The beauty of the reggae genre is that impactful, blunt words could be said through music that feels celebratory and uplifting. Tradition Man Wolo through his brand new debut album Reggae Man is not only talking about matters close to his heart but also bringing forth some playful tracks that you could groove on to.
Tradition Man Wolo, a Ghanaian artist combines flavours of his homeland with words that stir you and make you think. The ingenuity of Tradition Man Wolo lies in combining controversial words like “imperialism” and “colonialism” with soulful and heartwarming beats, and that too with such ease. His grace in intertwining important social and political issues with joyful, nonchalant, and uplifting music is something to sing praises of.
Lyrics like “Slavery days have come back again like a gunshot, in a different style” not only throw light on ever so existent racism in the U.S. but also on Tradition Man Wolo’s excellent songwriting skills. Reggae Man offers a broad spectrum of emotions. From love for homeland and egalitarianism to affection and humour, every song stirs a unique emotion and conveys a unique message. While songs like “Come Home” and “Back Again” present some strong narratives, “The Lady in Red” and “This Feeling” are some sweet mushy tracks that lure you into daydreaming about your lover. The best thing about Reggae Man is its playful aura. No matter what the subject of the song is, Tradition Man Wolo’s charming vocals, soft playful beats, and jovial tunes easily manage to lift your spirits. Moreover, each track brings forth a homely and welcoming vibe that feels like folklore from your own town. This is the beauty of art born out of the artist’s love for their homeland. Whatever the background might be, the warmth of such art always manages to fill your soul.
Reggae Man is an album that Tradition Man Wolo curated with extreme precision. He knew exactly what he wanted. The rich soulful textures of songs like Reggae Man Skank are enough proof of Tradition Man Wolo’s artistic range and versatility. And yes, speaking of versatility, I must mention the seven colours of a rainbow that this album is. Not only does each song has distinct influences in terms of the setting and subject, but the tunes as well feel unique. “Come Home” is one of the most catchy, charming, and easy-going elements of this album that solidifies the image of Tradition Man Wolo as a great reggae artist, almost immediately!
The album’s persistent charm easily manages to lift your spirits. You would not only find yourself conforming to the lyrics but also falling for the album’s cheerful aura. If you like music that not only instils joy into the air around you but also presents some strong social perspectives, Reggae Man is a great listen!
Let’s know what Tradition Man Wolo has to say about Reggae Man!
1. What according to you is the message or motive of Reggae Man?
Is there something that you want every listener to take from this album?
Reggae Man is purposefully a multi-themed album, covering songs about roots and consciousness (Come Home, Back Again), intellectual/teaching (Book Of Rules), love (This Your Rebound Love, Lady In Red) and playfulness/partying (This Feeling, Reggae Man Skank)… I really want people to embrace the breadth of the album as it represents our many dimensions.
2. What drove you to create Reggae Man; an album that feels personal
and yet also has nuances of a strongly opinionated artist?
My initial thought in terms of introducing myself as an artist to the world was to come out with singles covering the various topics represented on the album. After finishing the love songs, I took a 3-month hiatus from recording and music. Once I got back into the studio, I became driven to finish this as an album rather than singles. The title of the album “Reggae Man” is meant as a representation of the multi-themed nature of the genre of reggae.
3. How important was it for you to talk about racism through your
songs? Is expressionism an important element of your music?
It is very important to talk about racism, but even more important to talk about the issues of the time. In doing this, the idea is to be bold and factual but not accusatory. The idea is geared towards painting the picture of things we all see but fail to acknowledge even to ourselves. As an example, how could you look at the criminal justice system in the USA and not see that many aspects of it seem like slavery and Jim Crow?
4. Name your favourite track from the album. What drove you to create
I don’t have a favourite track on the album, I love them all:). I will say however that “reggae man skank”, a song that talks about the process of creating music with the idea of reaching people deeply and the pleasure an artist derives from seeing peoples reactions to their creation is a song that was fun to write and record. I wrote it as a way to capture my process of creating music. “Come Home” is also unique in the sense that I recorded it in response to the suspension of “homecoming season travel to Ghana” by Africans in the diaspora over the last 2 years due to the pandemic, so I recorded it to help folks keep hope alive until the pandemic receded.
5. Finally, please tell us about where you derived inspiration from to
create such awesome music?
I am a student of reggae music and I derive inspiration from the greats – Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Jimmy Cliff, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Beres Hammond etc. For this album, in particular, I felt a strong desire to make music for the times we are in that is at the same time soothing, affectionate, honest and approachable even with difficult subjects.
Listen to this album by Tradition Man Wolo here:
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Discovered via musosoup.com
I hoard up thoughts, pieces, and souvenirs, which you could only have a glance of through my words...