In an interview with Spotify RADAR Africa, Ghanaian breakthrough musician Black Sherif discussed his struggles with identification in his songs.
The world knows him as Black Sherif, but he also goes by Kwaku Frimpong, and he’s letting us know they’re all the same guy.
“You see, Blacko and Black Sherif are the same person. I’m Blacko, Black Sherif, and Kwaku Frimpong. Kwaku Frimpong, on the other hand, has a strong personality. The identification of Black Sherif is significant. Blacko is eerie. “There are some things Blacko should have told you, therefore Black Sherif will,” he stated.
Growing up, he was bullied because he is a Muslim with the name Kwaku Frimpong, so he became ashamed of the name and decided to do away with it and hide behind his Islamic name, Sherif Muhammed Ismail. Eventually, he came to the realization that Frimpong is his father’s name and that’s his identity, who he is and he needs to accept that.
He then decided to make sure everyone identified him by Kwaku Frimpong, he put it in as many songs as he could so the world would know who he is. “You see now I use Kwaku, KK, a lot. Because I used to get bullied for that name and that time, I was sherif Frimpong Ismail. So, they would laugh at me how are you a Muslim called Frimpong.
So then,I didn’t like the Frimpong name and that’s my father’s name. But after I finished high school, I was like that is my identity. I had to atone to make sure people mentioned that name. so, I never fronted Sherif Muhammed Ismail a lot, I used Kwaku Frimpong because that’s actually my identity,” he said.
According to Blacko, making music was all new to him and his team, it was something they were doing to get off the street and entertain people but with time, it became bigger than them; they had to share a particular message, tell their story. So, the music they release always has a process, a subconscious process.
“We all came together to try for the first time at it. All of us. Nobody had knowledge about this thing. There were songs where I just played a random beat and recorded, and somebody sang it back to me. I realised this thing is more than just doing songs to entertain people. Right now, the purpose is much bigger than wanting to be just rappers or just singers. Right now, we have a message,” he said.