourite projects like The Deliverance Mixtape and started his own Dcypha records too, making Sway one of the most influential people in the industry’s burgeoning history.
They might not be so active any more, but The Mitchell Brothers and their work with Mike Skinner and his label The Beats is fondly remembered by all fans of UK rap, garage and everything in between.
He might have had a pretty rapid come up, but Abra Cadabra has already made a huge stamp on the scene. He had the biggest song of last year and has collected awards left right and centre for his contribution to music. Expect more to come from him.
Another man with acumen in both music and business, Tinchy Stryder rose from a teenage grime MC coming up with Ruff Sqwad, to a house-hold name with hit after hit under his belt. Add to that two two big brand deals with headphones, TV and more and his influence becomes evident.
In a short space of time, Nadia Rose has come from promising upstart to a verified hitmaker with a dedicated core fanbase who are eagerly anticipating more music from her. This powerful woman has been putting on for the queen’s out there and we have to toast to that.
It would be wrong of us not to include one of the most oft under appreciated roles in the scene: the director. Chas Appeti is the man behind the lens of a lot of your favourite videos from your favourite artists, and he’s still rolling them out like it’s light work. He’s been putting on for any budding directors and we commend that.
Abrantee is one of the most recognisable voices from Ghana, having plugged UK music over the years on Choice FM and Capital Xtra. He’s been cosigning afrobeats across the world and continues to support and provide inspiration for those around him.
Update: Reggie Yates
How could we forget Reggie Yates? The man of many talents has had stints in various high profile career paths. From children’s TV presenter, to radio DJ and back around in more recent times to serious documentarian on real and pressing issues, Reg has been setting the right example from time.