Rapper, Koo Ntakra, says his participation in the Artist Accelerator programme at the 2016 Marché International du Disque et de l'Edition Musicale (MIDEM) in France was a wonderful exposure which positively impacted his perception of what professional music entails.
He has, since his return from France in late June last year, been seriously at work in the studio on a new collection of songs to reflect some of the new, helpful insights gained from the trip. The upcoming 13-track album is scheduled for release by end of September this year.
“No single person knows everything about music so it is always good to interact and share ideas with others whenever possible,” Koo said in a chat with Showbiz.
“One must not compromise on any technical aspect of the music. Mixing, mastering and general sound quality are among the things that stand you out as an artiste and they were dealt with at the programme in France.”
MIDEM is a leading international music business event that annually draws thousands of musicians, producers, agents, managers, lawyers, executives, entrepreneurs and journalists from around the globe.
The Artist Accelerator component of the event is a career booster for emerging musical talent. Koo was part of the 12 finalists selected in 2016 from across the world.
He thus had access to coaching and performance sessions with industry mentors as well as networking opportunities with key players from the international music community.
The other finalists were from Brazil, South Africa, Canada, United Kingdom, France, United States and Germany.
Koo Ntakra came to national prominence in 2013 when he emerged winner of the MTN Hit-Maker contest for budding talents. His prize money helped him come out with a 19-track debut album called Akuaba in late 2014. It contained notable tracks like ‘Wurewurafuo’, ‘Taking Over’, ‘Move Back’ and ‘Girls.’
That album carried a wide mix of styles including highlife, hiphop, hiplife and reggae which generally demonstrated his versatility as an artiste.
“It was fine spreading his wings wide but with the new stuff, fans would see his core approach to music and the sort of niche he is carving for himself,” said Koo’s manager, NanaQuasy Abakah.
“We are going to see more of him on the live band circuit. Though he was aware he needed to always shine as a live performer, the experiences in France forcefully hit him that he should be out there on stage as often as possible to sharpen his skills and deliver flawlessly on any occasion.”
According to NanaQuasy, Koo will go back to his New Era High School Tour started last year which took him to the Central, Eastern and Greater Accra regions.
The tour, which will resume by the middle of October, aims at cementing his fan base among young adults and he will be out there with music from his debut and follow-up albums.