By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Ras Minano, an Australia based Ghanaian drummer, percussionist, singer and songwriter has been creating waves with magnetic performances in the Australian city of Adelaide and its environs.
Since relocating to Australia in 2015, Minano has promoted Ghanaian musical culture on platforms in various parts of Australia. These include “Africa Unmasked Festival Adelaide”, “Fringe Festival Adelaide” and “Umbrella Winter City Sounds Music Festival Adelaide”.
Others are “A Wild Night in Australia”, “Prospect Spring Fair Adelaide”, “Australian Academy of Rock”, “Harmony Day Celebrations”, “Welcome to Australia Walk Together Rally” and “Africa Union Day” among others.
“Music benefits humankind physically, aesthetically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally” says Minano, who in 2020 received the USA WAM AWARD for song of the year in the World Music / Reggae category for his composition “Africa Oseeyeii”, which is from an album titled “Real Rasta”.
Acclaimed internationally as a Reggae, Afro-Reggae, Afrobeat, Afro Jazz and World Music artist, his rich, candid and earthy lyrics as well as uplifting rhythms have captivated audiences during festivals and gigs in Australia including a number of appearances at the Fringe Festival in 2015 and onwards.
His group, known as “Hope of Africa” was the first African Band to contest in the “Battle of the Bands” competition that resulted in the group taking the second position at the event, which was organized by Sky City and hosted in the Oasis Bar at the Adelaide Casino in 2019.
“Hope of Africa Band” is noted for thought provoking lyrics, high energy drum beats and a mesmeric stage presence alongside popular Roots Reggae rhythms that always hypnotize and captivate diverse audiences.
“My band has been raising hope for mankind through music for many years and we continue to do so by bringing joy and smiles to people from all walks of life and cultures”, adds Minano, who performed with Ghanaian “Korogo” maestro King Ayisoba at the 2020 edition of WOMAD Adelaide Festival.
Formed in 2006, the band has a vision of collective empowerment to raise consciousness and provide hope to humanity. “Hope of Africa Band” represents World Music, which comprise a mix of reggae, afro-reggae, funk and jazz. In 2021, he released an EP titled “Womba”, a compilation of three original tracks titled “Jealousy”, “Bully” and “Womba”.
Since 2015, the band has been performing regularly at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and supported the “Playing for Change Day Concert” with a charming concert in 2017. After the 2018 Fringe Festival, the group launched its “Nkabom Tour”, which took them to several cities and towns in Australia.
While in Ghana, he collaborated with other talented musicians including Adane Best, Amarh Pino & the Ozimzim Band, Classic Handles, Feeling Brothers, King David, Charles Robert Quaye, Samuel Antwi, Obose, Angel Lopa, Sammy Snuki, Asabre Quaye, Adwoa Okorie, Mr. Roy and Frank Kissi among others.
In 2007, Minano produced and recorded an album titled “Jah Spirit” at the Crack Studios in Ghana. A second album “Africa is Sick” was created and recorded in 2013 while the third, which is titled “Real Rasta” was released in Australia (2020) as part of celebrations earmarked for African Union Day.
Currently, “Hope of Africa Band” performs with a line-up of talented Adelaide based musicians – and has been keeping the music scene alive and diverse with their communicable rhythms while spreading the message of hope.