Musically coming to fruition due to Sunday service in church: it might feel like something of a different time – or at least here in the Netherlands. But for the young gifted Bnnyhunna, full name Benjamin Ankomah, church is the place where he became the magnificent multi-instrumentalist he is now.
As son of a Ghanaian family, the country’s highlife music filled his youth years. Highlife music melodically and rhythmically mixes traditional Akan music played with western instruments, “urban youth dance music” Kpanlogo and adds jazzy horn sections and harmonies. Church furthered Bnnyhunna’s immersion into music, as it was an important part of the service. It’s where he learned to play the piano, and soon after every other instrument he could put his hands on.
When his cousin taught him how to mix different instruments together on his own, Bnnyhunna experienced the utter euphoric moment of being completely self-sufficient. The rest is history: as a beat maker and producer he is the regular for Dutch acts like Rimon, Yung Nnelg, Gaidaa, Winne and Akwasi; as a skilled musician he has toured with José James and Arp Frique. Now it’s time to step away from the shade, into the light. His first EP SINTHA was released in 2021. And there is a lot more coming soon…
To think of it… so much wonderful music has arised from the metaphysical. Highly spirited people, religious harmony and churches all over the world. Jazz, especially the black jazz artists, has never not had a religious component to it.
From the early recordings of singers Mahalia Jackson, Rosetta Tharpe, as well as composer and pianist Mary Lou Wiliams, incorporating jazz into their gospel hymns formulating a sort of sacred jazz, to the spiritual jazz of the 60s and 70s, overtly referencing to all different religions in the world. John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme might be one of the most compelling and forthright expressions of one man’s spirituality. And aren’t Marvin Gaye’s and Aretha Franklin’s seminal soul albums What’s Going On (1971) and Amazing Grace (1972) the most beautiful Godly prayers ever turned into song?
Anderson .Paak, Masego and John Legend are amazing artists known to have their musical roots in church. We think we can add Bnnyhunna to that list.