Tired and almost sleep-walking to the boarding gate, I was off to Hanover in Germany, excited to attend yet another Obrafour concert. This is an artist and a musical philosopher I grew up in Ghana learning his lyrics—and despite having become good friends with him in the course of my writing career, it’s always refreshing to see him perform, a craft he has fully mastered with time.
About two decades ago when the HipLife civilisation was finding its feet on the back of rudimentary lyrics and beats, Obrafour served us with Pae-Mu Ka, arguably HipLife’s best album of all time, glossed with lyrical substance none at the time could compete.
Since his first album, Obrafour has matured in many ways, notably his stage craft, but his lyrics, which were fully developed during his career infancy remain unchanged, albeit, unfettered when it comes to the scale of impact.
With an enviable repertoire of great songs, Obrafour has a signature performance style when it comes to concerts—at least well known to those of us who have been privileged to have seen him perform numerous times and even ride along on tours with him, like his recent Europe Tour which started in Belgium, amplified in Germany and came to an epic end in Spain.
Obrafour rides on a classic artist’s performance pattern and it works well for him because he has back to back hits, from his genesis to today.
After an exciting performance from rapper-2Ras, another talented Ghanaian rapper in Hanover, Germany, Obrafour got everyone at Hanover’s Bauweg on their feet, dropping his first song of the night from his Pae-Mu-Ka album and walking the crowd who had gathered at the venue through his musical journey. At each point, with each song somewhat igniting and capturing the zeitgeist of that period when the song was released.
After about an hour of thrilling performance, one of Obrafour’s contemporary songs, Pimpinaa ft Bisa Kdei, was dropped and the crowd excitedly jumped—this was a common euphoria anytime each song was dropped, right from beginning to the end of the about 2 hours performance.
Of course, there was the usual acapella sessions, which was thoughtfully employed by the legend musician to build up enthusiasm and catch-up on the needed energy to keep thrilling the patrons whose energy filled dance moves, were awkwardly unique. These were Ghanaian-Germans—and therefore you can imagine. They were happily loud.
Moesha, I don’t mean the Instagram character, but her name was on the lips of everyone—compelling Obrafour to perform his hit song “Moesha” twice. And both times, all feet were raving on the floor, with some Moesha-kinda waists and butts, bending everywhere in the auditorium.
It was a triumphant concert, and it did set the excitement in motion for the next stop, which was a huge club performance in Berlin on 30 December 2018.
A week after his electrifying performance in Germany, the Obrafour’s Europe tour bus made a scheduled stop at Zaragoza in Spain—about 315 KM from Barcelona.
Zaragoza, the capital of northeastern Spain’s Aragon region has a huge Ghanaian population and therefore it was a perfect choice for Obrafour to end his tour.
Obrafour mounted the stage late, at around 1am but the patrons were alert—edgily waiting to see him perform. The talk, before his appearance, was—whether he was indeed in town or not.
The reception he received when he appeared on stage with his long locks dangling behind him was super-impressive. The gathered crowd, men and women, were ecstatic and were all almost ancillary performers.
It’s not just the name Obrafour which is popular, all his songs enjoy the same level of fame and the people of Zaragoza reminded him that, he has been part of their musical lives—for a very long time.
At a point during his performance, ‘Kasiebo ft Guru’ was dropped and Obrafour stopped the performance to ask if anyone in the crowd could perform the Guru verse as the musician was not present at the concert.
Here, he got served, more than he had bargained for. A gentleman jumped out of the crowd, grabbed the mic and “killed” Guru’s verse and even proceeded to steal a minute of Obrafour’s shine, by firing out his verse too.
Apparently, Zaragoza has over the years received just a few Ghanaian artists and therefore an artiste of Obrafour’s status, making an appearance in town caught fire, among the Ghanaians who live there.
It was an exhilarating night and as usual, “Moesha” was the loudest as the crowd’s excitement seemed to have reached it peak after the song was performed.
After the concert, Obrafour had to be literally dragged into a car. The fans wouldn’t let him go and outside the venue, in the cold, they queued and begged for photographs with him.
I jumped in his ride to the hotel and he was a fulfilled artist—for he has lived to the tale with another epic performance.
Obrafour’s Europe tour was organised by Gye-Nyame Entertainment and Young Mission, and it was proudly sponsored by GIHOC Distilleries.