By Francis Kokutse
(In Accra – Ghana)
The multi-talented Ghanaian born German, Inusa Dawuda, who turned from boxing to music has released his latest album, Waka Waka, with 10 tracks which he said is a cross-over of contemporary Afrobeat, Afrobeats, Amapiano, Afrofunk, Highlife and reggavibes in general term.
Like his past songs, his friend for many years, the Ghanaian journalist, Francis Kokutse, has again wrote one song, “Turn Back The Clock” on the latest album.
Inusa said, the title “has nothing to do with Shakira’s ‘Waka Waka’ because she hadn’t even heard of it, at the time it was released,” he said, adding that, “Waka Waka Day & Night” was the first song I recorded live in the studio with my band. It was created in collaboration with my former bassist, brother, and friend from Warri, Nigeria, Lisbon Bolowei Simon, who is unfortunately no longer with us.”
This is Inusa’s eleventh real album and about 100 single releases and he said, the word “Waka Waka” came to being and used on his first album “Just Natural” in the mid-90s. The song is called “Waka Waka Day & Night” with my international staffed band called, INUSA’s Groove Factory. Inusa said Lisbon used to tell him about his days with Fela Kuti‘s Band, and he was “important in my career and I thank him for the Afrofunky style”.
“From the word ‘work’, we decided to change it to “Waka Waka” in Pidgin English. “We work day and night and are still suffering. We sang how many Africans in the diaspora felt”. Inusa started off as a semi-professional in the mid 90’s is celebrating his 30th anniversary in music and still going strong with thirst for more till the bones are rotten.
Reacting to which song is favourite for all the years he has spent in the music industry, he said, “it’s difficult to pick out a song as a favorite because they are like my children. Each song has its purpose. Some are easy to listen to, and some work really well in live performances because they get people dancing, for example, “Going Back To My Roots,” “Waka Waka Day & Night”, “All I Need Is To be Loved,” and “Don’t Look any Further” played a bit faster than recorded.
Among the captivating songs on the album are the pre-released singles “One Love,” “All I Want Is to be Loved,” and the instrumental piece “Bimbia” which have already gained popularity and earned spots in various playlists. The album’s title, “WAKA WAKA,” is inspired by Inusa’s early composition “Waka Waka Day & Night,” an Afro funk song recorded with his Groove Factory back in the mid-90s.
The album starts with the fresh 2023 afrobeats-highlife version of Lamont Dozier’s “Going Back to My Roots”. The album also features reimagined covers of “Don’t Look any Further” by Denis Eduard and “Wild World” of Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens with a fresh twist.
For those who appreciate heartfelt and romantic lyrics, “Believe and Feel” offers a beautiful blend of Afro, RnB, UK Garage, and soul. On the other hand, “Turn Back the Clock” presents a captivating soulful song with deep lyrics that will make you introspective about your relationships.
Inusa originally from Ghana, was born in Accra, Ghana, and as a teenager moved with his parents to Hamburg, Germany. He learned to play the saxophone during his youth, and he was also actively involved in sports. During the early 1990s he was a multiple boxing champion in Hamburg in the light heavyweight division.
For 2009 -10, Inusa was acknowledged as “Russia’s Most Successful Foreign Artist”, where to-date, his single Rumours (Digi Digi) has received an excess of over a million radio plays, beating a stream of fellow foreign artists in a category that included Lady Gaga and David Guetta.
The first successes in the field of music came to Inusa in the mid 1990s, when he travelled and played with several bands, playing cover versions of favourite hits from James Brown to Bob Marley. His primary musical influences include Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti and Grover Washington Jr.