In this blog article, I’ll discuss Frafra Gospel Music with vocalist Alogte Oho and German drummer and producer Max Weissenfeldt.
When I mention Frafra gospel music, what do you think of?
The initial thought that crossed my mind was American gospel music with the presence of Hammond organs and a style of singing that is often associated with energetic shouting.
However, Frafra Gospel music is entirely different from this perception: it’s music rooted back in the Frafra music traditions with typical melody lines.
No doubt, Alogte Oho is fully conscious of this distinction.
ALOGTE OHO – FRAFRA GOSPEL MUSIC ARTIST
Alogte Oho stands as the top gospel artist hailing from the lively music scene of Bolgatanga in Northern Ghana.
As a young boy, he relocated to the savannah region of northern Ghana, specifically Namoo, his father’s ancestral village. The vibrant church services there left a lasting impression on him, with their enchanting singing and rhythmic drumming.
“What brought me to music is exactly Gospel.”Alogte Oho
His greatest desire during this time was to join the church choir eventually. When he turned thirteen, his dream finally came true as he became a choir member.
After completing his education, he focused on building his career as a Frafra-Gospel artist. In 2007, he released his debut album; however, it took another five years before achieving breakthrough success as a prominent singer.
THE MEETING WITH MAX WEISSENFELDT
German drummer, producer, and Record Label founder Max Weissenfeldt has significantly impacted the international music community.
To this day, the distinctive sound of Philophon is known for its consistent promotion of new trends in West African music, producing Frafra gospel artists such as the talented Florence Adooni.
During his first visit to Bolgatanga in 2013, Max Weissenfeldt was immediately drawn to the vibrant sounds of Alogte’s music. The moment he stepped off the bus at a local market, a song by Alogte blared from the speakers and caught his attention.
Intrigued, Max arranged to meet with Alogte, and they quickly hit it off. Recognizing their shared passion for music, they decided to collaborate on some recordings together.
Max brought along some instrumental tracks the next day and ensured the laptop was fully charged.
He packed up his microphone, and together with Alogte, went to the backlands far one-hour drive into a small church while Alogte gathered the Sounds of Joy band.
The outcome of their collaboration was Zota Yinne, which marked Alogte Oho’s debut single released by Philophon in 2014.
Surprisingly, the song was already accepted within the scene, leading to the inspiring album Mam Yinne Wa. (2019)
O Yinne! is now the second album by Alogte Oho & his Sounds of Joy, on which Max Weissenfeldt has taken over the direction again.
The album was primarily recorded in Weissenfeldt’s “Joy Sound Studios” in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Kingdom, deep in the tropical rainforest of Ghana.
It consists of eight powerful songs, each capturing the essence of Ghanaian gospel music from Bolgatanga, with a heartfelt tribute to its vibrant music scene.
In today’s episode, Alogte Oho and Max Weissenfeldt will take you on a journey to the sound of Frafra Gospel music, their first meeting in Ghana, and the inspirations behind O Yinne! (Album 2023).
Enjoy listening! 🎧
In addition, read this blog article: Afro Brazilian Music w/ Àbáse.
Frafra Gospel Music w/ Alogte Oho & Max Weissenfeldt
4:26 Alogte Oho’s early memories of Gospel Music
5:35 Ghanian Gospel Music Traditions
6:26 The meeting between Max Weissenfeldt & Alogte Oho
8:36 What’s Frafra Gospel Music?
10:22 Recording Zota Yinne
12:46 Christianity in Frafra Gospel Music
14:10 The Relationship with God and Music
16:08 Kumasi: the hotspot for musicians in the country
19:36 The inspirations behind O Yinne! (Album, 2023)
26:44 Frafra Gospel music artists’ suggestions by Alogte Oho
Episode Links Frafra Gospel Music w/ Alogte Oho & Max Weissenfeldt
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