Unforgettable Ghana and Nigeria music collaborations

One of such strategies includes collaboration which essentially amplifies the strengths of all parties involved across their fanbases and is an exchange of co-signs by so doing. To highlight the power of collaborations and how they’ve helped strengthen the relationship between Ghana and Nigeria, here’s a list of some unforgettable Nigerian and Ghanaian music collaborations, from the early 2000s to recent times:

1. Fefe Na Fe- Tic Tac ft. Tony Tetuila, 2004

A line from an Ashanti proverb, Fefe na efe had already been demystified by the late Fela Kuti to mean ‘it is the beauty of a woman.’ And then when the Ghanaian hiplife musician Tic Tac had recruited Nigeria’s Tony Tetuila on a similarly titled record, they’d put out something so fresh and evergreen, a brief listen will act as an instant memory recall of the song for Ghana and Nigeria-born 90s babies and millennials.

An ode to the beauty of a woman, Fefe Na Efe can stand toe-to-toe with the latest African woman appreciation songs out in recent times.

2.Kiss Your Hand- R2Bees ft. Wande Coal, 2009

In present time Lagos state and at a gathering of young Nigerians, a certified way to get them on their feet is to put on the Wande Coal-featured Kiss Your Hand dancehall-inflected hiplife record by R2Bees.

You turn the volume all the way up from the adlibs on the intro that go ‘Ratata! It’s Wande Coal!’ And watch the party get started.

Such was and still is the Black Diamond and R2Bees effect, making a Ghana-Nigerian collaboration that is not only unforgettable but incredibly iconic.

Ironically, Wande Coal himself had before that put out a similarly titled record as one of the masterpieces off his debut album, Mushin 2 Mohits, but as fate would have it, it was the cultural exchange that would be the anthem and the soundtrack of the 90s baby’s childhood.

3. Becca- No Away ft M.I Abaga, 2012

In 2012, Becca, one of Ghana’s top vocalists decided that the men had had too much fun representing Ghana all by themselves where the Ghana-Naija musical crossovers were concerned and stepped in to put her spin on things.

For this, she’d recruited iconic rapper, M.I Abaga, moulding him into a lover boy for their romantic collab on No Away which was soon followed by equally moving vocals that had shippers rooting for the duo.

4.Slow Down- R2Bees ft. Wizkid, 2013

Hiplife was at the very core of Ghanaian music back in the noughties and 2010s and the R2Bees duo made up of Mugeez and Omar Sterling had greatly blessed the subgenre not only with their talent but with era-defining collaborations.

This is a feat they sealed four years after their Kiss Your Hand smash hit, this time with a slow-paced number that travelled past being for lovers alone to being for music lovers as Ghanaians and Nigerians everywhere crooned along to Wizkid’s laidback lines on the song and then to rap song lines from R2Bees.

The official video of Slow Down which marked Wizkid’s entry into continental currently sits on 21 million views on YouTube as a slight testament to the power that this collaboration holds.

5.Skin Tight- Mr Eazi ft. Efya, 2015

In the late 2010s, a sound had infected the airwaves of Ghana and Nigeria and it was the Ghanaian-bred Banku music, pioneered by Mr Eazi, a cultural hybrid of his Nigerian roots and time studying in Ghana.

The sound had begun its circulation following the release of his Juls-produced and Efya-assisted single Skin Tight, done up in his Banku style which he described as a mix of Ghanaian expressions and Nigerian chord progressions.

Juls and Efya both being Ghanaians, had been the perfect collaborators for the track, with Juls who’d reached out to him earlier on in his career, serving as a catalyst to the growth of Eazi’s sound and Efya becoming a long-running Nigerian collaborator afterwards.

Skin Tight by Mr Eazi had not only grown into a smash hit, but was an entire cultural reset and era for Nigerians and Ghanaians, both consumers and creators as it influenced a lot of choices from then on and remains a favourite till now.

6.No Kissing Baby- Patoranking ft. Sarkodie, 2016

Much like the opening of a portal, the boon in the Ghanaian and Nigerian music scene as influenced by their collaborations, had led to a further increase in collaborations during the period and it had given us the Patoranking banku-inflected dancehall anthem, No Kissing Baby.

Making Patoranking’s first international collab, it had given Ghanaians and Nigerians one of the smoothest Sarkodie guest verses even while he enjoyed an insane run in the music scene.

7.Painkiller- Sarkodie ft Runtown, 2017

Years after the cataclysmic success of Runtown’s Mad Over You record, the singer would admit that it was a blessing and a curse. While he meant the latter as a result of the weight of expectations it left behind, it was undoubtedly a blessing in its establishment of the blend of Ghanaian Banku and Igbo Highlife that was soon reapplied to create Sarkodie’s Painkiller.

On Painkiller, the rapid-fire spitting Sarkodie had flowed at par with Runtown’s chill tempo to cement the chokehold that the Ghanaian-originated Banku music had had on the airwaves of the countries and had given music lovers an unforgettable anthem.

8.Na Wash- Becca ft Patoranking, 2017

A leading lady in a male-dominated scene, Becca had put out Na Wash in early 2017 to re-assert her stake in the scene. This time, she’d featured Patoranking and they’d made a hit record that traversed the borders of Ghana to become a hit record in the two countries.

A song satirising the modern standards of showing love, it had been aptly released on Valentines Day with her and Patoranking serving as the perfect music making couple.

9.Forever Rmx- Gyakie ft Omah Lay, 2021

Gyakie’s Forever off her debut EP, Seed was already a huge hit, but she’d been shrewd enough to see the advantage in a collaboration to make a remix that would further strengthen the impact of her breakout hit.

For this, she’d chosen a fellow breakout sensation in the Nigerian Omah Lay who laid a verse so cohesive, it felt like the original and had found even better placement on the charts.

10.Second Sermon- Black Sherif, Burna Boy, 2021

Ghanaian Black Sherif had been steadily making a name for himself and growing a cult following from Ghana and Nigeria with his hard-hitting iteration of Ghanaian drill, his Second Sermon being a favourite thrumming beneath the mainstream.

His status soon changed after Nigerian megastar Burna Boy jumped on the record and gave it a befittingly rage-filled verse that soon became its remix.

Known for his energetic performances and high expectations from his audience, Burna Boy had instructed fans to learn the lyrics for the remix of Second Sermon prior to his Lagos headline show, further helping to convert his fans to believers in Black Sheirf’s sermon.

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