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EKELEBE: Stonebwoy Seeks Creative Freedom with a New Deal

Stonebwoy has been banging on the doors of the international music community for a while now, wanting to be in the conversations of now-global superstars such as Burna Boy and Davido, and it looks like he might get his big break with his new deal.

Ghanaian music star, Stonebwoy, has been banging on the doors of the international music community for a while now, wanting to be in the conversations of now-global superstars such as Burna Boy and Davido, and it looks like he might get his big break with his new deal.

Stonebwoy has just sealed a global distribution deal with Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) Worldwide, the independent music distribution arm of Warner Music Group, for his forthcoming album set to be released this year. The deal came with the release of his latest single ‘EKELEBE’ which features Nigerian rapper Odumodublvck.

Before this deal was made official, Stonebwoy was seen with the Nigerian rapper on the stage of the All African Games closing ceremony.  Lots of Ghanaians were of the view that given this opportunity to project Ghana to the world, the ‘Into the Future’ singer should have taken to the stage with another less-known artist from Ghana. With this announcement, it is evident that Stonebwoy is looking more toward developing an African voice.

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STONEBWOY

“This deal marks another stride forward in bringing my music to the global stage via ADA’S network. My aim has always been to unite people through the fusion of African music Afrobeats, reggae, dancehall, R&B, and Hip hop,” said Stonebwoy, the 2022 Def Jam Records signee.

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When 1GAD signed with Universal Music Group through Def Jam Recordings and Def Jam Africa, the vision was to go global with his African Dancehall sound. His 5th Dimension album from 2023 released on the Def Jam Label was graced by Stormzy, Davido, Angelique Kidjo, Shaggy, Mereba, Tiwa Savage, and a host of other artists who were to catalyze propelling his sound globally.

Although the album did well, debuting No. 8 on the Billboard World Reggae Albums, he hasn’t hit the heights he looked to.

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“They say creativity flourishes in freedom, so owning my creativity is essential for me to make a meaningful contribution to the global music landscape,” the Dancehall artiste said.

What this new deal offers is the freedom to create on his own and still fly high on the wings of ADA Worldwide. The forthcoming album will be under his independent label, Burniton Music Group.

Is it a great time to be a fan of the dancehall artiste? Certainly. Over the years, he has been seeking perfection and the global spark. Songs like Nominate and Into the Future have come close, although they did not have the global and viral appeal he would have wanted.

His last album felt less for the homegrown fans than for the international market (a hook to show he could do it like the other acts making waves). The songs were made with global hits in mind and the indigenous appeal which he had been known for for so long was foesaken.

Will we see the Stonebwoy of old soon? It seems less likely as he veers more and more into the African foray. Using his new single as the yardstick, he is venturing into more sounds that have become characteristic of the African music scene recently. But he can be pardoned, the catalogue that he has built over the period speaks for itself. As he ventures into acceptable African music forms that now dominate the world, we can only hope that there is always something for the Ghanaian faithful.

The new single ‘EKELEBE’ is out now on all streaming platforms with the official music video featuring Ghanaian influencer, SDK, also out now on YouTube.

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