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    Biography

    • Shatta Wale

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    Shatta Wale

    Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jr., (born October 17, 1984) is a Ghanaian-born producer and reggae-dancehall musician. He is known by his stage name Shatta Wale[1] (formerly Bandana), his best known song is "Dancehall King", which led to winning the Artiste of the Year at the 2014 edition of the Ghana Music Awards. He is the leader, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of the Shatta Movement Records (SM) or (SM4LYF). Wale acted in the movies Never Say Never[2] and in Shattered Lives.[3]

    Having achieved street credibility in a fairly undeveloped Ghanaian dancehall genre at the time, he soon began making the headlines with his hit single, “Moko Hoo” which featured Tinny in 2004. Then known in the industry as Bandana, the song earned him a Ghana Music Awards nomination in that year. Bandana followed with back to back hit songs including the very popular "No Problem" and "Obaa Yaa". At this point, he was receiving heavy rotation on radio and backed by a growing fan base which shot him into the mainstream Ghanaian music scene. He performed on every big stage and became a household name so far as Ghanaian music was concerned. After a while, nothing was heard from Bandana as he disappeared from the music scene. He died in music, buried for almost a decade only to resurrect with a new name and identity, 'Shatta Wale' under his own record label (SM For Lyf Records)

    Wale became topic for discussion after he composed a song against the organizers of the Ghana Music Awards titled "Me Need No Awards," alleging that the organizers cheated him off the 2013 Dancehall Artiste of The Year. The mainstream media, bloggers and other pundits claim this led to his breakthrough and relevance in the Ghanaian music industry.

    He has since remained relevant by releasing back to back hits amassing a legion of fanatic fans and keeping a steady stream of controversy flowing. Wale's music revenue were mostly generated through hosting shows that attracts thousands of Ghanaian youths.[4]

    In January 2014, Wale joined hundreds of Ghanaians to welcome the Queen's Baton Relay, which was on tour of Commonwealth countries, ahead of the games in August 2014.

    "It happens once in a life time..I will like to thank the president of Ghana and the nation for granting me the opportunity to be part of the change in the queens Baton..God bless my homeland Ghana.#SM4LYF."[5][6]

    In May 2014 The Guardian reported Wale's song "Wine Ya Waist" featuring Davido was one of five "must-listen to" songs.[7] That same year, his song "You Can't Touch Me" was widely used for the Dancers Against Racism Campaign[8] worldwide.

    In 2015, Shatta Wale[9] asked not to be nominated in the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards for his songs "Dancehall Commando" featuring Sarkodie,[10] "Party all night long" featuring Jah Vinci [11][12][13][14][15] "Wine ya waist"[16] and "Korle Gonno", because of a pending court case with the organisers Charter House Productions Limited[17][18][19] for allegedly making defamatory remarks against the CEO of Charter House in a video he uploaded on his Facebook page.[20] In 2015, he successfully recorded and released ninety-nine (99) songs, an achievement yet to be recorded by any musician in recent times.[21]

    His After the Storm[22] album launch attracted over fifty five thousand music lovers who thronged in at the Black Star Square to witness. First of it kind in Ghana's entertainment industry. The album which contains 22 songs received generally positive review from critics.

    In March 2017, Shatta Wale teamed up with his Militants to release "Taking Over, " [23] eventually scoring higher points from critics and music lovers. The song did magic locally and internationally staying atop on all charts locally becoming Shatta Wale's biggest song in 2017. "Taking Over" was also the most searched for song on Google Ghana in 2017.[24] Some also argue that "Ayoo" which includes his numerous hits in 2017 did more magic than "Taking Over". As at January 2018 the song has had over 6 million views on YouTube.

    Wale, is the most awarded Dancehall artist in Africa and second most awarded musician in Ghana. He releases close to 100 songs each year which comprises Reggae, Dancehall and Afrobeat. In 2014, he peaked number 38 on E.tv's "Top 100 Most Influential Ghanaians" Awards chart.[25] He has since then appeared each year on the ranking chart. He was ranked as 2017 "Most Influential Musician" on Social Media.[26]

    Contents 1 Early life 2 Career 2.1 2004:—Career Beginnings 2.2 2009:—2012 2.3 The Rise of Shatta Wale 2.4 2013:—2015 2.5 2016–2018 3 Public Image 4 Controversies 5 Accolades 6 Philanthropy 7 Endorsements 8 Singles 9 Discography 10 Videography 11 Filmography 12 Awards and nominations 13 References 14 External links Early life

    Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jr. was born in Accra, Ghana at the Police Hospital on October 17, 1984. The son of a couple from Accra and the Volta Region of Ghana. His father, Charles Nii Armah Mensah Sr. A politician, Businessman and a legal practitioner. Shatta Wale attended Seven Great Princes Academy at Dansoman, a suburb in Accra. Where he demonstrated an affinity for arts and acted in a popular Akan Drama series (By The Fireside) at the National Theatre of Ghana.[27] Growing up, he lived with his family in Laterbiokorshie, Dansoman and then later Korle Gonno during his formative years. In a Facebook live video, Wale stated that he did not enjoy motherly love and care at the early stages of his life because a pastor caused a separation between his parents which made him remain under his father's care and later ending up on the streets.[28] His mother is Elsie Evelyn Avemegah.

    As a child, his father introduced him to the Jamaican culture by playing Reggae records in the house and also continuously traveling with him to the UK to meet his relatives who were half Jamaicans. These exposures made him develop love for music at a tender age. His intense passion to do music made him lose interest in schooling but his father forced him to complete his high school education later in the Volta Region of Ghana which had initially kicked off at the Winneba Secondary School in the Central Region of Ghana. Even in school and right after school he pursued his musical dream but his father did not agree and wanted him to become a lawyer, this led to a misunderstanding between the two eventually tearing down their beautiful relationship. Shatta Wale lived in almost all the ghettos (Nima) in Accra just to survive. "There were many times I slept without food. I have been through all the hustle in life, I mean hell. I have lived with the people and became one of their own. No wonder my music easily resonate with the people. I am thankful to God for making me see the day light." Stated in an interview.

    Shatta Wale later went to Jamaica to polish and master his dancehall craft. "Every boy in Ghana doing dancehall came for tutelage from me before mastering the dancehall genre. So no wonder my fans call me King because they know the history of modern dancehall in Ghana" Shatta Wale stated in an interview.

    Career 2004:—Career Beginnings

    His musical career began during his high school days at the Winneba Secondary School, then known as Doggy. After secondary school, he took time to harness his talent during which he learnt the rudiments of the trade. Having achieved a street credibility in a fairly undeveloped Ghanaian dancehall genre at the time, he soon began making the headlines with his hit single, “Moko Hoo” which featured fellow Ghanaian musician Tinny in 2004. Then known in the industry as Bandana, the song earned him a Ghana Music Awards nomination in that year. Bandana followed with back to back hit songs including the very popular "No Problem" and "Obaa Yaa". At this point, he was receiving heavy rotation on radio and backed by a growing fan base which shot him into the mainstream Ghanaian music scene. He performed on every big stage and became a household name so far as Ghanaian music was concerned. After a while, nothing was heard from Bandana as he disappeared from the music scene. He died in music, buried for almost a decade only to resurrect with a new name and identity, Shatta Wale.

    Shatta Wale would later single handedly be catapulting dancehall in Ghana a genre which had been left abandoned. The likes of Root Eye, General Marcus, Yoggy Doggy and some others years ago had started but could not break through with it. Shatta Wale gives credit to the likes of Terry Bonchaka and Yoggy Doggy for nurturing him when he began his dancehall journey. "It was under their tutelage that they told me I was going to blow up and that my style is so unique." Stated in an interview on PeaceFm.

    Shatta Wale Performing In Gabon, 2015. 2009:—2012

    Bandana still missing in the music industry and had no recognizable song like "Moko Hoo," though he had some dancehall songs like "Telephone No." "Anastasia" "My Eyes Pon The Money" and others which were being enjoyed by few people. In an interview with King Lagazee when asked why he is dead and missing. Bandana stated:

    A lot of people wan mi fi dead but mi dehya. I know my fans have missed me but mi naa dead. I was learning how to produce beats, mix and master and also perfecting my craft. So basically that is what is keeping me away. “ ”

    -Shatta Wale, on why he is nowhere to be found in the music industry [29]

    The Rise of Shatta Wale

    What some people say "The Dancehall Messiah" started in Nima a small community in Accra, Ghana a place that harbors a lot of energetic Muslim youth and ghettos. It was there he amassed a legion of fanatic fans by giving them lessons and empowering them through his dancehall songs. "Everyday I and I still recording beca I know my music is solving problems way keep evolving inna family and relationships solely"

    Shatta Wale would release songs almost everyday on his social media handles free to download and perform them in Nima a place he calls (Dancehall City) and other parts of Accra.

    Alkaline & Shatta Wale Performing Together At Accra Sports Stadium MTN Pulse Turnup Concert In 2016 2013:—2015

    Wale released songs like "Havana" "Shatta City" "Enter The Net" "Every Body Likes My Tin" "Dancehall King" which became his biggest hit after his resurrection and many others that were well received from around the world and locally got everybody talking about the typical Jamaican Dancehall genre because some set of Ghanaians were only used to Hiplife with a little touch of ragga type of dancehall. Wale, successfully toured Canada and United States in the year 2014

    The Guardian qualified "Wine Ya Waist" featuring Davido among its five must listened new tracks from around the world.[30] By 2015, without a doubt, he has cemented his place on the global music space as the King of African Dancehall with a solid repertoire of hit songs that were receiving international awards and nominations. Some are: IRAWMA, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, MOBO etc. He toured Europe in 2015, and also shared the same stage with P-Square, Flavor and others at the Wembley Arena in London.

    2016–2018

    In a heated political atmosphere, Wale became one of the most powerful men in Ghana as two biggest political parties, National Democratic Congress[31] and the New Patriotic Party used his hit songs; "Mahama Paper" and "Kakai" to run their campaign in the 2016 general election. In a desultory conversation with an interviewer, Wale stated that: There were some attempts by some members from the political parties to coax him to endorse their party but he did not cling because of his fans. There were banners in town bearing Shatta Movement for NDC but Wale in a Facebook post made it clear that he has not endorsed any political party and all parties running their campaign under the Shatta Movement Banner should desist or face legal action. However, wale did not hesitate to perform for any of the political parties as his service was demanded.

    Songs released from After the Storm album like "Mahama Paper" "Baby (Chop Kiss)" "Biegya (Open Fire)" "Hol'It" "Kakai" and others were massive anthems in Ghana almost everybody knew the lyrics word to word. Wale stayed atop locally on all charts and having "Hol'It" topping BBC Radio 1Xtra's Afroboss Top 5 songs chart.[32] Rockstar Games co-founder, Sam Houser also said he was deeply impressed of the popularity of "KAKAI" sound track making waves within the African community in the United States and beyond, including topping several dancehall charts globally. For that, he’s yearning for his bureaucrats to confirm giving "Kakai" by Shatta Wale a slash in the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6 scheduled to be released hopefully in June 2018. If confirm Wale will be earning $744.000 annually.[33] Adidas also made a deal with Shatta Wale after he generated a controversy by wearing what some people deemed as fake adidas in his "Biegya (Open Fire)" music video which the clothes were labeled "Adldas" instead of Adidas.

    Shatta Wale Performing During After the Storm Album Launch.

    April 29, 2016. Having had a hugely successful After the Storm album launch which witnessed over fifty five thousand music lovers thronging the Black Star Square in Accra, Wale announced at the end of the show that he was going to go on European Tour but he later canceled it and only performed at indigo, at The O2 in London on August 26. Fuse ODG joined him on stage to perform "Laugh Out Loud."

    2017, Wale stayed atop on charts and commercially dominated markets with songs like "Taking Over" "Ayoo" "Hossana" ft Burna Boy "Low Tempo" ft Shatta Michy "Forgetti" ft Millitans, Pope Skinny and Natty Lee. "Dem Confuse" "Bumper"Etc.

    He kicked off his long awaited After the Storm tour United States in New York and in Massachusetts where he was honored by the Mayor of Worcester, with a Key to the City. In recognition of his contributions to the arts and for honoring the city of Worcester, Massachusetts He was in Jamaica after his tour to shoot videos for projects he had jointly done with some top producers in Jamaica.

    After rumours circulated of Wale possibly signing on to Zylofon Music, it surely came to fruition on January 30, 2018. Though at the unveiling press conference at the music label head quarters at Accra, they refused to answer questions that presses them to disclose the monetary details of the signing but it is rumored to be a $1.5m recording and management deal. A mansion and a Rolls-Royce is said to be part of the package.[34]

    Gringo

    Public Image Shatta Wale At BBC Studio In 2016

    Shatta Wale has been an outspoken celebrity throughout his career, and does not hesitate to display his material wealth. He has attracted many haters by his actions. He is continuously being reviled and tagged as arrogant, cocky, the Tupac of Africa, 50cent, Vybz Kartel and the Floyd Mayweather Jr. of Africa. Some people find his actions to be provocative. But on the other hand, many people have defended and praised Shatta Wale for his boldness in addressing issues and saying it as it is without fear.

    Wale on several media platforms has firmly defended his actions by saying that; he is being real and only displaying the true characteristics of a dancehall artist. "I am tag as the dancehall bad boy but I don't care, because we live in a country where confidence is misconstrue as arrogant so they will never see my good side."Stated on thisis50[35]

    Highly reputable people have complimented Wale with money, cars[36] and jewelries for his hard work in the music industry and raising the flag of Ghana high.

    Notable musicians such as Mr Eazi,[37]Burna Boy,[38]Patoranking[39] and many others have all publicly hailed and praise Shatta Wale for his exceptional talent and cited him as their influence.

    Gramps Morgan speaking on Accra-based Hitz FM, on the programme Lagazee International Soundz, also acknowledged Shatta Wale as a star, and added that; Wale is going to do more bigger things. "Shatta Wale has seem elements of Buju Banton, Shabba Ranks and Bounty Killer. Shatta Wale should only humble himself and keep doing what he is doing."[40]

    Controversies

    In November 2017, Shatta Wale sets social media ablaze in Africa with a comment he made in an interview with Accra base radio host. "I will not see Wizkid and go like Woow, 'I don't see Wizkid as a superstar.' I want Wizkid to see me and go like Woow...! Because the cars are talking, the pocket is talking, the investments are talking and the mansions. I see Wizkid as a colleague. Only fellow artists in Ghana who haven't achieved anything will see Wizkid as a superstar."[41] His statement did not go down well with a lot of Nigerians all over the world, they considered the comment to be a hate comment and defaming. So they retaliated heavily by trolling Shatta Wale on all social media platforms for days. Though Wizkid was still silent, Wale, in a tweet advised Wizkid to tell his fans to wise up because he did not insult. He rapidly followed it with a song addressing the situation ("Disaster").[42]

    The trolling became so intense that many critics felt it might spark scuffle and havoc between the two country and will wear off the togetherness relationship. But later in December, it had died off without creating any unrest. When asked in an interview, if the trolling caused any damage to his career; Wale casually answered, "No! It didn't cause any damage, I rather penetrated into the Nigerian market with a free Wi-Fi. Before and after I rose to fame, I have faced beefs from lots of artists and their fans so I am no stranger. Moreover, it earned me an ambassadorial role with (Boss Baker Beef Roll)".[43] A company believed to be from Nigeria but operating in Ghana.

    Accolades

    Mayor of Worcester, Joseph Petty, on 8 July 2017, presented Shatta Wale with the Key to the City. In recognition of his contributions to the arts and for honoring the city of Worcester, Massachusetts with his presence.[44]"

    On November 1, 2017, Shatta Wale received a giant gold coin from the president of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at The Flagstaff House as a gift on his 33rd birthday celebration. The president also expressed his love for Shatta Wale's hit song "Kakai", which played a major role in his campaign for president in the 2016 general election.[45]

    Sunday, March 18th, 2018. Chicago’s Biggest Music Night at the 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards (CMA) In conjunction with the 36th International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA) presented Shatta Wale with honoree award for his outstanding contribution to Reggae in the Motherland and at the global level.[46]

    Wale is set to receive honoree award on May 11th, 2018 alongside Sizzla, Queen Ifrica, Chronixx, Daddy Fresh, Winning Jah, Jah Cure, Sean Paul, Ben Priest and other personalities by prestigious Obaland Awards Monarch Awards “Obaland Royal Awards" for Best song of King Ewuare II in Benin City, Edo State[47][48] The award was valued by specialized anthropologist and museum critics in Benin City , and subsequently declared an equivalents of 34 million dollar worth.[49]

    Philanthropy

    During 2014, Wale visited the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (Ghana's biggest hospital) to donate to the Children's Block.[50][51] He donated to the victims of the flood and fire that occurred in Accra on 3 June 2015 costing hundreds of people their lives. His group brought food, water, antiseptics and clothes.[52]

    On February 8, 2016, Wale donated items to the Police Hospital in Accra. These items included 3 LED TVs, wheelchairs, beverages and detergents. He made a cash donation to save a young girl and also to help with general administrative work.[53][54][55][56] According to Wale, he chose the Police Hospital because it was the hospital he was born in.[57]

    Shatta, on an educational campaign dubbed "Shatta Back to School Campaign" along with his Shatta Movement Management Team donated educational materials to schools.[58] As part of his educational campaign, Wale donated books to support Nana Aba Anamoah’s RAISING READERS GHANA FOUNDATION.[59]

    Endorsements

    In 2014, Wale became a brand ambassador for Guinness Ghana Breweries.[60] and as the brand ambassador for Rush Energy Drink.[61][62][63]

    In September, 2017 Kasapreko Company Ltd producers of several alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in Ghana, unveiled their newest brand ambassador,Shatta Wale, one that will advocate for Storm Energy Drink, the company's newest energy drink.[64]

    17 November 2017, Shatta Wale inked a deal with Boss Baker Beef Roll as brand ambassador.[65]

    Singles This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. Year Title Album Ref 2016 Aroma Currency Year Mixtape [66] 2016 Like You After The Storm [67] 2016 Longtime After The Storm [68] 2016 Dancehall King (Part 2) After The Storm [69] 2017 Haters Unknown [70] 2017 Affi Di Money Unknown [71] 2017 Shame On You Unknown [72] 2017 Disaster African Takeover [73] 2017 Patoranking African Takeover [74] 2018 Zylofon Unknown [75] 2018 True Believer Unknown [76] 2018 Ego Taya Dem Unknown [77] 2018 Storm Unknown [78] 2018 Shito Unknown [79] 2018 Performer Unknown 2018 Thunder Fire Unknown [80]

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