King Ayisoba

From the Upper East Region of Ghana, comes the rebel sound of a man ruling the roost with song, dance and regal Kologo power.


'As the style’s undisputed trailblazer, he brought kologo to sudden and dizzying popularity both at home and abroad, and finds himself with a lot of space to experiment. This is fierce, uncompromising music; Ayisoba himself is imperious throughout, urging proceedings on with his trademark vocal tones, half strangled yelp, half furious growl' — THE WIRE

The King is all out to get you. The way his raw and uplifting vocals gives real power to the songs, the way he delves deep into local traditions and pulls out new African flavours. Ricocheting between smooth and suave turns, then riffing off urbane Hip Life or rocking to tribal workouts, the King’s sonic voice and two string guitar with a calabash gourd resonator are the central centrifugic epicentre for the band who always deliver a floor filling show.

'It’s wonderful stuff, centred on Ayisoba’s signature instrument, a two-stringed lute-type contraption called a kologo. Obviously limited in its sonic scope, our dude provides rhythm and melody lines alike to hypnotic and strangely groovy effect … King Ayisoba’s four-strong band are a pulsing unit of clattering energy … I can barely imagine how slamming this stuff is when played live' — THE QUIETUS

2017's 1000 Can Die, the follow up to 2015's crossover hit Wicked Leaders, sees Ayisoba in full frenzied swing and alongside a full band for the first time. Abaadongo Adontanga, Ayuune Sulley, Gemeka Abobe Azure, Ayamga Francis were pulled together via Ayisoba and album producer Zea (the Ex’s Arnold de Boer). Alone or with beats, ultimately the power that propels 1000 Can Die comes from the band itself, from the sense of history that forms every piece of music. It’s there in every musician. They all go home and farm. They’re connected to the land, and the songs are part of the harvest they bring from the fields and from their own families.


Joe Hatt