Let’s not abandon ‘Azonto’ genre in music – DWP Dance Academy US manager
US-based Ghanaian musician and manager of DWP Dance Academy’s US wing, Kweku William, has bemoaned the lack of support for the Azonto genre by Ghanaians.
According to him, the music genre is a cash cow for many outside Ghana and is pleading with industry players not to abandon it.
He told JoyNews’ Becky on E Vibes that “I know in Ghana we say we shouldn’t bring Azonto back but I have been begging Ghanaians not to give up on Azonto because it’s making a lot of money outside of Ghana, that’s why DWP and I started working. I started working with the dancers and eventually started managing them and it’s been huge.”
Azonto is a communicative dance believed to originate from “Apaa” which literally means to work. Apaa was used to show the profession of an individual. The azonto dance has since grown further to relay coded messages.
The dance later got into the minds of most Ghanaians. In the same year (2013), most Ghanaian music videos were full of Azonto dance and later spread to most African countries and other parts of the world.
Popular music researcher Jesse Weaver Shipley claims that like hip-life, the popularity of Azonto is a direct result of its interactions in the diaspora. Azonto is identified with Ghanaian indigeneity by those abroad and with cosmopolitanism by those at home.
K.William blends sounds from both cultures, with influences from across genres including; Highlife, Hip-life, Afrobeats, Afrodance, R&B, Soul and more. Kweku also serves as the CEO of Rising Phoenix Entertainment Group where he manages Dance with Purpose (DWP) Academy USA, a theatre and several other creatives.
K. is well known in the African community for his high-energy personality and his back-to-back hit songs such as “Hooli”, “Dangerous”, “Vybration”, “Somebody Daughter” amongst others.
He was the first Ghanaian artist to be hosted on a Major Stage production and brags of shows at the Barclays Center, 4 different college tours in 3 years and 3 headline shows in 2022 alone. He has also written songs for major TV shows including a recent feature on Netflix’s All American: Home Coming Season 3.
Two of his dance songs have been featured on National television in Russia and Romania. For K. William, the focus is not on being famous but rather build structure and bridging the gap between the world and African creatives.
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