“My Image And My Sound Are Usually Bright, Colorful, Youthful, And Uplifting To Reflect The Purpose Of My Music.”: A Conversation With Bryan The Mensah
Ghanaian melodic rap/pop artist Bryan The Mensah has successfully carved out a unique space for himself in the current music landscape and has shown himself as a leader in the new school of artists doing things their own way.
His sound could be faintly described as trap-influenced pop music with a touch of vibrance and self-consciousness as he always makes it a point to inspire his audience with a message while giving them the turn-up of their lives.
Coming off a highly rated performance at the just-ended BET Cypher and dropping an EP titled “Detour”, Brian Benjamin chats with Bryan The Mensah as he dives into navigating the industry and his journey so far.
iMullar – Navigating the music industry can be challenging especially when you don’t make mainstream music, how have you maintained or tweaked your style to grow your audience and maintain your relevance?
Bryan The Mensah: I think the industry is interesting because it’s always changing. There are always new opportunities and new rules popping up every day that either favor developing artists or favor mainstream artists or sometimes both. I keep my ears on the ground and figure out which part of the business or ecosystem I can fit in based on the opportunity at hand. I don’t think I’ve tweaked my style in a sense because I’ve always been that artist who was always comfortable working with different types of music.
iMullar – You have been described by many as an artiste who is intentional about how you put yourself out there. Your sound and image especially. What is your creative process like?
Bryan The Mensah: Most of my music inspires people from all over the world and at the same time makes sure my Ghanaian/African identity is recognized as much as possible. Therefore my image and my sound are usually bright, colourful, youthful, and uplifting to reflect the purpose of my music. Every single time I create music, this is the target or direction.
iMullar – You have a very solid team including your producer Okaiwav. Tell us about your relationship with Okaiwav and how working together has impacted your music.
Bryan The Mensah: Okai is an incredibly talented producer who is also open to new things. He’s not afraid to try and experiment with stuff and that’s exactly my process as well. We’ve been working together ever since 2019 and I feel like we understand the goals we both have. I understand his goals as a producer and he understands my goals as an artist and that makes the music-making process much more purposeful and effortless.
iMullar – Road To Hastafari Album was a huge moment. Where does that project rank in the defining moments of our career so far and What have been some other defining moments for you?
Bryan The Mensah: Road to Hastafari is definitely up there on my list if not number one. Another defining moment in my career was in 2017 when I was named Apple Music’s new favorite artist. In 2018, I was nominated for the Soundcity Awards and Ghana Music Awards UK. In 2019 I got my very first Number One single on Apple Music and iTunes. In 2020 when I started as a main act in the Annual Holland Festival, 2022 had the number 1 radio song in the country, fast forward 2023 got featured on the BET cypher. Just to name a few. A lot more has happened though.
iMullar – You hinted at moving in a new direction with the release of your Detour EP, what’s that new direction? What’s the future looking like for Bryan the Mensah?
Bryan The Mensah: The new direction as I’m sure anyone who’s paying attention to my music now could tell is God’s direction. Throughout my journey, I’ve seen myself being placed in favoring situations that seemed so unlikely for a young artist of my caliber at the time to find himself and I realized I needed to do more to acknowledge, in my music, the one who’s playing the cards and making it all possible and that is God.
iMullar – Tell us about making the Detour EP and what led to the specific songs that made it.
Bryan The Mensah: Detour was a collection of songs that were created at different times. We’ve never stopped recording music so there’s always a lot of music to be put out. Detour happened to be the selection of songs that were aligned with the new direction and so that’s how they made the cut.
iMullar – You’ve got a growing fanbase that’s dedicated to your music, how have you managed them and how do you engage them to keep up with you?
Bryan The Mensah: I’m very grateful for my fans and I’m glad they enjoy my music every time we put something out. We’re gonna keep giving them more and more music because we already know that’s what they want. I love my fans and I feel amazing anytime I go out and someone walks up to me to appreciate my work. It’s a very humbling experience and I never take it for granted.
iMullar – We’ve not had a Bryan The Mensah concert In a while. How soon should we expect one?
Bryan The Mensah: I Can’t Say Much. Maybe soon. Maybe next week? Next month? Haha. Nobody knows.
iMullar – Bryan on a BET Cypher. First off congratulations. How did you feel knowing you were going to be on the Cypher and what has the response been like?
Bryan The Mensah: Thank you so much. I felt honored first of all because I know how revered the BET brand is in the global Hip-Hop community. The response has been amazing and I’m just glad I didn’t let anyone down.
iMullar – What was running through your mind as you prepared your verse for the Cypher?
Bryan The Mensah: I actually wrote two verses. After I heard Kojo Cue’s verse. I wrote another one. I think I had gotten used to writing verses for songs and almost forgot how to write verses for Cyphers. Shout out to Kojo Cue for bringing my mind back to it.
iMullar – Any last words to your fans and our readers?
Bryan The Mensah: God bless everyone who has been supporting and is still supporting us now. I appreciate all the love and appreciation everyone has shown whether it’s from streaming, from engaging with us on social media, to writing about the journey and documenting it. S/O IMullar! S/O all the press and media. To also the people plugging us into opportunities that come around them. I’m super grateful for everyone and I pray you guys stay with us cos we’re still going strong. Thank you.
The iMullar is the voice of emerging African music and the lifestyle that surrounds it, showcasing exceptional talent from all around the globe focused on promoting the most distinctive new artists and original sounds, we are the authority on who is next.