He is controversial, proud, humble, rude, arrogant, disrespectful, respectful, bold, shrewd, unpredictable, funny (he seems to have a bit of every quality you’ll want to create the ‘perfect’ being), you can add to the list. Everyone pretty much has a different opinion about Shatta Wale, but one thing is true; he’s an enigma. I remember him for so many things;
- Being the first to bridge the gap between stardom and fandom (how his fans became his priority)
- Being the first to take on organizations which ideally one isn’t supposed to. Remember his beef with Charter House?
- Being the primary proponent of ‘beefing’, an art that has served him well in the industry
Presently, everyone’s talking about him, and it is very easy to understand why. His talent is unmatched, but there is this aura of unpredictability about him which makes him very difficult to decode. Love him, hate him, it’s irrelevant because he has put Ghana on the map on several occasions. Shatta Wale has earned the right to be called a King and here’s why.
Collaboration with Beyonce
He is the only Ghanaian who was ‘recruited’ for Beyonce’s ‘The Gift’ – her hand-crafted and all-star soundtrack for the remake of the Lion King. Together with Major Lazer, they produced ‘Already’, and as soon as the song hit the airwaves, critics started downplaying the song, citing that it was a below-par.
When that failed, these same critics started trolling Shatta Wale. They believed that the video for the song would not be done.
Presently, Shatta Wale is the most talked about personality in our media space because not only has the video for Already been released but because he will also star in Beyonce’s elaborate new visual album known as ‘Black is King’.
The Gringo Video
Gringo was released by Zylofon Music on April 27, 2018. The music video of Gringo was also released on the same day. Gringo’s music video was World Class, and it was basically the first time a Ghanaian artiste has been associated with a video of that sort; the quality of the video was top notch.
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It was directed by Sesan Ogunro, a Nigerian video producer who was based in the UK. The video was set in the 1880 and focused on the lead character, ‘El Shatta (Shatta Wale)’ employing diverse tactics to win the heart of Jasmine, the elegant girlfriend of a corrupt Sherriff, Snake Eye. The video was shot in Blanco, Texas at the Buggy Barn Museum and featured over 20 professional actors.
In less than 48 hours after its release, Gringo reached number 4 on the US iTunes Top 100 Reggae Songs chart. The song was also number 1 on Ghana’s iTunes Singles Chart.
Here’s something small you probably didn’t know about Gringo: It is a Mexican term which means foreigner. Shatta Wale explained that people saw him as a ‘stranger’ in the music industry and so he wanted to break barriers for everyone to know that ‘foreigners’ can overtake ‘indigenes’ in the race of life.
Recognitions / Accolades
- In January 2014, Shatta Wale joined hundreds of Ghanaians to welcome the Queens’ Baton Relay which was on tour of the Commonwealth countries.
- In May 2014, British media, The Guardian reported Wale’s song, ‘Wine ya waist’ as one of the five ‘must listen to’ songs
- Again in 2014, Wale’s ‘You can’t touch me’ was used for the Dancers Against Racism Campaign worldwide.
- On 8th July 2017, the Mayor of Worcester, Joseph Petty presented the Key to the City of Worcester to Shatta Wale.
- On 18th March 2018, Wale was presented with an honoree award for his outstanding contribution to reggae in Ghana and globally during the 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards (CMA), in conjunction with the 36th International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA).
- In May 2018, Wale received another honoree at the Obaland Royal Awards in Nigeria. The Obaland Plaque which was issued to Wale when valued by specialized anthropologists and museum critics in Benin City was valued at $34 million.
The Reign Album was released on October 13, 2018 by Zylofon Music and the Shatta Movement Empire. It fared considerably well after its release as it debuted at Number 6 on the Billboard Top World Albums Chart. The album, and its launch enjoyed so much media attention so the extent that it has attendants from several countries including the UK and Liberia.
As a Ghanaian, I’m so much grateful to Shatta Wale for what he has achieved for himself and country.
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