Fusing forces from Norway and Ghana for Crosstown Rebels is Djuma Soundsystem & Yann Coppier Feat. King Ayisoba, with the expertly crafted ‘Anyimu’. Containing remixes from DJ and producer Jerome Sydenham, and Johnny Aux who brings his signature acid house sound, Mikkas Skulstad aka Djuma Soundsystem describes ‘Anyimu’ as “not just a track but a whole concept. It has taken me over five years and I feel honored to work with such amazing musicians on this project, and also that they gave me trust and freedom to shape it in my vision. I hope people will draw inspiration from it.”
Photographer Bettina Furstenberg tells the story behind the video of Anyimo.
“I’m in the process of making a documentary on King Ayisoba and have been filming him since 2008. In 2013 we once again went to the Upper East Region of Northern Ghana, to the small village called Bongo Soe, King Ayisoba’s birth place. Nowadays King Ayisoba resides in Accra, so it’s always very special to him to go back home, not only to visit his dear family and friends, but also because this is where his ancestors lived and where the sacred places of his ancestors are located, places which are of great importance in the Frafra tradition.
King Ayisoba had asked me to shoot a video for the song and he chose the various locations for the video. First he organized some Frafra male dancers to dance in a local bar in Bongo Soe. Then we drove to a big lake for another shoot, where he and the dancers went into the lake while playing and dancing. During the shoot it suddenly got very windy and it started to rain heavily. That area doesn’t see much rain normally, but on that occasion it poured down, adding drama to the shoot.
It was very important to King Ayisoba to introduce these male dancers in the video, so people who haven’t seen this kind of dance before would be able to experience it. It’s a great wish of his to bring these significant dancers on tour to perform at his performances abroad. King Ayisoba’s tribe Frafra are originally hunters, but these days most of them are farmers. The hunting dance rituals are still used at celebrations, and that’s what you see in the video: King Ayisobas family dancing with arrows, leaves and other symbolic items; sisters, brothers, cousins, neighbors and even his mothers are performing. There is so much music, singing and spirituality in his family house, and when you see them dance and sing, you can better understand the world of King Ayisoba.
Another location in the video is at the local market in Bongo Soe. That’s the location you see with a lot of people in the background, where he and his brother Adortanga are performing. The family has always sold their goods there at the market, and King Ayisoba started performing at that very market when he was a young boy. Everyone there knows him and his songs, and whenever he comes to perform its hugely appreciated.
This particular footage King Ayisoba and I edited together during his tour in Denmark, so King Ayisoba has been very involved in the making of it. It was then further edited by the video director to fit the music. It’s of great value to King Ayisoba that people see the place he comes from with his friends and family and get a glimpse of the traditions of the Frafra people.”