Known as one of the outspoken artist of our time, Wanlov the Kubolor after vindicating himself on national TV by raising his wrapper... talks about FOKN Bois, Pidgin Music and Censorship.
I use to go by the name spooky even when I got to America and people told me it was a prejudiced word and going into music with such a name wouldn’t be the best. But through listening to music across genres I heard the word “One Love” in songs and I thought that being my stage name would do a lot for me because that word was already on peoples lips. People always associate the name to reggae because Bob Marley’s one love song was huge but even the idea of the song is universal but people haven’t come to terms with that. I also chose the name just to remind me of who I am and my mission in this world.
You have Green Card, Yellow Card and Brown Card, why the cards?
I called my first album green card in reference to the staying permit in the US because my family was pushing I get a green card to get a good stay in America. Just to say that was my green card.
Yellow card came when the soccer fever had caught up and politicians were mishandling monies here and there and I used that to serve as a warning towards those issues.
Then Brown card represents the ECOWAS card which allows people to travel across the sub region freely and brown being the color of the earth in reference to a Gypsy who travels the world with the believe it has no borders.
I have Blue and Red Cards coming too and they might be released simultaneously. It’s also a branding strategy so people would associate me with that.
Which of your songs are personal to you?
“Laredo” which talks about me being held by American Immigration, “How” was done to tell the stories of children going through hardship. “Human Being” is a personal cry to the world to treat everyone with care.
“Next Life" which talks about death and “Casa Mea” was recorded in France and I was trying to speak on behalf of the Gypsies that were being mistreated as at the time.
FOKN Bois, what’s it about?
'Foes Of Kwame Nkrumah' is where Mensa and I get to speak our mind and everything that needs to be said. Individually, I do more spiritual and musical stuff without minding the messages that much, and Mensa with his Light Off band also has a great course they are charting. We feel free to talk about things people deem are very politically incorrect and people find that too sensitive to be talked about in our music.
We are just in to expose the hypocrisies among people. Some people have accepted us and people are really supporting our music. We did a Pidgin musical film and working on another and no one has done this before. FOKN Bois is touring and we are selling CD’s; we are going to tour Ghana from Bolga down to Accra. It’s going to be a FOKN Bois and friends tour. We are writing our second album.
People are disappointed I didn’t go to Big Brother but Big Brother wasn’t ready to pay me the monies FOKN Bois would have lost if I had canceled our shows and gone into the house.
We now have money to release Macho Rappers film, Yaa Pono’s film and Pidgin Music and FOKN Bois are ready and on top now. We are putting in all the creative effort we can because we are not here just to produce music for tomorrow and next week, we are going to do music that will last forever.
What were you like before this Wanlov we now know?
I was a “yoyo” boy. I loved basketball, I wanted to rap with Snoop Dog, I use to braid my hair and wear Timberland boots and in the cold weathers that was cool. I think it was a phase and it was a level of growth I went through. I re-invented myself and became Wanlov.
Apart from the cars and shoes that I don’t fancy now, I think I am still the same as I was then. I use to be more impulsive than I am now but now I am very calculative. People wont believe it but everything I do, I think about it through and through before I act.
Do you believe in censorship?
I don’t believe in censorship because I believe your current works shapes your future works and you have to be very truthful to yourself. With FOKN Bois, we don’t hold back no matter what it is, we will say it. We don’t have radio versions of our songs except “Broken Languages” which Channel O wanted to use. If I sent it, I would have done that without editing it.
I don’t believe in derogatory words in music because words have never killed a person before. TV people show movies and people hold guns and people are okay with that. People say their children will be corrupt with these words, if you raise your children well they will know when to use and not to use these words.
What’s the twitter banter with Blak Rasta all about?
When I proved to Delay that I was not a liar on TV, a radio station called Blak Rasta and he accused me of being a drug addict on radio and he also accused me of insulting the gathering at Alliance Français during Cephas’ (Sound man and musician at Alliance Français till his passed on) wake keeping.
But what I said was if we as a people should live Ghana the way it is for our children then “our mothers”. Everyone laughed and I performed and there was good vibe in the air afterwards. I wasn’t down with his accusations so I also tweeted him some words and until he apologizes to me, I will not regard him as anything anymore.
He is a sensationalist who jumps on bandwagons. We released “Thank God We Are Not A Nigerians” and he did a whole show on that song. He was all for Obama, then Gaddafi was murdered and he starts making songs about that. He just wants attention.
Ghanaian artist mostly perform for Ghanaians abroad, how about you guys?
We have international and outer national. The international artist crosses borders to go perform for Ghanaians abroad while the outer national artist go and serve real Ghanaian music that has a unique vibe and feel to the world.
We haven’t performed at more than five Ghanaian shows yet. When we go out there, we represent Ghana’s culture, we bring the true image and sounds to stage and that’s what the outside world want. That’s why Ayisoba, Ambollay, Hewale Sounds and Ebo Taylor are big out there.