Ghanaian-born, New York-based musician, composer and producer Blitz the Ambassador is poised to take the music scene by storm this spring with the release of his third studio album AFROPOLITAN DREAMS on Jakarta Records.
The 12-track album is an intoxicating collection showcasing Blitz’s penchant for old school NY hip hop with the indelible influences of Fela Kuti and other Afrobeat icons and at the center of it all, his masterful lyrical flow. The album skillfully captures the immigrant journey as experienced by Blitz himself, who was born and raised in Ghana and moved to the US in 2001 to pursue his musical voice.
The songs paint a remarkable and cohesive story, from the opening track “The Arrival” to the new single “Success,” which documents the pursuit of success and the yearning to shout it out when achieved. The video for “Success” was shot in Tokyo and Rabat and showcases Blitz’s lyrical flow, sharp delivery and a nod to the African great Hugh Masekela.
A number of high profile internationally-acclaimed musicians make an appearance including Grammy-winning “queen of African music” Angelique Kidjo (“Call Waiting”), the youngest son of legendary Afrobeat star Fela Kuti, Seun Kuti (“Make You No Forget”); German/Nigerian soul/hip hop songstress Nneka (“Love on The Run”), and Brazilian hip hop star Marcelo D2 (“All Around The World”). Blitz produced the album, which also features contributions from his longtime collaborator Optiks on several tracks.
Blitz grew up listening to classic rappers including Public Enemy, Rakim and KRSOne, alongside Afrobeat greats such as Fela Kuti and soul icons such as Marvin Gaye. Those varied influences are ever present in his recordings and trademark live shows featuring a dynamic 8-piece band, selling out shows across the globe from England to France, Japan and Brazil.
Blitz has earned media raves for his shows, with the WALL STREET JOURNAL describing his live show as “…the feeling of crisscrossed genre mash-ups, swiftly moving from traditional hip-hop to Nigerian high life and hard Afro-funk. Blitz invited his audience on a narrative musical journey, exploring the roots of rap and funk music around the world and the African continent.” (8/8/11).The NEW YORK TIMES has said “Blitz the Ambassador, who was born Samuel Bazawule in Ghana’s capital, Accra, put his mission in his stage name. For him the job means history, funk from Africa and America, rapping, singing and showing off a hard-working three-man horn section, whose every riff was delivered with a choreographed swivel.” (8/8/11), and The WASHINGTON POST praised Blitz saying, “Blitz the Ambassador is a hip-hop talent to watch, with his deft mixing of English and his native Ghanaian Twi with effortless style and a rollicking band fronted by a wall of brass that would make Fela Kuti proud.” (5/3/11)
Blitz is also at the forefront of an emerging “afropolitan” community of innovative artists, musicians, photographers and designers who are bringing their own unique vision and African influences to all corners of the creative spectrum, and AFROPOLITAN DREAMS embodies Blitz’s sonic contribution to the ever-growing movement.