The docu-series will be running throughout the year seeing New Era uncover creative communities across the globe — exploring rising scenes, meeting the heroes behind them and providing support to continue their growth.
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Sandy Alibo set up Surf Ghana in 2016 for surfers, skaters, musicians, artists, photographers, DJs and more to unite. She explains: “The idea was to explain to people: if we work together, we can achieve so many things. We can achieve the unexpected.”
Since then, the collective has become the centre of a rising music scene as she says: “People in Ghana always say: oh, it’s Afrobeats or nothing”.
Alibo continues: “I’m like, guys you’re wrong, there is a platform for an alternative scene here, and it’s at the skatepark.”
According to Alibo, “the community in Ghana is ready to create, build, and connect with the world. With New Era,” she says, “I want to give them the resources and tools to make things happen.”
In December 2021, Surf Ghana opened Accra’s first-ever purpose-built sustainable skatepark named the Freedom Skatepark. As explained on its website the skatepark was opened with the aim to “use the inclusiveness of board sports as a bridge to urban sport life for Ghana’s most marginalized local population.”
Many parties have also been thrown at the skatepark including a collaboration with All My Cousins. “All My Cousins is me, Narah, Cozy, Tony, Seyyoh, Shrek and Juicy,” says Ansah, artist, producer and DJ and founder of the crew. “It’s about cousins coming together to discuss, connect and create.” The group all bring their own talents and skills to the collective from Cozy being an award-winning photographer and filmmaker to Tony who works under the musical alias of 95ANTNY and has created the likes of ‘less is more’ and ‘5STAR’. For Narah, she is becoming a well-known name in the Ghanaian neo-soul scene.
The documentary also follows the opening of Vibrate Space from Surf Ghana which is a recording studio and music business program built for the emerging young talent of Accra as well as for those who are aspiring managers and promoters.
“What we’re doing here is about education,” says Alibo. “We’re taking the time to educate people that there is so much potential here; we just never get the tools and resources to realise it. But as soon as we do, it’s like BOOM!”
For All My Cousins this recording studio has allowed them to create and stream their first ever single ‘ACT A FOOL’. Writing on Instagram the collective posted: “we kinda missed rapping along to our favorite songs together so we threw a hiphop party in August, then we did it again in January with the good people New Era then we banged it out at last month’s Oroko Radio anniversary and now we are on to the next thing.”
This new studio isn’t just for the community of Accra but has been used by beyond from as Alibo lists: “South Africa, Nigeria, Togo, Ivory Coast… they are coming every month. I’m proud of this. I want to make sure that they believe in themselves and discover the resources and talent here”.
Written by: Tim Hopkins