Music

Interview: Ghanaian Filmmaker Turned Rapper, Siriboe Talks Journey As A New Artist And Latest Single, “Ticks”

Accra, Ghana-native, Siriboe recently began flexing his skills as a rapper, coining his sound as Trap-Fusion among other genres—the word "fusion" being an identifier of who he is to the core and the type of music that he chooses to share with the world. Read more for an in-depth look into Siriboe's journey as a new artist in Ghana, his recent releases, and what he has in store.

Siriboe is a multifaceted creative from Accra, Ghana who recently began flexing his skills as a rapper, coining his sound as Trap-Fusion among other genres—the word “fusion” being an identifier of who he is to the core and the type of music that he chooses to share with the world. He explains, “I call it Trap-Fusion because I put my own experiences into my songs. It’s not technically just making Trap because I feel like it’s bumping.” He does a blend of genres and explains that, “It’s me focusing on something I love to hear more.”

The filmmaker-turned rapper has been consistent with releases and is getting his feet wet. His recent contributions have helped listeners to familiarize themselves with his sound while simultaneously sending a message that he is not to be overlooked—not him nor the talent that Ghana possesses.

Read more for an in-depth look into Siriboe’s journey as a new artist in Ghana, his recent releases, and what he has in store.

Ghanaian artist, Siriboe
Photo submitted by The Anti-Social Collective

Tell me a little bit about your background. You’re located in Ghana, right?

Yeah, I grew up here. Technically, I was born and bred in Ghana—Accra. That’s where I live and grew up my whole life. You ever been to Accra? You ever been to Ghana?

I have not. It’s definitely on my list. I haven’t even been to Africa, but yeah Ghana is definitely on my list and I have a few friends out there. And it’s even dope because I’m meeting people like you and other creatives, so I know when I do come to Ghana I can—

You’ll have a good time!

Yeah, exactly. But that’s nice. Born and raised in Accra. What about your interests growing up?

I love to create. That’s all I do. My first passion was into film and photography and then I moved into music, but technically I’ve liked music my whole life. Listened to different types of genres my whole life. My dad loves music. I grew up on music—Tina Turner. Can you believe I listened to Tina Turner when I was young? It’s crazy. I schooled in Ghana, too, my whole life.

Have you traveled outside of Ghana to other countries?

Yeah. I’ve been to the UK, but that’s just like an upgrade of Ghana. Dubai is cool, Abuja—different African countries. I’ve never been to the states, though.

Well, that’s cool. I mean, you’re not missing much. [laughing] So, you said music has always been a part of your life, but you were into film and photography. At what point did you decide to pursue music because I noticed that you have a few singles out, so it seems like you’re just getting on the scene.

I’ve been around a couple of people who make music. Kobla Jnr, you know. We’ve been managing him for a while and I just fell in love with music—getting to see the creation process of music. I just loved doing that and I would always be in the studio helping with vibes and writing music. Anti-Social, too—that’s the label.

I started recording some songs when no one was around. So, when they came back and listened to the songs they were like ‘yo, this shit is crazy! It’s bangin’.’ I was like you know, anything I do that’s bangin’ I have to take it seriously, even if it’s a small effort, you make good music, right? I started releasing music not long ago—professionally about eight months ago.

I met up with this guy—I had never met this guy—he’s called Siribeatz. We met up on Instagram, right? He’s also called Siriboe and I’m called Siriboe, so we are like yo, is that your real name? We checked our backgrounds and it looks like we were related—we didn’t even know. He’s a sick ass beat maker, it’s crazy. So, it’s just like it all worked out. Everything just clicked, you know? I was like, yo if you get some signs and some omens, you don’t have to do anything else. I met this guy called Siriboe—that’s my name. He makes beats. So, what else are you trying to tell me? I have to make music to his beats.

That’s definitely a sign. You were right where you needed to be at that moment. Moving into the type of music you create, it’s definitely that Trap sound. Whenever I think of Trap I automatically think of the influence from the states.

I call it Trap-Fusion because I put my own experiences into my songs. It’s not technically just making Trap because I feel like it’s bumping. I just put my experiences and what I actually go through into my songs, so I call it Trap-Fusion just not to confuse people who think I’m trying to copy a genre. I feel like the kicks and the snares and everything—I won’t go far, let’s continue. [laughing]

I’m glad you said that though! At the end of the day, it still has that influence, but you’ve added your own flair to it. I think it’s cool that you want people to know like, I’m not trying to replicate something. I’m adding my own flair. And I think that’s important though because it shows your ambition and passion for your own sound. But, considering the trap influence, though it’s something I’m familiar with because it’s in the states, right? Like, Atlanta, Trap culture, all of that. That’s where it’s at, but I think it’s interesting that other creatives abroad have taken hold of the genre and put a twist to it. I always find it interesting to see where that influence was for them, so whenever you’re creating your sound—specifically with Trap, who are some of your musical influences if you have any in that realm?

I love Young Thug, I love Gunna, Gucci Mane. I love all those people, so I was definitely influenced by a lot of them. I try to put in my own style and flair in there, too.

And how would you describe your own style and flair?

I don’t just do Trap. I do a lot of genres. I do a blend of everything. It’s me focusing on something I love to hear more. I love Hip-Hop and Trap, so I’ll definitely make more Hip-Hop and Trap music.

That’s nice though because what’s out now is that Trap-Fusion. I look forward to hearing you get into these different sounds and genres. I personally love when artists are like I do more than just this one thing. I’m multi-genre. I just create music because it’s music and not because I’m in a box.

I mean, if it sounds good—it sounds good.

Shoutout to everybody trying to open a way for African music because we are the future. I mean, people say we are slow or we are behind, but I feel like we will catch up and whoever opens the door first we will still pass through the gate.

How would you describe Ghana’s music scene?

To be honest, it’s rising. I feel like everybody’s noticing Ghana right now. We are getting put on the map right now. Shoutout to everybody trying to open a way for African music because we are the future. I mean, people say we are slow or we are behind, but I feel like we will catch up and whoever opens the door first we will still pass through the gate, so it’s all good.

I spoke with another artist from Ghana and he was talking about how—he went a little more in-depth on Ghana’s music scene and being late to the party with distribution platforms, but we were talking about how Ghana is not to be overlooked. Clearly, y’all have the talent. There’s great talent coming out of Ghana and individuals like yourself, creating your own sounds and genres and just being inspired to create music that moves you—I think it’ll definitely touch who it’s supposed to touch. I’m personally trying to tap into what’s going on in Ghana. I want to know what are the new sounds? What are y’all creating there? I just love music as a whole.

The way Afrobeats is still rising in Africa and everything—of course they’re still trying to do Trap and Hip-Hop and everything, but I feel like we should all be ourselves. Whatever you feel like making at that time, just make music and drop it. If it slaps, it slaps, right? I don’t know how it is in America, but it’s how it is in Ghana. Everybody’s just trying to be themselves right now like fuck it, I’ll make some Afrobeats, but if I feel like I can hop on a Hip-Hop record I’ll do that.

I think that’s the way to go about it. Just flex your versatility. Do what you feel. Create what you want. I want to go more into the Trap-Fusion part. Clearly, we know Trap, but what are some things that make your music Trap-Fusion. Specifically, your sound. How do you feel like you’re standing out and creating in your own way?

Sometimes, the difference can be in the lyrics because I put in lyrics that are relatable to people out here. People can realize like, yo this guy’s not even in Atlanta. You know what he’s trying to do out here. We’re cool here, so I make sure it vibes and bops with the Trap influence. Sometimes there are live instruments—the keys and the snares and the drums and the kicks and everything—it’s influenced by African music. We’re just trying to make people know that you can still make Trap music with your drums and kicks—that doesn’t mean that it’s not African drums, that it’s not African music. I’m just building my own sound and trying to make people understand that you don’t have to put yourself in a shell and say I want to put African drums in my song to give my identity. Snares and kicks and bass came from Africa, so it’s ours—it has just changed because of time. Just go with the flow and stop trying to put yourself in a box. Let’s just vibe, it’s music.

I definitely get that from your music—let’s just vibe. It’s just a good time. I enjoy it. I want to discuss your releases. We’ll start with “Confidence” featuring Kobla Jnr. Just tell me about that track.

It was produced by Phantom Beats. At that time, I just wanted to talk about people trying to build their confidence. I had someone who came up to me and told me, ‘I didn’t know you didn’t have confidence.’ Listen, everybody alive has self-esteem issues. Trust me! Whether you like it or not. Maybe you can be confident in certain ways, but you have something about you that you’re not confident about. So, I just wanted to preach about building your confidence.

I think that’s a message that everyone can relate to. We all have those moments. But, you had a moment where you didn’t feel as confident as you are? Because right now it seems like you’re in tune with who you are and what you do.

Definitely, but you have to work on it. If you have self-esteem issues and you just sit down and not work on them, you’re not growing.

And then your recent releases. I have a few that I want to hear your take on. So, “Angels and Demons”—I really love the energy of that track. I was like okay, he’s spittin’.

I had a close friend that believes in me and he wanted me to make him proud because he had a dream where he saw me standing in front of a whole crowd with lights. When I entered the studio I just said I want to make a song for this guy. I put on the beat and it just came to me. “Angels and Demons” is the good side and a bad side. Trying to do good and be a good person, but sometimes you be the bad guy for some people.

That track kind of relates to your single, “Devil In Me”. I noticed that it has a Drill influence to it and earlier you were talking about how you make a fusion of sounds, so I think that’s perfect. Is there a correlation there as well?

Yeah. After “Angels and Demons” I felt that was the best song to release at that time because there was a Drill wave, too. I recorded “Devil In Me” like two years ago and just decided to release it. It’s about the Devil in me, fuck the Angel. I’ll be the bad guy this time. [laughing]

[laughing] And you just dropped a single, “Ticks”. I’ve been vibing to that this week and I got the message that some people out there just aren’t real, aren’t honest. Not to trust certain people.

People trying to use you. Ticks. Think about yourself sometimes. Ticks just leeching off you. When Wavy pulled up to the studio, it was good vibes. She listened to it and hadn’t finished recording my verse and she was like, yo I love this song, and she hopped on a verse and we made magic.

I loved the contrast between your voice and hers. I think she was a great feature. As a new artist, how has it been navigating through the independent music grind?

I just try to keep everything organic and just be myself with my music. I don’t force it onto people because when they listen they actually fuck with my vibes and Anti-Social is pushing me, the whole team. We’re all doing a good job.

You directed the video for “Badman”. I would love to discuss that. I know it features some great talent: Kobla Jnr, Harma Boy, Jason the Native, and Wes.

The video, I wanted it to just be with The Anti-Social gang, so I didn’t want to make it a lot of guys. I wanted it to be a gang video. A black and white vibe. That’s why the scenes were focusing on him and his guys. He and his badmen.

With that video though, I really appreciated how you captured the gang feel. That crew feel. I like the black and white visual aspect of it. It was really energetic right when it needed to be. I think you did a really good job capturing it. For those who have never been to Ghana or just haven’t built relationships with anyone from Ghana, how would you describe the creative scene? How is it as a creative person?

I won’t lie to you. It’s very challenging because everybody’s trying to prove themselves and be themselves, but it’s very challenging. People can’t even switch up styles and different things. They don’t want to, but you just have to stay focused and I mean, we are getting there so keep your head up and keep moving.

Yo, it’s like that?

It’s tough. I won’t lie to you it’s tough out here, but it’s the love. It’s the passion.

But, I think it’s cool that you are part of a collective of like-minded individuals and you have that support, but it does suck to hear that it’s a bit of a challenge overall connecting—

Not even about connecting with each other. It’s just a bit challenging, but we are getting there—that’s what I’m trying to say. If you just put in more work out here in Ghana, you will get there. I don’t mean about connecting with each other and stuff. It’s just trying to get proper, good content out there. We have to create. Even if you give me a camera right now, I won’t just go outside without a plan. Let’s create something good. That’s what I try to do. I don’t just drop anything because I want content out there.

So, it’s definitely intentional with you. I applaud that, though. You have to be sure of what you put out. You’re not just going to put anything out. What can we look forward to as it pertains to music because you did say that you make other sounds?

I have a tape coming out soon. It’s five songs. That’s in July or maybe before July. I don’t know the date yet. I also have some good features with people.

You said eight months ago is when you really started professionally putting out your music.

Exactly, and I have a mixtape coming soon then an EP this year, too.

I’ll definitely be tapped in, for sure. I can’t wait. That pretty much sums up the interview, but do you have anything that you want to touch on that I maybe didn’t ask you?

I just want to say we should connect more and support Ghanaian music. There’s so much talent in Ghana. We look like we are behind, but trust me, we are not behind. And you should visit Ghana soon!

Oh yeah, I will! I will let you know when I’m there. [laughing]

Anytime you’re here, we got you!

Okay, bet! How can we stay connected with you?

Instagram! We are always live. We are always active, so just hit us up. On Twitter—active!

LISTEN: Single, “Ticks”:

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