Every year, we look forward to BLITZ THE AMBASSADOR coming home. Producing the MC’s concert in Accra over the years has always excited us. We not only count him as friend but also an amazing live performer.
The way Blitz gets the crowd invested in each show is a how-to manual for Ghanaian artists on the come up. He truly lives out his name – i.e., “a sudden, energetic, and concerted effort, typically on a specific task.” In this case, it’s music. A sound that hits your heart like the Accra heat. Sharp, intense, and fast.
Over the last five years, in particular, Blitz has been able to take his music around the globe, booking tours across Europe and now reaching East and Southern Africa, the Middle East and parts of Latin America. He’s easily one of the hardest guys working in the music business. Blitz composes and arranges music and produces his shows. He’s also a graphic designer who creates T-shirts, caps, records and other merchandise. Add to this writer, model and filmmaker.
Not bad for an artist in today’s volatile economy. Not bad at all for an independent artist who’s made dreams manifest from steel will, quick feet and deep passion.
That’s what we witnessed at Club 45 last Saturday. The outdoor stage created the right atmosphere for the crowd to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, heads nodding, fists pumping and energy ripping for nearly three hours.
Blitz, who arrived in Accra only two days before, decided to source the entire band locally. A different move for the MC who, on previous occasions, has matched Accra instrumentalists with players from NYC and France. The boys were bad. Groove Agent pulled off a sonic feat – clear, crisp horns, funky drums, down and dirty bass, trill keys – having only two rehearsals with Blitz before the show. Really like one full rehearsal, Blitz laughs, since the second was interrupted by light on/light off much of the time. Welcome to what it’s like to make music in Accra these days.
Speaking of dumsor, Blitz launched into some new material (for the new album out next month, Diasporadical) and even shared an anthem, “Get Involved,” that had everyone chanting aloud. The song urges young people to speak out about critical issues affecting life in Ghana like the inconsistent electricity that’s been plaguing the country since last year. Highlights of the show include an opening DJ set by wonderkid STELOO and the lovely hypeman antics of Simpol Tinz, the MC for the night.
A surprise performance by M.anifest had the crowd cheering as he remixed “Dikembe” live with Blitz.The two MCs hail from Madina (in greater Accra). The rapper shared with the audience that “Blitz is the longest person I’ve known musically.” M.anifest showed mad love despite the fact that he was also hosting his annual concert, the Madina Block Party, on the same night.
After chronicling through hits from Stereotype (2009), Native Sun (2011) and Afropolitan Dreams (2014), Blitz and the band attempted to leave the stage. But the people began to sound “Encore! Encore!” refusing to be silenced. Blitz obliged and came through with another 4-song round, including a rousing repeat performance of “African in New York.”
If you missed the show, sorry oh! For those who took part, relive the fun.
Check out even more images from the Blitz the Ambassador show in Accra below, photographed by Kobe Subramaniam.