Track of the Week "Someway Bi" by M.anifest sports a hip-turning melody with a sassy pidgin hook doused with tons of Afrobeat flavour. Roughly translated, the title speaks to how life seems to be contradictory at times – “some kind of way” or “twisted”. Over infectious guitars M.anifest proves his worth as one of Ghana’s finest with slick verbal gymnastics, describing how hard work is a never-ending journey. As the track progresses, he tells a story of how beggars who “can’t be choosers” are often picky in the same breath and how even though times are tough, people are still ready to party. Nimbly switching from the Ghanaian dialect Akan (or Twi) to English raps and back again, this track strikes a perfect balance between the socially discursive aspects of rap and "good time" music – an impressive feat to say the least. The slickly shot video for "Someway Bi", set to drop publicly on YouTube this Monday, 11 August, visually captures the everyday complexities of life in Ghana that M.anifest contemplates throughout the track. If anything can be said about this track produced by Yung Fly, M.anifest has not lost the authenticity of his home country, nor the support.
Born Kwame Amet Tsikata, M.anifest was exposed to a wealth of African music under the influence of his grandfather, Prof. J.H. Nketia, one of Africa’s foremost ethnomusicologists. After earning a scholarship in economics at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, he spent 10 years there dabbling in a few collaborations with independent hip-hop favourites Brother Ali and Atmosphere. He eventually released his debut album Manifestations (2007), which earned him “Songwriter of the Year” honours in the Minneapolis publication City Pages. In 2011 he toured Europe for Rocket Juice & The Moon, an exceptionally memorable project with even more memorable musicians – none other than Gorillaz and Blur star Damon Albarn, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Afrobeat co-founder and legendary drummer Tony Allen, as well as soul icon Erykah Badu. SA rap icons Tumi, Proverb and HHP have vouched for him as well, which is why all in all, today M.anifest is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning musician taking home 2013’s “Best Rapper of the Year” accolade at the Ghana Music Awards. He has released his third studio album, Apae: the Price of Free EP, which he describes as his first album “made in Ghana, inspired by Ghana, and provoked by Ghana”.