In his recent collaboration with hip hop artist Fuse ODG, Ed Sheeran wrote part of their new song ‘Boa Me’ in the Ghanaian dialect Twi.
Twi is one of the main dialects of the principal native language of Ghana, Akan. While it is only spoken by around 9 million of Ghana’s 28 million population, it has mostly gained prominence by being the main language of many Ghanaian musicians. Teachers of Twi encourage learners to listen to Ghanaian highlife and hip hop music to help them hear how the language is spoken, and now they can add Ed Sheeran to that list.
With the help of English-born and Ghanaian-raised Fuse ODG, Sheeran sings entirely in Twi for their latest song. Ed Sheeran travelled to Ghana earlier this year to work with Fuse and get some fresh inspiration for his new album. In an interview with Radio 1 in January, Sheeran stated: “I wrote a song in Twi, which is the Ghanaian dialect, and I wrote that in Ghana, at Fuse’s house with all his mates. That was probably the most fun experience”. Now the song has been released and many fans are impressed with his new-found language skills.
This isn’t the first time Sheeran has embraced a new language as last year he recorded his track ‘Thinking out loud’ in Irish Gaelic, and throughout this year various songs have been released with Twi lyrics and African inspired music.
Along with Justin Bieber’s hit song of the summer ‘Despacito’ it seems the trend for English speaking musicians taking up other languages is set to continue. But with English speaking musicians dominating overseas charts regularly, it seems right we start to have a more international language range in the UK top 40.
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