Stonebwoy Reflects on Recording and Collaborating with Angélique Kidjo on the Award-Winning Song ‘Manodzi’

by Louisa Afful
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Six years ago, ‘Manodzi’ wasn’t quite ready for release; it needed significant fine-tuning before its debut in 2023. Reggae Dancehall artiste, Stonebwoy, recently shared insights into the song’s creation, which earned him the Songwriter of the Year award at the 25th TGMA.

In an interview with Berla Mundi on TV3, Stonebwoy revealed that ‘Manodzi’ was initially recorded spontaneously while he was in the studio working on another track. The idea for the song struck him unexpectedly when he heard a particular guitar string during a recording session.

Working with Mix Master Garzy at the time, Stonebwoy instructed him to set aside the recording for later refinement. Despite being recorded prior to ‘Le Gbagbe’ about six years ago, ‘Manodzi’ didn’t make it onto his album ‘Anloga Junction’ released in 2020. However, Stonebwoy sensed there was something special about it and decided to keep it for future consideration.

Stonebwoy envisioned ‘Manodzi’ as a traditional song and set his sights on collaborating with Angélique Kidjo. With the help of actress Akosua Dentaa Amoabeng, Stonebwoy connected with the Grammy-winning African music icon. Kidjo loved the song immediately and contributed her verse to it, elevating the track to new heights.

Stonebwoy commended Mix Master Garzy for his outstanding production work on ‘Manodzi,’ acknowledging that the song wouldn’t have achieved its success without his contribution. Together, they refined the song, adding finishing touches such as horns to enhance its sound.

‘Manodzi,’ featured on Stonebwoy’s ‘5th Dimension’ album released in 2023, received widespread acclaim. Nominated for multiple awards, including International Collaboration of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Record of the Year at the 25th TGMA, the song emerged victorious in all categories, solidifying its status as a chart-topper hit.


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