British-Ghanaian rapper Fuse ODG made his name in the London rap scene after growing up in the U.K. capital.
Born Nana Richard Abiona, he's a talented producer and rapper, and has been an active influence in helping young people in his local communities realize their musical aspirations through a mobile studio. In conjunction with this, he helped found the TINA (This Is New Africa) movement that set out to encourage Africans to use their skills in rebuilding their communities and take pride in their cultural heritage. In 2011, he traveled to Ghana and met with African producer Killbeatz and rapper Tiffany; they collaborated on viral dance track "Azonto," which had millions imitating his moves worldwide. His distinct combination of Afro-beats, hip-hop, and rap led to favorable comparisons with Akon and K'naan, and he won the Urban Music Award for Best Afro-Beats Artist in 2012, as well as a nomination for a Ghana Music Award -- the first U.K.-based artist to be considered. His success was hard to deny, with over a million views on his YouTube channel and the triumphant release of his 2012 EP The Buzz. The following year, Fuse sparked another dance craze with his single "Antenna," which featured American rapper Wyclef Jean and rose to the Top Ten of the U.K. Singles Chart. He scored three more hits, which were later included on his debut album, T.I.N.A. (named after his empowerment movement), released in late 2014. In 2015, Fuse released the single "Top of My Charts." More singles followed, including 2016's "BomBae," featuring Zack Knight and Badshah, and 2017's "Window Seat" and "Sunrise," with Jillionaire and Fatman Scoop. For his work on Ed Sheeran's ÷ album, Fuse became the first Ghanaian artist to win a Grammy. In early 2019 he released his second album, New Africa Nation. Once again spreading messages of cultural pride, self-reliance, and achievement, it was preceded by the single "Bra Fie" (Twi for "come home"), featuring Damian Marley. ~ Scott Kerr, Rovi