Group: Nana, Stephen, David & Charles.
Talents: Drums, Keyboard, Bass Guitar
Country of Origin: Ghana
Achievements: Creators of ‘A Night With The Compozers’, Collaborations with Ed Sheeran, Wizkid, Sarkodie, J Hus.
HOW IT STARTED
From meeting Prince Harry and sharing the stage with world renowned superstars to hosting their own events, there is nothing The Composers haven’t done. Dubbed ‘Africa’s favourite band,’ The sensational quartet were formed in 2008 by Ghanaians Stephen Asamoah – Duah, Nana Ntorinkanaah, David Akrasia and Charles Mensah.
Having met in primary school, bandmates Stephen and Nana described early beginnings and how church and parents played a huge part in nurturing their talents. Speaking to WPGM, Nana says,
‘I started from Church… Sounds like a typical story I guess… Majority of musicians start from church. I started by playing the drums and I developed an interest in Keys, bass and then keyboard. When I like something, if I can teach myself how to do it, I’ll figure out a way and start doing it.’
Likewise, Stephen had a similar background..
‘Same really, from young I was just playing pots and pans, my mums pots and pans… then I started going to church… after church, [I’d] sit back and play around a bit, as I got older, people started to see … ‘Oh he’s got something in him’. From church to secondary school, to doing a few little bits here and there to where I am now.
Having been awarded “Young Drummer of the Year’ at a young age, Stephen was propelled into pursuing his dream career in music with confidence, knowing that others recognised the talent he possessed.
As for members Charles (Charlie) ‘Biggz’ Mensah-Bonsu and David ‘Melodee’ Akrasi, Charles was gifted a keyboard by his father at a young age in a bid to keep him out of trouble, whilst David through his passion for music, taught himself to play with the help of you-tube videos (Practice makes perfect!).
As four young black British boys who have carved a career in the music industry, we imagined initial expectations and garnering parental support might have been difficult, however the boys stood firm and in fact, praised their parents for their efforts and influence.
‘My Dad had always wanted me to play in a band, always always. He always made references to groups like Oasis, U2 and then He’d be like, ‘Listen you need to get into something like this.’ They’ve never forced me to be something, ‘oh you have to do this you have to do that’, especially cos they’ve seen the love and passion for what I do. My parents were like, ‘yeah this is what our child wants to do, why should we make him do something he doesn’t want to do?’ – Steven
My case is very much the same. My parents always had really influential people around them seeing my music ability from a young age and they encouraged me to push my music in the right direction. In Church, my dad is a bishop, [so] there are different departments in church, sound and instruments. – Nana
I started picking up skills, and when we got older and got into the music industry, I realised that many people in high positions do not even know what we know from church as musicians. This has put me in an advantageous position. They just encourage me to keep my morals, and home training as it is a crazy world we are in, in the music industry, your mistakes are more blatant to see. – Nana
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
Although coming from Christian homes, the boys see their path in Music purely as a career. They have stated however, that they are selective in the message a music conveys.
Steven: We are all Christians in the group so we try to make sure the music that we are playing conveys some level of positivity and encouragement. In comparison to people who bible bash all the time, what people tend to take from us the most is how we carry ourselves, our lifestyles, how we relate with people.
Nana: You might see me on the cover of a gospel album but for now I believe, this is a career. It’s a career of the arts and in this career you have actors, artists and different directions you can go in. [And] you can’t say a christian actor only acts in christian films, you can’t tell an artist, only paint pictures of Jesus Christ, you can’t put someone’s creativity in that sort of nutshell.’
Though gifted, the boys still needed (and continue) to work hard in order to achieve their dreams. Rising above their current level after all demanded plenty of practice and rehearsals in order to perfect the pitch and harmonise their instruments.
Steven: You don’t really understand the sacrifices you need to make and why you have to give up so much but I think after a while… after finding your feet you understand. In the beginning it is challenging, but I say it’s a good challenge that we take upon ourselves. At the end of the day, we know what we’re working towards.
Thankfully, the sacrifice and all those long hours at the studio paid off for the boys. Through their excellent on stage performances with high profile artists such as Sarkodie and Wizkid, The Compozers have gained a high reputation especially amongst the Afro-Carribbean community, and they have not stopped. By simply listening to their instrumental backing, it is easy to see why the group has attracted a large following on social media. Asked where their inspiration comes from, the group mention anything from food culture, upringing to the ladies.
A NIGHT WITH THE COMPOZERS
The talent exuberating from The Compozers is undeniable. So undeniable that not only do they provide back up for artists, they are also artists themselves, music consultants, producers and hosts of their highly acclaimed annual show, ‘A Night With The Compozers.’ With tickets selling out so fast each year, the popular show managed by Decadence Ent brings together fans, music lovers and creatives of all race and gender in one building.
Steven: What it started out as vs what it is now, is not how it was supposed to be. It was supposed to be a “friends and family show” and we expected literally about 200 people. Rather, it sold out to about 700 people!
That was our first show and we thought, ‘we must be doing something right here, people like it’. We thought, we should do a part two, and we hit the ball like far out. We’ve jumped from a 250 capacity venue to literally 10 times the size – we’re talking 2000 people. It’s just been crazy.
ADVICE & LOOKING AHEAD
Despite the success of the band, the boys have credited their upbringing as well as personal experiences in keeping themselves grounded. Asked what advice they would give to someone else looking to venture in their footsteps, the boys said,
“Stay in school”
“Always write your ideas down”
“Don’t just copy the next dude, come up with something that tops that.”
In other words, “Be original.”
To listen to the latest mixes and sounds the boys have to offer or to follow their journey, visit: