African reggae start Kwame BediakoWe met up with African reggae artist & poet Kwame Bediako of Ghana at a recent show and learned that he’s just moved to the DC area from Chicago to work on a new album with the area’s buzzing African and reggae scene. We were delighted to hear DC is drawing talent like Kwame and knew we had to have him on the radio show for a chat.

While he chose to play reggae – or maybe reggae chose him! – Kwame Bediako grew up steeped in Ghanaian musical heritage. He fuses the two roots seamlessly to create a sound that is at once classic and fresh. With his band Kwamekaze he has performed throughout the USA, Jamaica and Africa, sharing the stage with notables like the Wailers, Third World, Mutabaruka, Pato Banton, Sunny Ade, Wailing Souls, Sonny Okusun and many others. His first three albums garnered critical acclaim and included the work of reggae heavies Sidney Mills of Steel Pulse, Georges Kouakou of Alpha Blondy and Junior Marvin of the original Wailers. We listened to a few tracks from Kwame’s most recent album Forward Ever [2013] and we think you’ll agree that his “retro roots” sound is mighty fine and the vibe is pure Rasta.

We talked about Kwame’s career and creative process, his focus on education and self-expression and how he approaches studio recordings. We didn’t have enough time to get into Kwame’s poetry but you can read some of his work on his website below, and check out more great African reggae music and videos. We look forward to hearing what emerges from his time here in DC, and invite you to stay tuned to this space for new releases and performances coming soon…

[Click play to hear our interview with Kwame Bediako – February 14, 2018]