Life, Adulting and Bonding. 99Phaces Made a Tape
Ghanaian Collective 99Phaces releases new album
Written By Nana Kojo Mula
Collaboration and partnerships have always been strong pillars of society. In the creative space, people are always collaborating to bridge the gap between one market and another. For others, it serves as a means to maximize reach and audience. We have seen collaborations that have created opportunities for musicians in the fashion industry, designers in the movie industry and so forth. In the music industry, collaborations have always been a tool to create opportunities and maximize popularity. One of the best forms of collaboration is the creation of collectives or groups where people with different talents join forces to pursue a common goal. Ghana’s music space has been home to some amazing groups and collectives who have achieved great feats in the industry. One of the latest additions is the collective 99Phaces.
Made up of different personalities and creatives who possess a diverse range of talents, the solo acts believe working together would not only maximize their potential but would encourage others to collaborate and sell Ghanaian music. While they were collaborating among themselves on their solo works, their love and bond grew stronger and in the end, they made a tape. They gave us a taste of what they have to offer with the song Kiddie Time released last year as an introductory song. They officially announced their presence with their debut tape “So We Made a Tape”. The 8-track tape features members of the collective Freddie Gambini, Moffy, CozyPols, Mēl, Insvne Auggie and non-member Baaba J. Listening to the project, each song has a connection to each person’s personality and the collective reality they face as young creatives in Ghana. The elements and genres of the song range from Afrobeat, hip-hop and pop.
Stand Firm the intro to the tape, is a prayer-filled song where the collective reflects on the things they have encountered in their careers up to this point. The life of an artiste from these parts is never an easy thing. For independent acts, you have to put in twice the work if you want to have any shot at stardom and fame. In your attempt to make it, there are lots of challenges which drain you which leads you to make some decisions which many may not understand. Just like Stand Firm, songs like Demons and Survive all echo their stories of survival in this music-making journey and life in general. It gets tough and sometimes you ask yourself if it is all worth it. Those are valid questions but it is in times like that you should move strong. There will always be people making you out to be the bad guy but do not let that get to you. Embrace your demons and focus on your journey. Keep your head up and always say a prayer for survival.
For a bunch of young people, 99Phaces seem to have seen a lot of shege. In the song Brotherman, they talk about how it is important for young people to continuously stay focused and cut their coats according to their size. It is good to enjoy life from time to time just like this writer does when he gets a chilled can of orijin and a bowl of fufu. However, when you are linking up with your homies to chill you need to be mindful of the people that come around. “Brotherman if you don’t stack up you go fall oh my guy”.Truer words have never been said. Money makes the world go round and it is the only thing that can guarantee love and respect from people. But in stacking up, you need to keep in mind that “nipa trim y3sum” as preached by Pastor Pols and always remember “if you no get dime you stay funny. All the girlies no go look face”
For people that said nipa y3 bad, it seems the ones are going around doing the bad. On Sorry, they relive the fan and good times they had with their love interests and how they ended things badly. For people who are now friends with their Demons, trust them to move like the devil to leave you when you least expected it. The song is their attempt of seeking forgiveness for how they treated their loved ones. As a young hustler, there are moments you need to leave the ones you love the most just to chase the dream. It is a difficult decision, but trust that they will understand you.
The lead single of the tape Kiddie Time takes us back to the days were young, naive and full of life. Naive because no one truly tells you the challenges that come with being an adult. Every day on social media, you see people sharing how difficult adulting is. No one prepares you for the heartbreaks, the betrayals, the unemployment, and all the other wahala that comes.
The Tape by 99Phaces is a very enjoyable project with some beautiful displays of artistry. The backup vocals, delivery and writing make the tape an easy listen. The production is very refreshing with some songs having beautiful strings and chords which are pleasing to the ear. Two songs that give the tape a much more refreshing feel are Baaba’s song and MLHNAYS’s interlude. On first listen it did not click the was a song between Sorry and Survive. That transition from Sorry to Survive through Mel’s interlude is perhaps one of the smoothest transitions I have heard on a tape this year. The interlude feels like an extension of Sorry and syncs in well into the last song on the tape. I wished the tape had extra themes to it but then again it feels right just the way it is for an introductory tape. It is not every day artists share the challenges in their reality. You can stream So We Made A Tape by 99Phaces out now on all platforms.
About The Writer
Nana Kojo Mula is a Creative Art Enthusiast who loves to document Ghanaian Creative stories through his writing. Follow him on social media