Tuesday, 23 July

FRA! on new single, EP, stunning TGMAs audience despite last-minute call to perform

FRA! on the 2024 TGMAs stage (L-R) Obeng King, Nana Yaw Ofori-Atta, Selorm and Christian

The band FRA! was the third act to perform live on the 2024 Telecel Ghana Music Awards (TGMAs) stage on Saturday, June 1, but was the first to rouse the auditorium to its feet.

The Highlife/Funk band gave a sterling performance of their viral hit You Dey Feel the Vibe (YDFTV) with their resident frontman Christian and guest vocalist Nana Yaw Ofori-Atta. 

According to George Gogoe, bassist and band leader, even though the call to perform after King Promise and Kuami Eugene, "came" only "two days to the awards night," it spelt no doom.

"The catch about being a musician is that you're like a soldier," he explained. "We're always anticipating an encounter. We listen to our music all the time and practice personally so it doesn't really matter the time of day, we can always hit the stage to perform. Performing these songs fills our hearts with contentment and lets the audience know that indeed we're the ones who wrote the songs."

Gogoe, who was famously shouted out in the YDFTV hit - "Gogoe, fa ma me" - expressed profound excitement about FRA!'s debut performance on the biggest night in entertainment in Ghana, noting they were nominated in three categories: Highlife Artiste of the Year, Highlife Song of the Year and Collaboration of the Year, and highlighting, also, the marketing value of the gig.

"It's a singular opportunity and honour for a band like us to be called to perform as an act at the TGMAs. The other side to all of it is that we were also nominated in a few categories for this event and that bumped up the excitement factor for us. We have long been looking forward to a night like this and it came and we delivered to the joy of all those present. Our five minutes of stage time definitely got people talking and introduced everyone watching to the music of FRA!," he said.

| George Gogoe 

On the standing ovation and ecstatic reception from the audience, beginning when MC Naa Ashorkor announced them, the founding band member remarked it was reminiscent of their international fans': "We hardly get surprised these days. It's happened all over the world wherever we have performed. What would have been surprising was if the audience didn't get up to vibe with us."

For the performance witnessed at the Grand Arena of the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), FRA! was represented by resident members (Selorm (guitar), Martin (keys) and Christian (vocals)) and guesting members (Obeng King (bass), Chris Taylor (drums) and Isaac Ador (keys)). Gogoe, in this exclusive interview with Class News' Prince Benjamin (PB), explained what makes a guest musician fit for the band is "the same dedication and resilience that the members have.

"Depending on the project at hand, we bring in other people to come support and fill in the blanks for us. Although we run this as a business, we have always been friends. If there's any new face in the band, best believe it's a friend we have brought on board."

Currently a resident between Ghana and Canada, Gogoe spoke about FRA!'s 9-year legacy, a symbol of determination and fruitful endeavour. He said this is what colours the themes of their music, as is demonstrated again in their increasingly popular new single Amen.

"We have always had the themes of happiness and motivation running through our music because that's our story in itself. We started out as an outfit in church and rose against many challenges to become what we are at this point. Through this all, we had no one but ourselves and God to push us through. The music that we have made has always been to motivate ourselves. People need these words of encouragement, too, so we stuck with that style and never stray too far from it," he explained.

For insatiable fans and religious FRA!ternity concertgoers, he confirmed: "We are sitting on a truckload of music in our camp and we have decided to cut out a few songs and release as an EP project. Sit tight. Date to be announced soon."

Watch FRA!'s YDFTV live performance for the TGMAs below:

Meanwhile, the original cut for the megahit has been streamed beyond 1 million times on YouTube.

The song has also earned the Delicious Tunes signee three nominations at the 2024 Ghana Music Awards-USA, scheduled for August 17: Most Popular Song of the Year, Collaboration of the Year (Ghana), and Gospel Song of the Year. To vote, visit www.gmausa.org/nominees

Source: classfmonline.com/Prince Benjamin