Kobi Onyame Versus the Artist

Bumi Thomas (England), Hakeem Adam (Ghana), Selorm Jay (Ghana), 
Ashanti Harris(Scotland), Ayọ̀ Akínwándé (Nigeria), Sulaïman Majali (Scotland). 

1 March - 3 April 2018

In November 2017, Glasgow based, Ghanaian musician, Kobi Onyame, approached The Gallow Gate to develop a project that responded to his new album, Gold. Gold is Onyame's third ablum and was released in September 2017 following a staggered, online reveal where the artist unveiled the album track by track over six months. This album draws from Onyame's Ghanaian heritage, influenced by highlife music which he would hear his mum and dad play in his childhood.

Following an open call for creative practitioners, we selected five artists who responded to 1-2 tracks from Onyame's album. The artists were Ashanti Harris, Ayọ̀ Akínwándé , Bumi Thomas, Hakeem Adam, Sulaïman Majali, Selorm Jay.

This project explores the process of making music and the subsequent interconnectivity between art forms. The album presents a complex collection of reflections that consider globalisation, hope, identity, privilege, and post-colonialism. Onyame was interested in exploring ways in which the songs could be unpacked and distorted by handing them over to another artist, simultaneously exploring where music overlaps with literature, literature overlaps with dance and beyond through a dialogue that not only uses the album as a point of departure for discussion, but also the artists’ own identities and the ways in which collaboration can bolster, challenge and inspire one another.

As part of the project, we hosted a series of conversations around the tracks on the album with artists and invited guests. You can listen back to these podcasts now:

Kobi Onyame Versus Sulaiman Majali and M.anifest
Kobi Onyame Versus Ashanti Harris


Kobi Onyame

UK-based, Ghanaian artist, Kobi Onyame's music has been creating music for over ten years, releasing his third album Gold in late 2017. His music is a melting pot of traditional hip-hop and Ghanaian rhythms such as highlife and hiplife, creating uplifting music that draws heavily on West African culture — both sonically and visually. Onyame is an award winning artist and has collaborated internationally with artists including M3nsa, Wanlov the Kubalor, whilst also supporting musical greats such as Kanye West, Nas, Wu Tang Clan and De La Soul. GOld is available to buy via http://www.kobionyame.com/

Hakeem Adam 
Hakeem Adam is an artist in learning and instinctive creative exploring the power of narrative as a tool for deconstructing society through various mediums. He is also the founder and creative director of DANDANO, a Pan-African cultural platform for African film and music criticism. His prose and poetry have been featured in African literary magazines, Afreada, Brittle Paper and as part of an anthology of short stories by Flash Fiction Ghana. He recently completed a degree in Psychology and English at the University of Ghana, focusing on Creative Writing. His work is fixated on the fabrics of contemporary Ghanaian society and is exploring ways to unravel the threads that bind through storytelling.
hakeemadam.wordpress.com / africanfilmandmusicclassic.wordpress.com
www.twitter.com/mansah_hakeem / www.instagram.com/mansah_hakeem

Bumi Thomas 
Bumi Thomas is a dynamic contemporary Nigerian, acoustic Jazz-folk-soul singer and songwriter whose style is inspired by her multicultural heritage. Her music explores identity, displacement, sensuality, Love, spirituality, nostalgia, cross-culturism and Afro Futurism.

With a background in Fine Art Media & Visual Communication, her making practice represents the journey of a modern African creative in the Diaspora, encapsulating her evolution as a woman in the 21st century. The ethos of her creative and social policy is deeply rooted in transcending boundaries and the opportunities to drive positive change using art and music as the mechanism of empowerment by facilitating inter-cultural dialogue.

Bumi received the Womatt Best of British (BOB) Award for Best Solo Newcomer in 2011for pioneering achievements in the United Kingdom presenting African music and culture. She is an ambassador for FORWARD UK a charity set up to safeguard women’s rights. Her debut EP Feather Pearl was released in 2014. Bumi's more recent collaborations include work with Moroccan Photographer Hassan Hajjaj as part of the 'La Caravane' Exhibition currently on Display at Somerset House till 7th Jan 2018.
www.facebook.com/BumiThomasMusic / www.twitter.com/bumithomas / www.instagram.com/bumisees 

Sulaïman Majali 
SulaïmanMajali (b. 1991;London) is a Glasgow based artist,film-maker, writer and educator exhibiting internationally. The work is an interrogation of our relationships with the political in a post-globalised, post-orientalist age of anxiety with an emphasis on the poetic and the strange(r). Within this practice,‘Post-’is not considered as meaning ‘After-’ but rather as ‘Crisis of-’.

Majali has been referenced in Tohu Magazine (Occupied Palestine) as an emerging thinker in the critique and investigation of emerging speculative futurities in the region*. Sulaïman Majali appeared as a notable figure in Dr.Reynaldo Anderson’s keynote lecture ‘Dark Speculative Futurity and the Rise of Neo-Nationalism/Afrofuturism, Arabfuturism and the Search for New Dimensions’ at the first conference on futurity in the region* and continues to collaboratively establish new thought on the diasporic within Europe and the Global North. Most recently, Majali’s practice and research has been centred on anti-blackness within the Arab diaspora and has expanded through the formation of ‘Forum for Quantum Diasporics’; - ‘a cache and archive and self-assembling part of a dispersed virtual research apparatus.’

Recent work was shown as part of group show Mene Mene Tekel Parsin at Wysing Arts Centre; (towards a possible manifesto), Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, CCA Glasgow and the 8th Cairo Video Arts Festival.


Ayọ̀ Akínwándé 
Ayọ̀ Akínwándé is a trained architect, photographer, and multimedia artist whose growing practice involves experimentation with photography, installation, performance, video and sound in exploring the concepts of identity, perception, duality, and the multi-faceted layers of the human reality. At the core of his practice is a concern for contemporary life from a West African perspective via investigating rituals, myths, traditions and routines that serve as lenses on the social condition in Nigeria

Akínwándé co-curated the 1st Lagos Biennial of contemporary arts and was also one of the participating artists at the show which held at the Nigerian Railway Museum. He was selected for the 2nd Changjiang International Photography and Video Biennale and was also part of the “Chinafrika. under construction” show at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Leipzig.
www.facebook.com/iamayoakinwande / www.instagram.com/iamayoakinwande / www.twitter.com/iamayoakinwande


Selorm Jay 
Selorm Jay is a freelance, self-taught photographer, filmmaker and producer based in Accra, Ghana. He is naturally drawn to photography and fueled to create photos and films that respond to his environment and the beauty in it.

As a response to a vibrant creative sector in his home-city, Selorm Jay created a hip hop platform called yoyo tinz. It is aimed at documenting, archiving and promoting creative culture in Ghana. Jay also runs a photography and video business called Fullish art, where he expresses himself through challenges, mistakes, love and fun, working with clients locally and internationally, including UNICEF Ghana, Aljazeera, Sam Sam Magazine (NL), Accra Dot Alt (Ghana), Alliance Française Accra.
facebook.com/yoyotinz / twitter.com/yoyotinz / instagram.com/yoyotinz


Ashanti Harris 
Ashanti Harris is an artist, teacher and community activist, working with dance, performance and installation. Harris' work focuses on themes of mobilities - the movement of people, ideas and things as well as the broader social implications of these movements, specifically in relation to the diaspora of West Africa and The Caribbean.

Harris' current research is concerned with the body as a repository of incorporated histories which are communicated through dance and movement practices. As part of her creative practice, she also works collaboratively as part of the collective Glasgow Open Dance School (G.O.D.S) – facilitating movement workshops, research groups and collaborative performances; and as co-lead artist for Project X – a creative education programme, platforming the dances of the African diaspora.



This exhibition is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and Glasgow Connected Arts Network.