Sirina Issah – Cheer The Stars

Side A
Cheer The Stars
Previous Love
Jam It
Just To Watch

Side B
Jam It
Just To Watch

What begins as a tribute to Ghana’s youth soccer World Cup success is ultimately a 90s outsider dance-pop masterpiece from the north of the country. The minimalist lo-fi amateur dance madness of it all brings this obscure footnote in Ghanaian pop history on par with a certain Ata Kak recording.

Cheer The Stars contains the first recorded examples of rap from Northern Ghana, albeit mostly in English. Big Adams is like 12 years old on this shit, now he’s recognized as Tamale’s rap forefather. The English lyrics give us the chance to experience the earnest, nationalistic and charmingly juvenile glory of it all. (For those keeping score, the rest of the songs are in Dagbani, I believe). Produced by unsung Tamale music genius Blessed Gregory. Despite all this fascinating context, some of you will despise this tape.

Ed. note—Anyone remember the tv show Kids Incorporated?

11 responses to “Sirina Issah – Cheer The Stars”

  1. Anonymous says:

    thank you so much for finally posting this, Brian!
    you are a saint.

    -Maxwell Thomas

  2. berts says:

    i hope you realize how high you set my expectations by even mentioning the name ata kak! can’t wait to listen

  3. Success says:

    I remember that show… years back

  4. Anonymous says:

    the palette reminds me of Obuoba J.A. Adofo…(?) I know you’ve posted a lot of his tapes, but i don’t think these specific recordings were ever up there.. happy solstice & eclipse & stuff… thanks for thinking of us


  5. Steve Pile says:

    Was a big fan of KIDS Inc.!
    Though, thanks for making me feel old! At least they seemed like older kids to me at the time.
    Also a big fan of your site.
    Heading back to Gambia, and plan to come back with more tapes in a similar fashion to yours.
    I’ll let you know if I strike gold.

  6. Anonymous says:

    the link for the title track isn’t working! help! the ata kak reference makes me desperate to hear the whole tape.

  7. Anonymous says:

    No offense to your judgement, but this tape doesn’t come close to the insanity of Ata Kak for me. It’s infinitely more mellow, but still very enjoyable. Interesting to hear kids rapping!

  8. Anonymous says:

    there’s something very strange going on here. yet so danceable and sweet (the raps kind of break my heart. a little)!
    very special tape!
    thanks a lot!


  9. Anonymous says:

    sirina issah lives in chicago, now, or so i hear.

    any chance i could get access to the video once posted of an interview with big adams? im doing some research in tamale interviewing reggae and hip life musicians (lived here for a year and a half, playing the traditional drums), and big adams is in canada. id like to hear a bit from him! my email:

    thanks! sara-maria

  10. Anonymous says:

    kids inc. was sweet post the theme song it’s pretty obscure these days…

  11. Joii says:

    This is adorable! thx

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