Move it Chaleh! Words you might hear at an outdoor chop bar in Accra, Ghana, a calling for you to get up and shake it. A hint to the pungent grooves blasting out of subwoofers and beat up sound systems throughout West Africa today.
Smaller, cheaper studios are sprouting all over big African cities, allowing a new generation of artists to create and push the envelope of urban and dance music. In particular, Move It Chaleh! focuses on two underrated African trends: Coupé décalé is the upbeat sound of Côte d’Ivoire today, a dance craze which can be heard throughout francophone Africa. It has roots in both Congolese soukous and Ivorian zouglou. It emerged at the height of the Ivorian crisis around 2002-2003, first in Paris, but it quickly spread to Ivory Coast, to Africa and now to the world.
Hiplife is a Ghanaian mish mash of hip hop, dancehall, calypso and other Caribbean styles, with highlife, itself a mix of soul and funk with more traditional Ghanaian rhythms. It has taken Ghana by storm, and it is well known to Ghanaian abroad, particularly in the US and UK, yet it is still off the radar for most.
Time to change that. Move it chaleh!