Mon. June 6, 2022
Back at it again with another awesome update.. and this one’s an even rarer occasion! Ghanaian rapper/producer/all around unique musical force Ata Kak finally touches down in Vancouver for a very special live show at the Hollywood Theatre on October 15th. We first came into contact with Ata Kak’s music via Awesome Tapes From Africa by way of our friends at Pacific Rhythm (who booked him multiple times over the years for some very memorable Vancouver gigs).
Word on the street is that this may be one of his last jaunts to N. America, so this is a very rare opportunity to catch his incredibly fun live show. If you aren’t totally up on his remarkable story (and retroactive rise to fame), make sure to get properly caught up by watching the RBMA documentary about him & AATFA (as seen below). It’s a truly special piece of cultural documentation that’s equal parts informative, touching and inspiring.
Ata Kak is the mysterious Ghanaian electronic/rap/highlife icon who kick-started the whole Awesome Tapes From Africa phenomenon. After a long wait he has now started to play his first ever live performances in Europe.
Ata Kak’s Obaa Sima cassette fell on deaf ears when it was first self-released in Ghana in 1994 but when American musicologist Brian Shimkovitz stumbled upon the tape at a street stall in Cape Coast, Ghana eight years later it became the stimulus for him to launch his Awesome Tapes from Africa blog, writing in his inaugural post: ‘This is it. The song is called Moma Yendodo. You may never hear anything like this elsewhere. No one I know in Ghana listens to this frenetic leftfield rap madness.‘
The music on the recording – an amalgam of highlife, Twi-language rap, funk, hip-hop and electronica – traverses a pop music landscape that encapsulates international modes while reflecting contemporary Ghanaian music of the period. Presented with the sweaty passion of a Prince record and the lo-fi recording charm of early Chicago house music, Obaa Sima’s joyous soul and casual brilliance made the enigmatic Ata Kak an underground internet sensation and a party-starter the world over. After more than a decade of searching Brian finally tracked down the singer and released the LP officially in March 2015.