Johannesburg - He’s just put pen to paper in what is possibly the biggest deal of his music career so far.
So, just how crazy were the celebrations for Ghanian Afropop singing sensation Stonebwoy following his signing with the globally renowned recording label Def Jam?
Surprisingly, the artist, whose real name is Livingston Satekla, says he hasn’t celebrated at all.
“I’m honestly yet to celebrate. I’m still taking it in. This is huge,” Satekla told the Saturday Star this week.
“We met the press, and it was amazing. Every top media house turned up. My fan base from across the world are also super elated. It’s all work mode for me right now. But I promise all of you will be there to celebrate with me when I finally do.”
Def Jam, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG) which has in its stable the likes of Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, and Jay Z, has now secured one of Ghana’s most pertinent superstars in Stonebwoy.
His signing comes as no surprise as the musician is regarded as one of the biggest musical talents in Africa.
He is no stranger to success either, having been the recipient of multiple awards such as Best International Act: Africa at the BET Awards, Artist of the Year at the Ghana Music Awards, and two Billboard plaques.
He has also been described as the king of ragga and dance hall in Africa and has duetted with international artists such as Keri Wilson, Sean Paul, Trey Songz, Burna Boy and Alpha Blondie.
He’s rocked stages from the UK to the USA, Australia, Italy, Puerto Rico and Amsterdam.
Satekla says he is delighted to have joined the prestigious Def Jam family.
“The Def Jam Family is a formidable and strong music family where super amazing legends and stars reside. To be the latest hand-picked member from Africa, specifically Ghana, is history made right there. And it tells you the potential I possess, which is worthy of world stage exposure.”
He says he didn’t hesitate to commit his future to the label.
“Over the years, I have built a very solid career all by myself and my team. We have achieved many applaudable feats, which singles us out among our peers and has ranked us among the very unique few African talents.”
He added that signing to the label had always been a childhood dream.
“These are the levels that I know I’m born and built to operate in, and I have worked so hard to push my career closest to the skies, and definitely by the divine authorities and favour of God have now been added to the league of legends.”
Satekla described his latest achievement as “huge”.
“This is how I am going to access the global stage to showcase my talents. This is very huge.”
As one of his first big moves under Def Jam, Satekla will release his new single Therapy.
“This is the Therapy the world has been missing. Now, here we go with it. This is a song that’s a blend of Afrobeats / dancehall / and RnB. The very elements that I represent as an African artist.
“My fans and loved ones have been starved for six or seven months, and when we finally dropped the song amid the announcement, it was a combined feeling of sweetness for them – amazing sound, refined approach, solid delivery, same Stonebwoy but highly improved taste. This song is indeed the therapy.”
He says signing for Def Jam would also have a significant impact on his country of Ghana.
“It means elevation to the next level for the Ghanaian music industry because every height that is attained by any Ghanaian musician adds up to the growth of the industry as a whole. We are happy to use this opportunity to continue to push the Ghanaian sound and talents to contribute our quota to the African endeavour on the global scene.
“A Ghetto boy from Ashaiman ... this story will continue to elevate and give hope to the grassroots, the less privileged; the needy and the poor will continue to be fed. Vision and dreams will remain achievable.”
Asked who he would love to collaborate with from the Def Jam family, Satekla says: “Rihanna, Kanye, Jay Z are my topmost vision collaborations. But any artist from the roster that fits whatever creativity at a time I’ll gladly work with.”
Meanwhile, Sipho Dlamini, CEO of Universal Music in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, says he is excited to add yet another African megastar to the label.
“Stonebwoy is a true African talent. He works to lift the heart and spirit of those around him whilst producing fresh sounds that keep blowing the world away. We look forward to what 2022 has in store for him,” says Dlamini.
Def Jam chairperson and CEO Tunji Balogun said they were delighted to have secured the Ghanaian musician.
“I’m excited to welcome Stonebwoy to the Def Jam family. The Def Jam brand is recognized all over the world as a stamp of excellence in Black music, and as we continue to strengthen our musical bond in important markets like Africa and the UK, its dynamic, talented artists like Stonebwoy that will lead the way.
“This is great music from a special artist who needs to be heard everywhere.”