The new album was released on Singitdamnit Music, and pays homage to Madina, the Ghanaian community M.anifest grew up in. It follows last year’s The Gamble EP and his 2016 Nowhere Cool LP.
Madina To The Universe comprises 15 songs and features musicians such as Ghana’s Mensa and Moliy, and rapper Vic Mensa, Nigeria’s Adekunle Gold, Patoranking and Ladipoe, and Tanzania’s Tiggs da Author. It was heralded by the singles Scorpio Flow, Confusion, La Vida and No Fear.
“It’s been a painstaking journey moulding these tracks into the beauties they are and stringing them together as one cohesive piece,” M.anifest said. “Grateful to all my collaborators for showing up and showing out.”
Ahead of the release of the much-anticipated album, the rapper’s iconic image, as well the cover art of the album have been painted on walls at the Atomic roundabout, a stone’s throw away from the neighbourhood he was bred in.
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Describing the impact Madina has had on him, M.anifest said:
“Madina is my ‘village’ within my city, a formative place for me as a child. Beyond memories, it is where my mom and grandma still live, alongside colourful people and places that shaped the window through which I see the world.”
M.anifest has collaborated with top acts including English musician Damon Albarn, Australian-American artist Flea, Afrobeats co-founder Tony Allen and American singer Erykah Badu. The grandson of one of Africa’s foremost ethnomusicologists and composers J.H. Kwabena Nketia, M.anifest also appears on Burna Boy’s Grammy-winning Twice As Tall album.