Akon’s ACCES Q&A Session cancelled, Sway and Banky W Join

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The Music In Africa Foundation regrets to announce that a Q&A session featuring Akon at the ACCES music conference on 30 November 2019 has been cancelled.

Akon has been engaged in a demanding global promo campaign for his latest album. He had made a commitment to travel to Ghana on a tight schedule, to arrive in Accra a few hours before his session on 30 November. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, it is no longer logistically possible for him to arrive in Accra on time for the session.

ACCES has added more top speakers to its star-studded line-up, including UK-based MOBO Award-winning rapper, producer and entrepreneur Sway Dasafo and renowned Nigerian singer, rapper, actor and philanthropist Banky W, among others.

“Although it is sad that Akon won’t be part of ACCES 2019, we are very confident that this year’s edition will be the best we’ve held yet,” Music In Africa Foundation director Eddie Hatitye said. “We have a great line-up of experienced professionals who have incredible impact and experience to share. We are calling on people to come in their numbers and experience a truly rewarding event for anyone working or interested in African music.”

This year’s ACCES will also feature Ghanaian superstars Sarkodie, Samini, Obrafour, Kyekyeku, Wanlov the Kubolor and Efya, and more than 80 international music professionals including Chocolate City vice-president Aibee Abidoye (Nigeria), Simfy OTT music services head Oye Akideinde (Nigeria), Ditto Music Founder Lee Parsons (UK), Airforce1 Records managing director Joe Chialo (Germany), broadcaster, DJ and curator Rita Ray (UK) and Grammy-nominated musician, author and rights activist Mark Levine (US).

In addition, the conference will host panel discussions, networking sessions, exhibitions and showcases by 13 acts from across the African continent and diaspora.

Sway Dasafo was born Derek Andrew Safo to Ghanaian parents in North London. He spent part of his childhood in Ghana and returned to the UK where he developed a fascination for English literature, which he later combined with his love for music and knack for public speaking. While in high school, Sway was part of a 11-member North London collective known as One. Sway took part in open-mic competitions and landed a solo record on the first-ever BBC 1Xtra playlist in 2002.

In 2006, he released his debut album This Is My Demo, which became one of the most critically acclaimed UK rap albums of all time. The album helped Sway to become the first British rapper to win a US BET Hip Hop Award and landed him a spot on the Mercury Music Prize shortlist. Prior to the release of This Is My Demo, Sway became the first unsigned rapper to win a MOBO Award,

Other albums by Sway include The Signature LP (2008), Deliverance (2015) and Verses from the Vault (2018).The Signature LP earned him fame in the US, with big stars like Akon, Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell Williams showing interest to sign him to their recording stables. In 2008, Sway signed to Akon’s Konvict Muzic record label joining big names such as Lady Gaga and T-Pain. He featured Akon on the ‘Silver & Gold’ song off The Signature LP album.

Sway has collaborated with top names including Mark Ronson, Childish Gambino, Sarkodie and Ayigbe Edem. He is also the only other rapper featured on Lupe Fiasco’s US Billboard No 1 album Lasers released in 2011. His song ‘Level Up’ became his highest charting single, landing at No 8 on the Official UK National charts.

Born Olubankole Wellington in 1981, Banky W grew up between Nigeria and the US where he launched his music career after co-founding the Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E.) record label in 2002 while studying at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. In 2009, he moved to Nigeria and established the label in Lagos where he signed Wizkid, Niyola, Shaydee and Skales.

Banky W’s own music career gained momentum in 2005 following the release of his Back in the Building debut album. Other albums by the ‘All I Want Is You’ hitmaker include Mr. Capable (2008), The W Experience (2009) and R&BW (2013).

Banky W has worked with almost all the big names in Nigeria and continues to be a mentor for many artists in his country. He is the founder of I Am Capable, a scholarship that seeks to provide tuition fees for underprivileged pupils who meet the requirements to study at private universities. He is also involved in the Light Up Nigeria project, which aims to encourage the Nigerian government to provide steady electricity in the country.

Register/View the full ACCES 2019 online programme at .www.musicinafrica.net/acces

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