There’s one thing you can’t deny about Ghanaian-American rap artist Rayoe when you listen to his music, that is the profound lyricism and great storytelling abilities embedded in his penmanship. My initial introduction was when Ghana’s Megastar Stonebwoy posted about him on Instagram. I was instantly blown away. His captivating aura took me down a rabbit hole digging through his history to find out more about who this guy is.Born Nabil Amadu, Rayoe hails from a middle-class family of religious and well-educated parents. His passion for music and astronomic ambitions took him on a unique path that sets him apart from most of his peers. His latest single titled “Extra” is produced by Ghanaian-based artist and long-time collaborator Bug Dinero. It samples Moroccan instrumentation complimented by bouncy drums and a deep rolling bass line. This groovy club hip-hop song leans into a fun flamboyant vibe that’s bound to take over the airspace in every social setting with music lovers. Rayoe, Whose name also stands as an acronym for “Rap at your own expense” aspires to use his music as a conduit connecting Ghana to the world in a more diverse way with his unique perspective on hip-hop culture, living back and forth between Accra, GH, and Harlem, NY during his formative years.
When asked about his new video, he offers some insight into the song’s inspiration and meaning. “ ’Extra’ is kind of an ode to my West African/Harlem influence, being fly with clothes, jewelry, cars, and personality. The word really stuck in my head when this chick I was dealing with would always say ‘Rayoe you so extra’ any time I do or say something outlandish” He added that after recording the song he got good reactions from everyone which further ignited him to release and promote it as a single.
The vision for the Rayoe brand aims to Inspire people to make art at the highest level. “Find something you care about and live your life through it”. He divulged how fun it was when shooting the video which had some cool ideas like having a decorated horse cameo in it, the Moroccan girls dancing with the colorful snake, and drinking coke with Arabic writings on the bottle, amongst other eccentric stuff.
The only hiccup they encountered occurred on the final day of the three-day shoot. Some drama ensued in the desert on the outskirts of town. They planned a performance scene that involved swerving a car through the desert but was down on their luck when the vehicle got stuck because it wasn’t an all-wheel drive. Tow trucks were miles away and couldn’t make it there on time to rescue the situation. At one point, a crew member who had a truck tried to tow the car out but also ended up getting stuck as well which left them no choice but to accept their fate. However, he remains grateful for the other dope shots they were able to achieve.
Rayoe went on to speak about some of his greatest challenges, which besides finding ways to survive in foreign lands as an independent artist, also had to weave through the labyrinth of different environments to find his audience and bring them together. “Being able to discover the world beyond your immediate view is a blessing but having to start afresh every time you switch location or zip codes can be frustrating.”
A peculiar thing that stuck with me through our convo was how passionate he was when speaking about promoting opportunities for connections between Ghana and the US. “ I aim to use my music platform and the power of hip-hop to push agendas that can help create and solidify connections between people of all backgrounds but especially the ones of African descent. That’s the inspiration for the title of my forthcoming album, ‘Pangea.’ ”