Hailing from Mitcham in London, Nana Richard Abiona AKA Fuse ODG, has become the leading British exponent of Afrobeats, allowing his Ghanaian descent to firmly influence his musical output. The UK urban music scene has recently seen the popularity of Afrobeats explode, with mainstream pop music increasingly influenced by the West African origins of this musical origin. Fuse ODG is at the forefront of this breakthrough, staying true to the Auto Tuned , synth glossed rhythms that have become the genre’s watermark. Born Richard Abiona, the Londoner describes his style as “life-changing music seasoned with African roots”. Fuse’s aim is to elevate the world through music and earlier last year he made history by becoming the first UK act to be nominated for a Ghana Music Award. As well as being a versatile artist and producer, Fuse works with young people helping them to explore their own artistic abilities. He also works with ex-offenders and runs a group called Escape that aims to help young people in the UK and abroad achieve their potential.
Clappy snares and tight hi hats drive Fuse’s music as heard in his track Azonto featuring Tiffany. An incessant rhythm and bass drives the track forward allowing for catchy party tunes that represent themselves well on the dance floor. Vocal harmonies play throughout this and many of Fuse’s other tracks to create a distinctive sound and melodic progression, made infamous by the likes of Wyclef Jean and Akon. However, not all of ODG’s music plays in the stereotypical hands of Afrobeats music. His track The Women (A Man’s Nightmare) is more UK Hip Hop than Afrobeats. Here we see an ability to not always needing to rely on the gloss of Autoned vocals and instead preferring to tell/rap a dialogue, harking back to the likes of Mike Skinner from The Streets. With a new EP coming out this June and a You Tube channel that is expanding as quickly as his credentials as an Afrobeats producing powerhouse, Fuse ODG is slowly etching his name on the urban UK scene in a major way.