Connect with us

Arts & Culture

[IN-CONVERSATION] Kay Studios, the Young Ghanaian Photographer Shaping Perspectives And Capturing Emotions through His Lens

Published

on

I was thinking the other day about the life of a photographer. At first glance, it seems like a wonderful thing. Imagine spending your time traveling the world, creating beautiful artwork that is admired by all. Unfortunately, however, this dream is often just as impossible as it sounds. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be a successful photographer — on the contrary, it means that in order to be a successful photographer, you’ll need to deal with a variety of problems.

Especially in Ghana where being an entrepreneur doesn’t look lucrative, young Ghanaians who venture in to sole proprietorship in informal economy are exposed a legion of difficulties, with one of them being their vulnerability (inadequate finance). I had an insightful conversation, with Kay Studios; A&R Consultant @kvonlinetalent Creative director, Film maker and Official videographer for Stonebwoy & Bisa Kdei, which focused on his career as a photographer, challenges and where he wants to reach in the arts economy.

The Accra-based photographer who has been increasingly shaping perspectives, changing narratives, capturing emotions through his lens and leaving long lasting memories on the mind of his patrons and consumers, including musicians and brands. With an impressive portfolio, consisting of works of Stonebwoy, Bisa KDei, Fameye, Medikal, Gyakie, Ice Prince Zamani, the young creative is considered a professional in the photography industry and has a solid support system that is partly responsible for his current success rate.

Check out the conversation below

1. Briefly describe your background as a creative person and what led you to become a photographer? Better still, how did you first get into photography?

“My name is Ebenezer Ofori Donkor popularly known as KAYSTUDIOS, I got my first degree in Land Economy from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, named after the first president of the Republic of Ghana, formerly Gold Coast. I started my journey into the video editing and photography world by working with famed photographers, Twinsdntbeg through which I established and built connection with a lot of influential people. I pushed him onto the mainstream domain, I have managed to use my talent very well and has been noticed by the Second Lady of Ghana, Samira Bawumia, and also known brands like Miss Malaika, Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, etc.”

“I started my journey into the video editing and photography world by working with famed photographers, Twinsdntbeg through which I established and built connection with a lot of influential people.”

2. What moved you to establish “Kay Studios”? What would you say have been some of the challenges that have come with setting up your business? What are also some of the challenges you foresee in terms of keeping it going in the long-term?

“Motivations for wanting to become an entrepreneur can vary greatly. Common motivators can include escaping the corporate grind, taking greater advantage of special skill sets, supplementing income or a strong drive to achieve personal or financial success. But as spiritual as I am and how quick I found the purpose for my life, I only wanted to be remembered as one who has been needful to mankind and impactful and this was the platform for me to help everyone one I meet and the passion for the camera pushed me to start my Kaystudios business . There hasn’t been any challenges so far setting up , if serving and working hard is a challenge then that’s my only challenge be cause I still serve and work very hard as well”

3. As a young photographer living in Ghana, what would you say has been your biggest setback?

“My biggest set back was often procrastination”

“My biggest set back was often procrastination”

4. How is it that people know a Kay Studios image when they see it? Is this something that’s intentional? How would you explain it?

“Well, I’m sure God’s plan wasn’t regular for me so he need me to be a difference, I have always wanted to be different among other photographers with the intention of making my pictures look different”

5. Every new project you work has a completely different vibe from the previous one. What’s your creative process like and where do you draw your influences from? And, Do you have a favorite project? And why?

“I’m someone whose by God’s blessed with humility, I Love to learn new things, thus far I’m never too big to ask other photographers for Tuition. I see any beautiful piece out there, I proceed to ask how it was achieved, then I learn, add to mine and create magic so everytime I’m learning and creating new stuff. All my works are my favorite and clients favorite because they love the outcome and results of my works everytime and is by grace”

6. Do you ever face any troubles or complications interpreting your ideas and bringing them to life?

“I do find troubles sometimes especially when I really want to execute the exact piece of work I have imagined but lack of resources I sometimes have to improvise”

“I do find troubles sometimes especially when I really want it to execute the exact piece of work I have imagined but lack of resources I sometimes have to improve”

7. You’ve worked with a lot of musicians and brands, including Stonebwoy, Bisa Kdei etc. over the past few years. What does it feel like to be the creative brain behind a great number of album covers and promo shoots? Your experience

“I will say I feel blessed to be a part of all these big brands it’s jut not a chance but the favor of God and my preparation met the opportunity so I grapped it. My experience with them has been amazing and they are big brothers to me, and This relationship has made both artist built and good working respect and connection”

8. Regarding Stonebwoy, he seemed like a very strong personality, was he picky about how he wanted to be photographed or he allowed you to take full control over the shots and angles?

“With Stonebwoy, it is always collaboration. You know creativity is in tandem with collaboration so we bring ideas and then execute all the time, and we have a great understanding so I know what he wants to see and how he wants to look. We just have our way of communicating for the pictures and visuals”

Connect with Kay Studios below;

Instagram – Kay Studios

Arts & Culture

Zlatan Tattoos A Photo Of Kwame Nkrumah On His Body; This Is Why

Published

on

Nigerian afrobeats sensation and founder & leader of ZANKU Records, Zlatan, has shared photo of himself detailing a tattoo of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah PC; a former Ghanaian politician and revolutionary on his chest.

Though reasons behind scribbling a Ghanaian personality on his body as a Nigerian is yet to be made known for the public’s consumption, it is believed, the musician, upon thorough research, got inspired by the history, legacies of freedom, achievements in music and values that late first Prime Minister and President of Ghana believed in.

An influential advocate of pan-Africanism, Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962. He opened doors that chartered new paths and contributed to the success of African music today. From Highlife, the Afrobeats of Fela’s time down to this era. Ghana, and the African continent owe a lot to Nkrumah’s vision & love for music.

Continue Reading

Arts & Culture

Audiomack And Daily Paper To Restore The Football Pitch At Accra Girls High School

Published

on

As part of Audiomack’s committing to Ghana outside of just music and focused on giving back to the community and culture, the music streaming and discovery platform, in collaboration with Amsterdam-based fashion label Daily Paper, is funding the restoration of the football pitch at Accra Girls Senior High School after it sponsored this year’s annual football tournament.

This annual tourney by Daily Paper is a celebration of the ongoing initiative to empower the youth and give back to the Ghanaian community by reinforcing commitment through sports. Since 2017, Daily Paper, founded by three close friends, Hussein Suleiman, Abderrahmane Trabsini, and Jefferson Osei, has been consistent in showcasing and supporting Ghanaian youths. Audiomack is no different.

This year’s tournament took place inside the Accra Girls Senior High School and saw a great line-up of the best African creatives and athletes. Alongside Daily Paper and Audiomack, the teams included SmallGod, Eunice Beckham, La Même Gang, and members from Daily Paper, Free the Youth, Young, Melanin Unscripted, and Native Mag. The kits were designed by Daily Paper in collaboration with Puma.

Drawing attention to the creative arts in Ghana, outside of just music, Audiomack has also made it a point to help the community which has blessed the world with its music and culture.

David Ponte, Audiomack Co-Founder & CMO says, “We are thrilled to partner up with Daily Paper, Puma, and the Accra Girls Senior High School for this amazing event! Our mission at Audiomack is not only to move music forward but to also empower the youth so that they can continue to innovate and express their creativity on and off the pitch!”

Jefferson Osei, Co-Founder of Daily Paper, explains, “We are glad to collaborate with Audiomack, who shares in our vision to accelerate growth in the African creative industry. Giving back to the continent that inspired us to create our label has always been a dream for us, and we will continue to intensify efforts towards achieving that vision.”

“All [of] our collaborations are purposeful collaborations for community growth and youth development, so it is exciting to see Audiomack coming on board for this year’s tournament,” Osei continues. “Youth culture is part of Daily Paper’s DNA. We started the brand as a lifestyle brand and invested in empowering youth culture. Within Daily Paper’s global community the brand has always organically built authentic relationships with the youth.”

Daily Paper partnered up with Audiomack based on the organic connection made for the love of West and South African music: Afro Alté, Afrobeats, African hip-hop, African-American Drill, and Amapiano. “This was the base of the relationship. From here on, both entities explored possibilities to invest in the Motherland,” Osei adds.

Continue Reading

Arts & Culture

Could 2021 Be The Year Of The African Museum?

Published

on

While the West continues to grapple with its colonial past, institutions from Togo to Cairo are creating more expansive models to celebrate art

Most museums as we know them seem to exist in order to help us in some way see ourselves and the world better.

National Museum of Ghana

At the beginning of last year, the International Council of Museums went though a public crisis when some of its members sought to expand the definition of museums to include their engagement with political and social issues.

In the summer, I did a talk with Yilmaz Dziewior, the director of Museum Ludwig, and one of the audience members asked if we would still be able to enjoy the works if they were contextualised.

Then in the autumn, in a thread on the repatriation of objects, a Twitter user asked whether “normal people” might still be able to view the objects if they were returned to the kinds of countries where there was no “free speech”.

The notion behind these suppositions is that Western museums and norms do not need to be contextualised by political and social realities, because they would then no longer be able to be taken at aesthetic or intellectual face value. But the current crises that museums face comes precisely from the problem of the colonial mindset that placed Western civilisation and its taming modernities at the apex of humanity. A hierarchy of being that continues to see anything outside itself as alternative, inferior, merely indigenous or premodern, has resulted in the violations and inequalities among people and our environment that we face so starkly today.

In the West, museums are still grappling with how to redefine themselves in this moment, with how to honestly and accountably face their pasts, where even those who want to atone for violences of theft through reparation continue to speak on behalf of those that can speak for themselves. In other parts of the world, different conversations are being had.

On the African continent, museums as we know them were largely a colonial import, created to bolster newly independent national narratives with borrowed forms. As part of the exercise of control and exploitation, it was drummed into colonised peoples that their beings, their ways of seeing and expression, were primitive, backward, and of no value; all while these very things, with differing degrees of violence, were exported to the West to be re-valued for their museums and for their gain.

Black Civilisations in Senegal

Forms of expression
While these narratives of inferiority still exist throughout the continent, especially when it comes to our historical cultural expressions, there is also so much that has prevailed; forms of expression, of exhibiting, of exchanging that have evolved over many millennia, which have taken in all the many influences that have passed through them and grown, despite the odds stacked against them.

Museums like the Palais de Lomé, which opened in 2019 in Togo, and the Museum of Black Civilisations in Senegal, which opened the year before, are co-curating with communities around them and creating more expansive models. New museums that are breaking ground this year, like the Grand Egyptian Museum, the Pan African Heritage World Museum in Ghana, the Museum of Humankind in Kenya, and the Museum of Maritime History in Mozambique, will tell narratives from the dawns of African civilisations in all their pluralistic forms. And new types of museums, archives and networks, like the Museum of British Colonialism, African Digital Heritage and the International Inventories Programme, continue to emerge.

In Ghana, our president, Nana Akufo-Addo, commissioned a review of our existing museum restructures, which I have been leading and bringing together for the past year. The report of the first committee (ghanaheritagefuture.com) outlines new curatorial, architectural, financial, structural possibilities for our museums, monuments and national parks. Our next step is a competition for a new kind of museum building, the design of which will be announced in 2021.

In 1964, our first president, Kwame Nkrumah, commissioned the architect Franco Minissi to design our National Museum, but like many of our independence dreams, it was never completed and the ground for it still lies waiting. This time it is for a homegrown architect, either alone or in collaboration with an international one, to reimagine what a structure might hold and look like, that honours and takes into account the many spirits of our communities, our environment, and our objects, both at home and those to be returned. A structure that will allow for narratives and exchange with, and across, other parts of the world, on equal terms.

By NANA OFORIATTA AYIM

Continue Reading

Arts & Culture

An Illustrated Book Dedicated To The Memory Of JJ Rawlings Now Available

Published

on

‘CHANGES’ the Dawn of a Revolution, tells the story of Ghana’s June 4th1979 revolution and the events directly related to it. Since it is not meant to be a detailed account, it obviously does not cover every aspect of the story. It only tries to set it down for our remembrance.

It reveals an African uprising captured in ‘real time’ (1979) by Kwame Addo, an artist, as the continent continues to rediscover the true essence of its democracy; reminding us of the people’s power and their desire to survive in a free, just and accountable society.

This insightful illustrated document is timely and informative after incubating for forty years. The A4 size, 34 pages comic format, cloaked in a captivating semi hard cover is available in English, French and Spanish.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020-2021 GBAfrica.net