Wiyaala is going in the opposite direction to 95% of the Ghana music industry. Nowhere is that more apparent than in her latest release “When The Lord Get Us Ready” from her upcoming album “Sissala Goddess”. In an age when most music is computer produced in back room studios, the Upper West songstress has gone again for a fully featured and arranged studio production incorporating live instruments and the latest recording and mastering techniques.
And it shows. Quality is writ large all over this song. Wiyaala juxtaposes a traditional African incantation with an inspirational gospel pop chorus. The core message being, whoever your God, he, she or nature has blessed you with a special talent empowering you to move forward. Wiyaala says: “The beginnings of this song was a studio jam with Atongo Zimba in June 2015 in Amsterdam, which we took to the stage of The Hague African Festival two days later. I played the song live at some of my gigs in Ghana and decided to record it in 2017. The song is important to me because I didn’t just sit in my village and wonder what could have been. I knew I had talent and was compelled to begin my journey. A higher power drove me forward and I became my own inspiration.”
Released on Djimba World Records, “When The Lord Get Us Ready” was written by Wiyaala and Atongo Zimba, arranged by Melissa Van der Spuy, produced by Jurgen Von Wechmar and recorded at Sunset Recording Studio in Stellenbosch, South Africa. In the video for the song, Wiyaala makes her debut as a video director.
Sadly, it’s unlikely a song like this will make it to Ghana radio playlists since it lacks the repetitive hook lines and Afrobeat/dancehall style currently popular in Ghana. However, Wiyaala’s target audience seems to be something beyond Ghana or the African diaspora. Her heavy international touring schedule is promoting a strong African roots tradition with a modern Afropop twist to crossover audiences. And in that, she alongside her northern peers King Ayisoba and Atongo Zimba, seem to be on the right track if Ghanaian artists are looking to create credible international careers. And it makes sense. As Ghanaian rapper Manifest has already pointed out, you don’t paid royalties in Ghana whereas you do when you perform in countries with royalty collection systems that work.
“When The Lord Get Us Ready” is available to stream or buy on all digital platforms
Watch the video “When The Lord Get Us Ready” here