Telekom Electronic Beats

E-MERGING: Meet the OROKO radio community a different way

Through the eyes of four residents, we caught up on life, love-hate relationships and unpopular opinions.

E-MERGING: Meet the OROKO radio community a different way

Through the eyes of four residents, we caught up on life, love-hate relationships and unpopular opinions.

Text: Juule Kay

The world is changing, and with it, a new generation of trailblazers is taking over. In our new monthly series E-MERGING, we introduce the people adding to the cultural moment with their creative minds, new ideas and unique approaches. It’s a glimpse behind the scenes, a way to dig deeper and look beyond the picture-perfect outcome we’re swamped with every day.

Browsing through OROKO Radio’s website almost feels like a treasure hunt. There are so many new gems to discover from DJs, presenters, collectives and everything in-between. “We generally try to make as much space for artists from the continent of Africa as possible, and always keep an eye on gender representation,” says Kikelomo Oludemi, who founded the radio station together with Nico Adomako and Naëmi Ada. “Aside from this, we pick residents based on the originality of their concept or proposal and if we get a sense that they believe in what we stand for.” For her, it’s less about having a lot of experience than about dedication and potential, which also makes the essence of OROKO Radio: building a community; pushing the people you really believe in and want to see thriving. “The creativity and passion of our radio residents is what makes the radio station what it is,” she puts in a nutshell.

Born in Accra, Ghana, OROKO aims to connect, inspire and empower by shining a spotlight on alternative sounds and thoughts coming from and influenced by the African continent. Besides broadcasting, they also host parties, panel discussions and DJ as well as production workshops. For all of that, the team couldn’t have chosen a more fitting creative hub than the capital of Ghana, known for its flourishing creative scene. “There is so much incredible talent here, I just hope the hype promotes sustainable opportunities, and doesn’t end up blocking locals from their own spaces,” the co-founder continues. “Creatives are now able to own their narratives, and outdated stereotypes about what it means to be an African artist are falling away.”

We wanted to get to know OROKO Radio through the eyes of their residents and introduce some of the brilliant minds in a slightly different way.

Discover Nsasi's perspective

Please tell us something not everyone knows about you.
I’m super scared of lightning.

Please describe your OROKO NsasiJuiced show in one sentence.
NsasiJuiced shall be and is unpredictable.

Please tell us what you learned about yourself recently.
I am super patient.

Please let us know your way of doing things.
I am a “process kind of person”. I take my time also trusting the process. In other words, I fear pressure and being pressured.

Please explain to us what’s something you cherish every day being part of ANTI-MASS, a collective of queer artists making experimental electronic music and throwing parties.
I love what we have together, and meeting people who like what we are doing by representing our community using art and expression. I cherish the life I have discovered in what we do.

Please give us an unpopular opinion
Comfort is overrated. Life doesn’t begin at the end of your comfort zone.

Discover DJ ICHE's perspective

Please tell us something not everyone knows about you.
My favourite chocolate candy is Snickers and Maltesers, yum!

Please describe your OROKO Ché Radio show in one sentence.
Ché Radio is an observation and exploration of the sounds of my environment.

Please give us an affirmation you live by.
Always leave space for change.

Please finish the following sentence: Music is where I go when…
… I need company.

Please disclose what you love to do when spending me-time.
I love indulging in all my guilty pleasures. I don’t want to give too many details, but I sing a lot to myself, smoke, sleep, try to cook, watch lots of my favourite shows, social media, cry – all the regular millennial stuff.

Please reveal something you have a love-hate relationship with.
I have a love-hate relationship with existence. It’s beautiful, but I have so many questions and no answers.

Discover SuperJazz Club's perspective

Please tell us something not everyone knows about you.
We all keep guilty pleasure playlists; at least a number of us.

Please describe your OROKO Radio Jazz show in one sentence.
We share some of the music which means the most to us – from Amapiano to RnB to Acid House, as we don’t believe our music taste should be one dimensional.

Please elaborate what all of you have in common, even though you all do different things.
We do different yet the same things because it’s all art. What unites us is the vision, comradeship and the hive mind we all share in ideas and thoughts.

Please reveal something you’re struggling with as a collective.
‘Being always on culture’. In the music industry, there’s an expectation to post things online as much as possible, but focusing on our growth and depth as artists needs to be our ultimate focus. We understand that people want insights into our process, so we do share when we feel comfortable, but also don’t wish for it to be contrived.

Please share with us something you once overheard and still remember.
Abusey Junction – Kokoroko.

Please finish the following sentence: We would love to see our future selves…
… still creating and standing for the creation of the music we feel is most true to ourselves to a diverse and much broader audience.

Discover GHBOI's perspective

Please tell us something not everyone knows about you.
I speak pretty fluent Mandarin and co-own a dumpling business in Accra.

Please describe your OROKO SESSIONS show in one sentence.
GOOD music pon your head top!

Please reveal something that lives rent-free in your head.
“Daddy, chill”, you’re welcome.

Please elaborate how you came up with your stage name.
It was a nickname that was used to tease me until I owned it and made it mean something: As a woman, you can do and be anything a man can… or anything he says you can’t be.

Please tell us about the most important thing you learned about yourself being part of WATWOMXN, an initiative to promote and celebrate creative femmes.
The power of collective and more importantly the power of African creative femmes truly banding together to guide, support and empower each other. One thing I’ve learnt about myself is that with all its nuances and challenges in Accra’s music industry, I really enjoy teaching young women at WATWOMXN x OROKO DJ workshops, having music conversations with other like-minded individuals and forming connections with all kinds of creative and talented minds.

Please go ahead and rant about what you’re sick of in the music industry of today.
The glaring gender bias. It’s quite appalling how blatant it still is given that there’s a rapidly increasing number of talented songwriters, producers, rappers, DJs, sound engineers and MCs who are women, but are unfortunately not presented with the same opportunities, same pay, and same radio play; not met with the same criticism, same level of sponsorship or recognition. For years women have been doing all they can to ensure it does change, but the sad truth is that because this bias is so systemic, whatever progress being made is painfully slow. I truly believe women across the board in all industries are gonna keep at it until the playing field is truly fair. After all, slow progress is still progress.

Discover OROKO Radio