From humble beginnings, Chief One has become a household name as his uncommon style continues to transcend borders.
Nominated New Artiste of the Year at the 24th Edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), the skillful artiste who uses the catchphrase “What Is That?” has been on an upward trajectory with songs including Wotelewoea translated simply as “can you do it?”; Du Agbe (Chop Life), Toyota, Turn by Turn and one of his renditions, E Go Better, released early in September 2023.
Born Michael Ivan Nyagamagu, Chief One, with a somewhat baritone voice, sings in his native Ewe language (A Ghanaian language) and exudes great confidence and energy in his performance, as some of his music videos depict.
With his unconventional creations, the recognition gained over the years buttresses the point that music is a universal language — and all that is required with Chief One’s compositions is to catch the vibe and go with the flow.
Although he blends other styles, he sounds comfortable with Amapiano and incorporates the drums and percussion in most of his works, put together by a young producer named Helegbe.
The popularity of Chief One’s songs goes beyond the uptempo rhythms, as his lyrics are inspirational and appeal especially to people who speak the local Ewe language.
Despite his mastery of the King’s language, he combines a bit of ‘crude’ English with Ewe while releasing strong lyrical punchlines on the beat.
In the song Du Agbe, for instance, he speaks about the fleeting nature of life and why it must be enjoyed while it lasts. Turn By Turn, on the other hand, speaks about patience and why individuals must wait for their ‘turn’.
Aside from putting together these soul-touching songs, he sometimes ‘veers off’ just to give his followers a tune to dance to, as he did in the song, Borborbo.
He speaks English in the song titled Shawty, referring to a lady “blowing” his mind. This record and his newest track named Catwalk, to an appreciable extent, represent the limitless possibilities of the Afrobeats and Amapiano genres.
Chief One is one of the many African acts who put lots of work into their music videos and would release snippets almost concurrently with the audio version of his tracks.
All things being equal, this exceptional talent will continue to keep the Afrobeats and Amapiano torches burning as he makes his way to the top.