M.anifest

M.anifest is an internationally acclaimed award-winning rap artist from Accra, Ghana.
M.anifest. Image: africanmuzikmag.com.
M.anifest. Image: africanmuzikmag.com. Standard

M.anifest is an internationally acclaimed award-winning musician from Accra, Ghana. In 2013 he won the “Best Rapper of the Year” award at the Ghana Music Awards, only a year after being tipped by BBC's “The Strand” as one of four artists to watch in the world. Described as “Ghana’s rapper supreme” by Rita Ray of the BBC, M.anifest’s originality, lyricism, flow and depth in content havw made him one of contemporary Africa’s most keenly watched.

In 2013 M.anifest 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”. With three studio albums to his credit, the Ghanaian rapper has already stacked up an impressive resume of work with icons: recording with legends such as Damon Albarn (Gorillaz), Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Afrobeat co-founder Tony Allen, Erykah Badu and more. He was prominently featured on five tracks on the Rocket Juice & the Moon album.

Born Kwame Amet Tsikata, M.anifest recalls being privy to a breadth of African under the influence of his grandfather Prof. J.H. Nketia, one of Africa’s foremost ethnomusicologists. He earned a college scholarship to Macalester College where he graduated with an economics degree. This sojourn led to him spending a decade of his adult life in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. There he cut his musical teeth, collaborating with indie favourites such as Brother Ali and Atmosphere, eventually releasing his debut album Manifestations (2007), which earned him “Songwriter of the Year” honors in the City Pages and begun drawing him international attention.

In 2010, MTV spotlighted M.anifest as a hot new artist to look out for on the programme Seven. He has been described as an artist with “an incredible gift” (The Run Off Groove) who possesses “the kind of assured, joyful, ruminative voice that made Mos Def into Hollywood's favourite conscious-rap star" (City Pages).

In the fall of 2011 he toured Europe with Damon Albarn, Flea, Tony Allen, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and others as part of Another Honest Jon's Chop Up. He was invited by Albarn to be a collaborator on the Rocket Juice & the Moon supergroup project.

After a decade, M.anifest journeyed back home with a wealth of experience and begun buzzing in Africa while still making giant steps internationally. He released his sophomore album, Immigrant Chronicles: Coming to America in 2011, which earned him nominations for Best Rapper and Songwriter of the Year at the 2012 Ghana Music Awards. The album also received top ten albums of the year honours in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

In 2012, M.anifest was part of the historic Africa Express Train that toured the UK. In the same year he performed on the Big Brother Africa Stargame stage, a show telecast live to millions across the African continent. His music video for the single "Makaa Maka" was nominated for six 4syte TV Music Video Awards and won in the Best Hip-Hop category. He was also nominated in the Most Gifted Hip Hop category at the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards in South Africa, at which he performed.

The year 2014 saw the now-seasoned musician reaching for great new heights across many fields. He is a co-founder of Giants Steps, a conference for entrepreneurs and artists, and his original fashion sense earned him a brand ambassadorship with Woodin, a company that produces African textiles. After sweeping two awards at the 2013 Ghana Music Awards and solidifying his spot as one of contemporary Africa’s best live performers, M.anifest is currently working on music videos in support of his latest album, Apae: the Price of Free EP.