Growing Up In Kumasi
It’s an experience because Kumasi is home to a diverse group of people and some of the most eccentric people you will ever see. I basically came up seeing life from all angles depending on if I was living with my dad’s family or my mom’s family because these were like on the opposite sides of the coin. I definitely get my pride and guy-guy from the whole Kumasi-Ashanti culture and Bantama raised me to always throw the first punch so that even if I lose the fight, at least they will say I landed a punch first.
Learning To Rap
My cousin Rebel was the one that got me interested in making my own music, he was an underground cat who never made it past the demo stage but he inspired me to pick up a pen and pad. I started rapping Obrafour’s lyrics from Pae Mu Ka and decided to start writing my own lyrics after seeing two people battle in J.S.S. I realised how weak my skill was after my first demo so i decided to write at least 2 verses a day and practice my delivery at least 2 hours a day before recording again. I also hanged around Pocalos Studios and observed other people recording in an effort to get a hang on it. I also got a lot of practice from jumping on other people’s demos. My craziest day was when Okyeame Kwame came through; he was my idol back then, used to rap exactly like him. It’s funny I was completely frozen when I saw him that day and now I am on a song with him, crazy!!!
The Name Ko-Jo Cue
I had a problem with names and had all sorts of names till I settled on Jazzy Flo. Then my ex-manager, Tallal Sangari, the man responsible for my transformation told me I needed something with an identity to it that reflects where I am from so I decided to use Kwadwo which is the original Ashanti spelling but he was like the Fante spelling is more recognisable and easier for foreigners to pronounce so I changed the spelling. Then one day, Wanlov passed through his office and I was designing an artwork and he suggested I put a hyphen in the middle to make it easier to find in search engines (he probably won’t remember though). I added Cue later to make it easier to differentiate between me and any other Kojo who might pop up.
My very first 2 recordings ever were the worst. Then my next 2 showed an improvement but was still nowhere near good. I finally started coming into my own zone on my first mixtape. The Nathan played a very important role in providing the perfect start to my journey and people still love it till today.
My first performance was at entertainment in high school with Wrong Medsin, my partner in crime back then. I got drunk to get rid of my stage fright and I forgot my lines when I got on the stage but the intro and the joint we performed was hard enough to get the boys hyped. It was too gangster for the girls so we got ignored by them.
I go way back with Jeneral Jay, he even rapped on my first mixtape. We had been trying to make a video for a long time but something always happened at the eleventh hour to thwart our plans for almost 2 years. The day of ‘The Flood’ was no different, we had a more detailed idea for the video but just when we were getting started our extension blew and we couldn’t use the lights. We decided to quit shooting and made some jokes about how I’m jinxed to never make a video. Jeneral saved the day with another brilliant idea that only needed us to shoot in a room with a green cloth, a chair and a red carpet. The whole team stayed up for 3 days straight and we ended up getting it right, his best video yet.
The whole movement came about when I and three other friends decided to form a sect that could bring together all the young creative minds and talents to work with each other in other to help the continent advance and go through a mental renaissance of sorts. We started by pushing the agenda through music and this year we are ready to push it to the next level.
Before We Shine 2
This project has been in the works for over a year now, but I just had to re-work my plan a few times so it kept getting pushed back but I finally decided that the 2nd anniversary of the 1st instalment will be the perfect time to drop it. If you listen closely and scrutinize it, you will realise that the project has nothing but my truth and how it’s interpreted depends on the listener.
I have a lot of them but for now I will just let you know that the next projects are a joint street album with Klu, another joint album with Kay-Ara and then my final street album ‘The Shining’ will all drop this year. There will also be a lot of visuals and hopefully a High School tour depending on if it comes together better.