The story of how Bandana rose from the ashes like Phoenix and Rose to become the ever trending Shatta Wale is unknown to many people.
THE BEGINNING OF SHATTA WALE’S MUSIC CAREER.
Growing up as a kid, Shatta Wale is said to have been exposed to Jamaican culture by his father who played Reggae music in their home, and also continuously travelled with him (Shatta Wale) to the UK to familiarize with his half Jamaican relatives. Yes, you heard it right, Shatta Wale has a root in the Caribbean country of Jamaica.
Charles Nii Armah Mensah as he is known from birth started his music career in his high school days at Winneba Senior High School where he learnt how to play the keyboard and also received routine vocal training at his school’s music class department.
Shatta Wale was then nicknamed, ‘Baby Boy’. He later changed it to ‘Doggy’ because of how he adored fellow reggae and dancehall Ghanaian artiste, Yoggy Doggy.
Changed his name to Bandana after senior high school and released the ever popular song, “Moko Ho (Bandana from Ghana)” in 2004 which featured Ghanaian hip hop artiste, Tinny.
From 2009—2012: Rebranding
After getting a nationwide hit with his ‘Moko Hoo’ in 2004, he went into the doldrums and it took Bandana, 10 whole years to bounce back to become Shatta Wale today.
He came back as a dancehall artiste and he has not looked back since.
He has defied all conventional ways an artiste is expected to behave but has still achieved relatively more success than any other artiste during his comeback.
Shatta Wale, who was then known as Bandana, took a short break from the music industry and traveled to Jamaica to learn more about dancehall, reggae music, and the Jamaican lifestyle as a whole.
After having mastered his art after his journey, Bandana rebranded himself to Shatta Wale.
He started a new career which largely depended on dancehall in a Jamaican style and also built his core fan base from the ghettos of Nima — a suburb of Accra, Ghana, that harbors a lot of Muslim youth in ghettos.
The African Dancehall King released songs almost every day on his social media handles to be downloaded for free and started gaining attention again with songs like “Telephone No”, “Anastasia”, “My Eyes Pon Di Money”, among others.
This approach by Shatta Wale is said to have revived dancehall in Ghana — a genre which the likes of Root Eye, General Marcus, Yoggy Doggy, and others years ago had started but could not make it big.
Shatta Wale credits the late Terry Bonchaka and Yoggy Doggy for nurturing him to this point in his music career.
“It was under their tutelage that they told me I was going to blow up and that my style is so unique” Shatta stated in an interview on Peace FM.
From 2013—2015: Shatta Wale Releases His Breakthrough Hit, “Dancehall King”
In 2013, Shatta Wale produced majority of songs and announced his presence with a big bang by releasing the controversial hit, “Dancehall King” that would give him his breakthrough in the music industry in Ghana.
Other hit songs Wale produced alongside “Dancehall King” were “Havana”, “Shatta City”, “Enter the Net”, and “Everybody Likes My Tin”.
He had a successful tour in Canada and the United States of America in 2014.
In May 2014, British Newspaper, The Guardian rated Shatta Wale’s “Wine Ya Waist” featuring Davido among its five must-listened-to new tracks from around the world.
The same year, Shatta’s “You Can’t Touch Me” song was widely used for the Dancers Against Racism Campaign Worldwide.
In 2015, the “Dancehall King” hitmaker toured Europe, and also shared the same stage with heavyweights like P-Square, Flavour, and some others at the Wembley Arena in London.
From 2016—2018: Shatta Wale “After The Storm and Reign” Albums, NAM1’S Zylofon Music Signing
In 2017, Shatta Wale was ranked 27 by C. Hub Magazine’s 100 most influential creatives — an annual cumulative rating for Black creatives around the world by the magazine.
The list included the likes of Akon, Stormzy, Anthony Joshua, among many other important personalities.
The release of the “After The Storm” album by Shatta Wale — which had tracks like ‘Kakai’, ‘Mahama Paper’, ‘Hol’ It’, ‘Biegya (Open Fire)’, and ‘Baby (Chop Kiss)’ — was very successful as it stayed a top the charts both locally and internationally .
‘Hol’ It’, for instance, topped BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Afroboss Top 5 songs chart show.
Co-founder of Rockstar Games, Sam Houser said at the time that he was deeply impressed by the performance and popularity of “Kakai” and the buzz it created in the African communities in the United States of America and beyond, topping several dancehall charts globally.
Mr Sam Houser’s wish was that bureaucrats would confirm “Kakai” to be part of the then upcoming Grand theft Auto 6 which was going to make Shatta Wale $744,000 richer annually.
In 2017, Shatta Wale toured the US to promote “After The Storm” album. Also made a trip to Jamaica to shoot videos for projects he had jointly produced with some music producers over there.
In January, 2018, Zylofon Music owned by Nana Appiah Mensah aka NAM1 signed Shatta Wale in a mouth-watering deal.
On October 13th, 2018, Shatta released his third studio album titled “Reign” at the Fantasy Dome in Accra. He used the occasion to propose to his longtime girlfriend and baby mama, Shatta Michy.
Beyonce Features Shatta Wale
The biggest news in 2019 was when Shatta wale got the rarest opportunity to feature on ‘Already’ by American R&B superstar and wife of Jay Z, Beyonce.
The Beyonce-Shatta collaboration received a lot of rave reviews across the globe.
Beyoncé features Shatta Wale on ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ album…and it’s King ‘Already’
After a year of its release, news of the Beyonce-Shatta collaboration even became the loudest in 2020 when a video was shot for the ‘Already’ song and premiered on Youtube on Thursday, July 30th, 2020.
Shatta Wale’s Albums
After the Storm (2016)
Cloud 9 (2017, hip hop mixtape)
Wonder Boy (2019)
As fans and loved ones keep anticipating the release of his much hyped album dubbed ‘Gift of God’ which is revealed to have the legendary dancehall crooner, Vybz Kartel and other notable names on it.
Below Are Some Of Shatta Wale Hit Songs
Shatta Wale as a music producer and musician has produced countless major hits in his entire music career.
1. Dancehall King
3. Taking Over
4. Mahama Paper
5. Hol’ It
6. Dancehall Commando (Remix) featuring Sarkodie
7. Party All Night Long featuring Jah 9. Vinci
8. Wine Ya Waist featuring Davido (of Nigeria)
9. Baby (Chop Kiss)
10. Biegya (Open Fire)
12. Korle Gono
13. Shatta City
14. Enter The Net
15. Everybody Likes My Tin
16. Freedom and many of his current songs