Ghana-based Benjamin Lebrave speaks fluent French and English, and can schmooze in Spanish and Portuguese. He’ll report on new African music every other week. This week, he shares Myke Kesse's "Oh Yes."
Mike's gone a long way since I met him last year. At that time everybody knew him as Mike Mentor, because of his victorious stint on Mentor, Ghana's equivalent of American Idol. At the time, I told him "Mike" may not be the best name for an artist. Not sure it was my advice that did it, but he now calls himself Myke Kesse, or just Kesse, which means strong in twi.
I ran into him while hanging out at Appietus’ studio in Dansoman. Myke is humble, down to earth, and easy to work with. It's funny though, most of what you'll find online about him is pretty glossy, from the award shows to the Project Fame West Africa (the West-African Idol-equivalent), a program which millions across the region go bonkers for. Project Fame is run by Nigerians, and you can trust Nigerians to pick a Nigerian winner. Just to avoid some heavy rioting is all. Sound biased? Listen to FOKN Bois’ hilarious "Thank God We Are Not a Nigerians," then go read the less than pleased comments about it here. Anyway, I'm not here to beef. Kesse came in second, which still got him a brand new car. I wish I could sing, I need wheels badly.
Here's one of my favorite songs of Myke's, "Oh Yes." He performed it acoustic right behind my house. Keeping things simple, just him, his guitar and plantain leaves. Enjoy!
Download: Myke Kesse, "Oh Yes"