It was a captivating interview with young talented upcoming rap Artiste Poncho _Kojo when Empowafrica caught up with him on campus.
(EMP – Empowafrica, P – Poncho.)
Emp- Goodmorning Poncho_Kojo.
P- Goodmorning Empowafrica.
Emp– Lets start off by telling us who poncho is.
p– My real name is Eric Ansah Acheampong, a level 300 student reading geography and dance studies in the University of Ghana, 4Th child of my parents, a very cool laid back individual. My stage name however is poncho_ Kojo and I am a rapper.
Emp– When and how did this all start?
p– It all started way back in SHS, but what most people don’t know is I started initially as a dancer.
Emp– Wow, like seriously, so when did the rap set in then?
p– Well, I would say the rap talent was within me, (as the pastors normally say, it’s my calling to rap). There was this particular time where myself and a friend made a remix to usher’s song, (Love in this club ft Jeezy) and after that, looking at the massive cheer and acceptance it had I realized I had to take it serious.
Emp– Interesting, well let’s not dwell much on the past, tell us about poncho in UG.
P– well the memories have already started hitting me. After SHS, thus, ST. James seminary, I entered the premier university. I went off track a bit because I wasn’t so sure if I really wanted to pursue music on campus.
Emp– Really, but you’re into music now.
Emp– So what happened and what caused the change of mind?
p– As I said earlier, music is my calling. The transformation came when after attending a number of hall week artiste nights especially that of Akuafo and Sarbah hall, that same love and desire was rekindled.
Emp– Interesting, tell us more.
P– I had the opportunity to mount the stage with a colleague musician now an alumnus, but at the back doing some ‘’flame effects’’ whiles he performed. And whiles on stage doing that, I felt I certainly had to take this up on UG campus.
Emp– From dancer to ‘’flame boy’’. Tell us when you started performing.
P– ha ha, I started performing on campus in level 200 at the artiste night of Sarbah hall week celebration. Aside the normal freestyle sessions with the boys here and there.
Emp– How come your first performance was at sarbah and not your own hall akuafo?
P– Well, everything happens for a reason right, however my second major performance was at Akuafo.
Emp– Your freestyles are quite popular on campus and people have the notion that you only do freestyles with beats of other hit artiste and not your own. What would you say about that?
P– I have lots of tracks using my own beats, but as an upcoming artiste who is trying to break through, I would need some sort of attention, do you get me, and I believe making these freestyles spread faster and give you the needed attention as it is giving me now.
Emp– How are these freestyles and mix tapes giving you attention?
P– They do to a very appreciable degree, for instance, the mix tape I did changing sarkodie’s song “Kumasi Kumasi” to “Akuafo Akuafo” has been used on most occasions as the ‘theme song’ in a way for the hall, especially during hall weeks and has been receiving some air play as well.
Emp– Poncho_Kojo, who do you look up to?
P– God of course, ha ha
Emp– ha ha, yes we all do, but who are your role model(s) in this industry?
P– Honestly, I don’t have a role model. Simply because I wouldn’t want to be like anyone else but myself.
Emp– Wow, not even Sarkodie whom you seem to be using a number of his songs for your mix tapes?
P– Yes, a lot of people even call me ‘Legon Sarkodie’ because of that, but he isn’t my role model. I only admire his work and efforts to attain where he is now.
Emp– Well, if there isn’t a role model, there certainly should be artistes whose music you enjoy listening to.
P– Definitely, I love songs from Sarkodie, joey b, pappy Kojo, Kanye west and jay z.
Emp– how are you able to finance your music?
P– Self financed oo, you know, we got to hustle to get what we want, so at the moment we’re surviving on the small pocket money we get.. ha ha
Emp– we know right!! The hustle is mutual, haha. But do you work alone?
P– Not necessarily, there is this group on campus, DOPE NATION, a family basically, made up of students who share the same dream and vision in music. And we got each other’s back.
Emp– it must be a hectic responsibility combining school work and your music. How do you manage?
p– Well it isn’t easy though, but since music is my passion and part of me, it flows naturally so I spend little time writing lyrics. So I’m able to apportion enough time for my books.
Emp– Interesting. Poncho, we’ve been here on this interview for quite some time now. Wouldn’t, “MADAM” be waiting impatiently for you?
P– ha ha, I know exactly where you guys are driving at. Well, I know a lot of girls on campus but unfortunately there is no “MISS PONCHO” anywhere, basically because I wouldn’t want to use my talent to take advantage of any girl since I have realized most of them are attracted more to my music rather than myself as in my personality. So no madam poncho for now.
Emp– But surely hoping for one?
P– Of course, I’m not gay so yes. I’m open to that but waiting for the right time and person. But for now it’s me and my music.
Emp– What next after school poncho?
p– Sound engineering alongside my music (full time).
Emp– That’s a great idea. Which artiste would you want to work with if given the opportunity?
p– Quite a number of them, but since I rap, I would like a singer to tackle the choruses. It’s quite unfortunate that Castro is still ‘missing’ because he was one artiste I always prayed to work with someday, aside him there is Lil shaker, Efya and most of the singers out there who can do justice to the choruses whiles I kill the rap. Nevertheless it would be great working with a rapper like Sarkodie though.
Emp– What are you working on at the moment?
P– Currently I’m working on the video shoot for the ‘graduation song’. And a host of hit tracks you all should wait on.
Emp– we’ve been hearing some “slogan” going around. “Y’ALL BETTER FOLLOW, THIS AND THAT”. Whats that about?
P– ha ha, yes, Y’all better follow. I’d say it’s more like a branding for me. Just as most artiste have, I also came up with this. It basically sends out a message to my colleagues, friends and fans to support me in this early stage of my career before it takes shape and gets bigger. So THIS is for the present and THAT for the future.
P- Certainly, all I want to say is that, it’s not always about the available capital to kick start everything that matters. Just believe in yourself and take a step and pursue your dream. Don’t wait for the “light” before you start, you can start even in the darkness. It’s not an easy task though, but you just got to make it happen. With God on your side, you’re safe and covered.
Emp– Any shout outs?
P– Yep. Shout out to TEAM PONCHO, DOPE NATION, ‘YOURS TRULY (anonymous), @TEYE_R, TO THE EMPOWAFRICA TEAM and everyone out there supporting and believing in poncho_Kojo.
Emp– poncho_kojo, it’s been nice hanging with you. Thank you for the time.
P– Thank you too EMPOWAFRICA for the opportunity and honor. Y’all better follow.