Michael Owusu Addo sees success like swimming. “I don’t look up to see where I am,” explains the Ghanaian rap icon, best known as Sarkodie.
“I just keep my head in the water and keep going.” Other MCs might rest on their laurels after ten years at the top. Not Sarkodie. A decade after his debut album, 2009’s Mayke, one of African music’s biggest and best-loved hip-hop artists is still in the water, pressing forward through the waves, seeing what new shores his rich, emotional sound might reach. “There’s never been downtime for me across these ten years, because my passion for what I’m doing has not dropped a bit,” he says. “I love continuing to break boundaries.” He can say that again. As he embarks on an exciting new chapter in his career with new project Black Love, the artist – who first conquered his home city Tema, then conquered Ghana, before conquering his continent – has his sights set on global domination. “I always want to open doors to other territories, to other audiences, new people who might relate to my music. That wish is always there.” Across the last decade, his wish has come true, through a combination of hard work, hustle, heartfelt storytelling and captivating flow – the kind that transcends language barriers. “I rap in my native language. There came a point where I started to think of ways the world could understand me,” says Sarkodie. “The way to do that was to work and work on my delivery. You don’t need to understand what I’m saying to feel it.”