Ireland-based God Knows: New EP celebrates Afrobeats and Amapiano dance

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By Eric Fitzgerald I Limerick Post

LIMERICK based rapper and co-founder of Narolane Records, God Knows recently released his eagerly anticipated EP ‘We Move The Needle’.

As part of Rusangano Family, God Knows was the recipient of the Choice Music Prize for 2016’s ‘Let The Dead Bury The Dead’ – the first ever hip-hop record to win the prestigious ‘Album of the Year’ award.

In 2020, God Knows’ debut solo EPs ‘Who’s Asking? Vol. I’ and ‘Who’s Asking? Vol. II’ saw him bring together the country’s most exciting, influential and progressive artists for a project that saw one of Ireland’s foremost music journalist Nialler9 commenting, “The ‘Who’s Asking Remix’ is one of the best things to come out of Ireland’s music scene in years.

The new EP collects his recent dancehall-inspired singles and showcases the rapper’s appreciation of South African youth culture in the collaborations with the likes of Jah Master and Senita. Recent single ‘Glory’ is an Amapiano dance track drawing on the South African jazz and deep house rhythms that are making waves the world over.

Speaking to Limerick Post this week, God Knows reflected on the music that inspired the new EP.

“I was really inspired by the youth culture over there. Circa 2019 I got heavy into that type of music.

“Right now if you listen to the radio Afrobeat has become like a buzzword or a tagline. Amapiano house is one of those shining genres.”

The new track from Burna Boy featuring Ed Sheeran called For My Hand is an example of this genre’s crossover appeal into the current pop music world.

“There are elements of Amapiano in there. It is just something I was into and it just seems that the world is going that direction as well. And you know, Beyonce and Drake just released some house music as well. But I think that may be coming out of a pandemic. We just want to dance, don’t we?”

God Knows says he wanted to create something that represented his roots in Zimbabwe.

“I thought I’ll go and write music that was like facing Africa. I think maybe it’s me missing the fact that I was born in Africa and, you know, I left. I left Zimbabwe at the tender age of nine, but I think that I had already come into my own a lot as a nine year old.

“I think maybe I’m yearning to do something that represents me as a person in 2022 because I’m now a mixture of all of these cultures.

“Like, me in my Limerick jersey while also making this EP.”

“Afrobeats is the music we grew up on. I know sometimes people want to claim the term Afrobeats to be from one side of Africa, which would be West Africa but I definitely believe that it’s continental as as in the whole continent of Africa. I think we were lucky enough that being kids of the Diaspora, you are surrounded by other countries in Africa.

“I’m into Amapiano from South Africa, but I also love Rumba music from Congo, and I love High Life from Ghana. With all those influences in the melting pot we ended up with what people now call Afro fusion, or Afro beats.”

New single ‘No Weapon’ features lablemates Denise Chaila and MuRli.

Summing up ‘We Move The Needle’, God Knows says: “I have always been an action that speaks louder than words type of person and even more so when It comes to my career. I love art and artists that draw from real life. Every record that I put out reflects that reality.

A bold statement like ‘We Move The Needle’ is me stating what I in my opinion is what we do here at Narolane.”