OBRAFOUR looks back to his Pae Mu Ka album before his Obrafofro album



After eighteen years of piecing words together, wordsmith Michael Kwabena Okyere Darko known widely as Obrafour ahead of his European Tour granted YFMGhana.com’s Abdullai Isshak an exclusive look back at his Pae Mu Ka album.

What was the days before and after that introduction like?

I was very nervous because the crowd was huge. The album was being handled by Ohene Djan and we started our promotions from Brong Ahafo which was a Tour with Tic Tac, Nana Quame and the crowd was sizable. Those sizable crowds prepared me for what happened at the Independence Square. I had never seen a crowd like that in my life. I was scared but then when it was time to go on and I got Reggie to introduce me it was something else.

How long did it take to plan that?

It wasn’t planned, it was out of the blue, he happened to be there and he accepted it when it was suggested. Looking back I think all those events paved the way for me to get into the heart of Ghanaians. That moment was magic for me. It’s something indescribable. It was too much for me. After that performance, I realized how much I had really endeared myself into many Ghanaian hearts and it was too much for me and that prompted me to go talk to God and ask questions. It was very emotional for me.

How did Hammer feel after the crowd’s reaction to productions he had created?

By then Hammer had traveled to the US. He got the feedback that his boy had blown up big time and that’s why he returned to Ghana. He came back purposely to continue his music because he realized people loved his production.

How were the days after the performance like for you?

The funny thing is that after that performance I was still walking. I will pass by some people and they will start arguing as to whether it was me or not. Some even thought we were three and I was one of the guys from the Kwame Nkrumah video because people thought we were really a trio. But that idea was created by Ohene Djan who now runs OM Studios. That video was innovative and cleverly done.

Did your life change?

Of course! My life changed. There were a lot of changes. But the best thing was that I got embraced by my own family. Because at the time I decided to do music they were not happy. They thought I could be something better than a musician. It was quiet difficult and so I had to move from them to a friend for close to two to three years. It was when I got the break that they realized it was worth it and I had become profitable and they didn’t have any option but to buy into it. They couldn’t pretend anymore because my face was all over TV and my voice all over the radio. I never kept too many friends.

I had an inner circle, but it changed things because I used to play soccer with friends but when things started becoming good it was difficult to go out and play often. There are so many things my career stopped me from doing. It changed the way people related to me, they saw me with a different eye, they didn’t pamper me, it was about money. People thought you had finally made it and so anytime they met you they needed some few things from you. So many people were looking up to me financially and that brought a lot of pressure on me. Truth is, I had not really made it, I have said this time and again that Pae Mu Ka didn’t bring me much financially.

Part Two of Obrafour’s interview will be on YFMGhana.com on Thursday. He delves into the Originator of Hiplife debate, stardom, money and travelling around the world with his music…

Most celebrities start their careers clean but end up dabbling in drugs and more… what causes that?

When you think you have arrived and you have done and seen all there is to do and see, that’s when things get weird to you and it lead you into vices. I don’t credit myself with my achievement, so I’m not seeing myself as somebody who is above all the rest. That’s why I said I don’t really think I have changed that much. It’s not really Obrafour that has done so much to be where I am. I wouldn’t credit myself that much and think I’m the best and I won’t see myself below any one.

I’m a student of the Bible and I know I do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I have always thread my own path, it’s not that I’m recalcitrant or anything like that, I believe originality is what does it. You have to be original, you have got to be yourself all the time and keep banking on the promise that things will be okay. Nobody said it will be easy, they said it will be worth it, do your bit and God will do the rest.

Your choice of words when writing is unique, how do you choose your words?

Words they say are taken from other people, every word we have been using have been used several times. I try to rearrange words to sound new every time I create. A lot of thought goes into choosing my words, probably it’s a word that has been used over and over again but the way and manner I will use it, it will sound and get a new feel because of its place in the sentence. It boils down to being blessed. This language thing a gift and when you harness it well it gets you places. I thank God, my journey has been good.

What goes into recording your songs?

I have very conscious of myself lately. I’m not saying I’m perfect but I will strive to achieve near perfection. Sometimes words come and I go to the studio and record them but I would always want to listen to the song over and over again. When you listen to a song, the next time you listen to it, it’s a new thing. Unlike the “Pae Mu ka” days, my deep understanding of the scripture now makes me realize everything I do, I will be judged. I’m not a saint but I try.

This music is something I don’t do for myself. I do it for people so whatever word I put out there for the people to consume, I think about it a lot. I make sure what I put out there will have a good effect on the people. It makes the work a bit difficult but I enjoy it because piecing words together is my domain. Most people don’t really do what I do. So I care and make sure my words are clean and strike a chord with the people.

Which of your song is personal to you?

It used to be Maame but it changed because of what I went through. It was my story and it was very personal. On the last album, I channeled my story into a song I titled My Praise. That’s on the Asem Beba album. I don’t really like dueling on negativity and evil. I don’t like that but I mean that song is what I went through and how God saw me through it.  So any point in time it rings in my head I realize I’m not supposed to be here but I’m still here and someone made it possible.

I don’t know if it will change in the future. I don’t really listen to my own songs but that song, I listen to it a lot. I don’t listen to myself because I don’t want to be repetitive. I listen to it when I’m all by myself. I thank God for what he did for me and I’m still alive. It was more than the lowest point in my music career, it was the lowest point in my life. I wouldn’t have had a career if I wasn’t alive. For it to take that long for me to bounce back after going off the radar; I’m thankful. I’m talking about being caught between life and death here, so I know you understand.

Part Two of Obrafour’s interview will be on YFMGhana.com on Thursday. He delves into the Originator of Hiplife debate, stardom, money and travelling around the world with his music…

Have you always thought of outdoing yourself?

I think it was once that I thought about that. That was after the success of Pae Mu Ka, I was like, how do I topple Pae Mu Ka? But I realized it was what it was because my Asem Beba Dabi album was very good and I think I did a lot on that album. It had Ghetto Love, My Praise and more. First cut has always been the deepest so it’s difficult to forget because the memory with Pae Mu Ka and what it did is difficult to say at this point in time that you will do an album that will have the same effect as Pae Mu Ka had. It’s not financial, creativity or anything.

I’m talking about the impact it had on music lovers and with the impact I’m looking at the positive impact it had on people. Pae Mu Ka really cemented my status, it was the first one and it put me where I am today and I always thought of toppling it but it has to do with circumstances and trends. Can I be able to outdo Pae Mu Ka at this present moment? What I always look to do with my project is to vary my album to meet the demands of the people. It will be difficult because the various investment and energy is different from the various investments and energy I have on my current albums and that has been the problem. But I’m hoping my Obrafofro album makes a good impact the people.

Is Pae Mu Ka the greatest album of all time?

That’s what the people say. What I know is that it was a good album at the time it came because it was different. Let see what the man up there has for us going forward. We don’t know what we are missing until it arrives.

Part Two of Obrafour’s interview will be on YFMGhana.com on Thursday. He delves into the Originator of Hiplife debate, stardom, money and travelling around the world with his music…

YFMGhana.com/abdullai isshak

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