BY SAAIQA MERALI – 4 MINUTE READ
On 12th November 2020, MS.ABA took over our living rooms with her soulful melodies in a one-of-a-kind musical experience. In true 2020-fashion, the ‘Rooted’ EP Virtual Concert was a COVID-adapted version of a live music event – a pandemic concert. In the run-up to the concert, COVID regulations changed often and suddenly, almost cancelling the concert all together. Thankfully, the team at PAARD skilfully converted the concert to a virtual setting, with state-of-the-art equipment and expert technical staff to bring hundreds of fans some Afrosoul vibes to their homes. With a livestream setup online, MS.ABA’s fans were able to tune in from all around the Netherlands and beyond – something that wouldn’t have been as easily achieved under “normal” circumstances. (We found a silver lining!)
A long-awaited EP, the release of ‘Rooted’ has been six years in the making. MS.ABA’s first single dropped in 2014, and in hindsight she is grateful for the time she has devoted to this project. With years of personal growth and development being poured into this masterpiece, the Ghanaian-Dutch songstress is highly appreciative of her tribe – the people that have made her dream a reality. “It takes a village”, MS.ABA says, as she describes the community that has helped her keep her faith and conviction throughout the process of creating this EP.
Drawing great inspiration from her motherland, MS.ABA intertwines her Ghanaian heritage with her Dutch upbringing to touch on the duality of her identity and that of many other Ghanaians living in the diaspora. Raised in a proud Ghanaian family, MS.ABA was surrounded by a love for music, fashion and food from the continent, and has been living in celebration of it since she was a child. ‘Rooted’ is an ode to all that has kept MS.ABA grounded in her faith, her culture, and her identity.
The concert was no different; MS.ABA and the band wore outfits designed and produced by Eketino, and the Rooted Band is made up of Angolan, Congolese and Ghanaian musicians. The ‘living room concert’ was promoted/sponsored by Stichting Sankofa (the Hague African Festival), Aftown, HiRadio, Fonds Podiumkunsten and Live Xtra Ghana. Akua Konadu of Cosmos&Lipstick managed press for the EP and directed the virtual concert, while Frandjescka Balootje hosted the event on the night itself. Surrounded by diasporic excellence, MS.ABA seeks to continuously collaborate with Afro-Dutch creatives for future projects – just as she has done in the past.
With her unshakeable faith and contagious energy, MS.ABA brings that #BlackGirlMagic with grace and intention to all her creative ventures. She hopes to remind young teenage girls to own who they are and strive in confidence, in everything that they do.
The music video for ‘Tomorrow’ is dropping on Friday 20th November on YouTube.
‘Rooted’ the EP is available to stream now on all streaming platforms.