Very few artists manage to stay true to their musical color, flirt with mainstream music and maintain strong underground support. Very few artists aspire – and manage – to lift an entire community. Kirani AYAT manages all of it. His name is associated with many of Ghana’s top artists, through features and collaborations with the likes of Sarkodie, Manifest, E.L or Medikal. But Ayat is also a name Accra’s underground looks up to, landing him headliner slots at many indie events such as Yoyo Tinz, Chale Wote or Asa Baako. And all this while, Ayat can be considered the musical ambassador, if not king, of his home turf Madina.
Madina is an area of Accra so vast and so significant for waves of immigrants that it is known even in the most remote villages of Northern Ghana. Madina is also home to Ayat’s MadFest, an event showcasing the best of many worlds, where top artists play alongside rising neighborhood talent, to a crowd of thousands of local fans.
“I started MadFest with the goal of establishing a legacy, like a Ghanaian Coachella meets Nyege Nyege. To achieve that, it’s important that we stay true to the concept: Music of African Descent, MAD, showcasing headliners and up and coming talent, representing Madina and aiming for the world.”
Kirani AYAT is the perfect figure to carry such an ambitious project.“I can play in both worlds without compromising my sound. I play along mainstream artists, and I’m featured on all the alternative shows. I’ve probably been featured on more underground artists’ songs than anyone in Ghana.”
Now in its fourth year, MadFest continues to raise the bar, with confirmed appearances by Akan, one of the most promising twi rapper of his generation, Kofi Mole, Quamina MP, Haywaya, Magnom, Yung Pabi, Bryan the Mensah, AI, and of course Kirani AYAT himself, together reaching a collective fanbase of over 280,000 followers.