Having achieved huge success in Ghana, Stonebwoy is now making waves worldwide – from appearances on CNN to collaborations with UK afrobeats kingpin Kojo Funds.
His most recent album Epistles of Mama is garnering him recognition for its explorations of both the catchier afrobeats style that's so popular at the moment and more soulful reggae.
His most recent appearance, on a track called 'Borders' from Kabaka Pyramid's upcoming album Kontraband, sees the pair address the ongoing refugee crisis over a Damian Marley produced beat, working as a call for unity and for humanitarian values to triumph over the drive for profit in our fractured world.
We caught up with Stonebwoy to find out what drew him to music and where he draws his inspiration from.
Hi Stonebwoy! For people unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe it?
My music is a combination of reggae, afrobeats and dancehall. In fact, it comes from all musical genres that find their roots in Africa.
What was growing up in Ghana like?
Growing up in Ghana was fun for me as a child. It was educational – I grew up in typical sociable settings and learned from people around me. My inspiration comes from my upbringing as a child. I’m from a religious background, thus music with a message gets to my soul.
How did you choose the name Stonebwoy?
It comes from my first name, which is Livingstone, and then I just added the *bwoy* cause it was most distinctive and relative considering my surroundings growing up. It captured my environment.
When did you realise music would be your career?
All the way from junior high school!
You're a superstar in your native Ghana; do you get approached in the street a lot? Are you comfortable with the fame?
Yes, a lot – I’m not even able to go out freely! But when I do all I see is love. People feel connected to my message.
Where do you like to go to be creative?
I have a studio in my house, so you can imagine my creativity comes to me naturally. I love to meditate too, so anyhow and anywhere!
Your latest album, Epistles of Mama, is inspired by your mother and her values. Tell us about those.
The morals and teachings she instilled into me – like the bible and other good books – keeps my life on track.
You recently collaborated with Kojo Funds. How did that come about?
It’s great you asked this! Kojo is an amazing artist and a brother. We linked via KV Online, my PR team, and since then everything has been solid. He flew out to Ghana last December to support me at my album launch.
You seem really plugged into the UK music scene; how do you stay updated?
The UK always comes to the mind of a young artist when international stepping is concerned, so the opportunity to visit fuelled me to push to be heard in the UK. Visiting from 2013 til now I grew a family and business relationship with Casey (CEO of KV Online).
What other UK artists do you rate at the moment?
At the moment… Stormzy, Stefflon Don, Chip, Gappy Ranks and Stylo G.
How do you plan to develop your sound in the future?
My music is made up of all genres with roots that connect to the motherland, so I will always demonstrate that via the sounds I put out!
You can cop Epistles of Mama here.
Stonebwoy - Twitter - Instagram - Soundcloud