Né en 1960 au Ghana, Ata Kak ne devait pas se douter qu’un jour il donnerait des frissons aux diggers du monde entier. Auteur d’une seule cassette, achetée par hasard par Brian Shimkovitz, alias Awesome Tapes from Africa (habitué de Villette Sonique), et enregistrée dans sa chambre, Ata Kak cultive dans sa musique une folie naïve qui crée un pont inattendu entre rap africain et house de Chicago lo-fi. Ressortie en 2015 et mise à disposition de tous, la musique du ghanéen est encore un bel exemple d’art outsider et d’une voix à l’étrangeté fascinante.© Villette Sonique


Ata Kak is the mysterious Ghanaian electronic/rap/highlife icon who kick-started the whole Awesome Tapes From Africa phenomenon. After a long wait he is ready to swing through Europe with his buoyant live show, on his first ever tour in summer 2016.

Ata Kak’s Obaa Sima cassette fell on deaf ears when it was first self-released in Ghana in 1994 but when American musicologist Brian Shimkovitz stumbled upon the tape at a street stall in Cape Coast, Ghana eight years later it became the stimulus for him to launch his Awesome Tapes from Africa blog, writing in his inaugural post: ‘This is it. The song is called Moma Yendodo. You may never hear anything like this elsewhere. No one I know in Ghana listens to this frenetic leftfield rap madness.

The music on the recording – an amalgam of highlife, Twi-language rap, funk, hip-hop and electronica – traverses a pop music landscape that encapsulates international modes while reflecting contemporary Ghanaian music of the period. Presented with the sweaty passion of a Prince record and the lo-fi recording charm of early Chicago house music, Obaa Sima‘s joyous soul and casual brilliance made the enigmatic Ata Kak an underground internet sensation and a party-starter the world over. After more than a decade of searching Brian finally tracked down the singer and released the LP officially in March 2015.