Top 10 American Musicians with Ghanaian Roots

Ghana, with its population of just over 30 million, might not be the largest nation, but its cultural influence reaches far beyond its borders. Renowned as the birthplace of highlife music, Ghana has left an indelible mark on the global contemporary Afrobeats scene. In a previous exploration, we delved into “10 UK Musicians Originally from Ghana.” Now, let’s turn our attention to 10 American musicians with Ghanaian roots who have made significant contributions to the music industry.

  • Nana (Nana Is King)
    • Background: Born Nana Opong in 1989 to Ghanaian immigrants in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los AngeleS
  • Career: Active since 2012, Nana, formerly known as Blaison Maven, has garnered attention as “Los Angeles’ next great storyteller.” His recent appearances on the COLORS SHOW and MajorStage highlight his rising star.
  • Blackway
    • Background: Yaw Sintim-Misa, born in Brooklyn, New York, is the son of Ghanaian actor and satirist Kweku Sintim Misa (KSM).
    • Career: Blackway’s breakthrough came in 2018 with “What’s Up Danger,” featured in the Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse soundtrack. His collaboration with Busta Rhymes and features in various major projects solidify his status.
  • Moses Sumney
    • Background: Born in California in 1992, Moses Sumney moved to Ghana at 10, struggled with cultural adjustments, and returned to Southern California at 16.
    • Career: Sumney’s unique blend of Alternative/Indie and Folk music has gained critical acclaim. His self-recorded debut EP in 2014 marked the beginning of a musical journey that includes collaborations with Bon Iver and James Blake.
  • Amaarae
    • Background: Amaarae, born Ama Serwaa Genfi in 1994 in the Bronx, New York, is the daughter of Ghanaian parents Ama Bawuah and Kwadwo Boateng Genfi.
    • Career: Amaarae’s debut EP in 2017 introduced her to Ghana’s Alté scene. Her 2020 studio album, “The Angel You Don’t Know,” featuring the hit “Sad Girlz Luv Money,” broke into the Billboard Hot 100 Charts.
  • Coptic
    • Background: Eric Kwabena Matlock, known as Coptic, was born in Kumasi, Ghana, and moved to the US at age 13.
    • Career: Coptic’s production genius is behind hip-hop classics for P.Diddy and collaborations with Ghana’s finest lyricists. His label, “The Black Star Line,” and work with international names underscore his impact.
  • V.I.C
  • Background: Victor Grimmy Owusu, born in Queens, New York, has Ghanaian roots through his immigrant father.
  • Career: V.I.C’s debut album in 2008 marked his entry into the music scene, featuring hits like “Get Silly” and “Wobble Wobble.” Despite challenges, his impact on the party music landscape is undeniable.
  • YahZarah
    • Background: Dana Nicole Amma Williams, known as YahZarah, was born in 1978 to Ghanaian activist Thomas Kojo Oduro Kwarten and Beverly Brown.
    • Career: YahZarah’s journey started with Erykah Badu, leading to multiple solo albums. Her 2021 return with “The Ceremony” showcases her enduring talent, featuring a collaboration with Ghanaian rapper M.anifest.
  • Nana Kwabena
    • Background: Nana Kwabena Tuffuor, born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ghanaian immigrants, has left an imprint as a record producer, rapper, and sound engineer.
    • Career: Co-producing Jidenna’s platinum single “Classic Man” earned Nana Kwabena recognition. His collaborations with A-list artists and Grammy nominations underscore his impact.
  • Nabeyin
    • Background: Edgar ‘Nabeyin’ Panford, born in the US to Ghanaian parents, was influenced by his brother KGee’s involvement in Ghana’s hiplife scene.
    • Career: Nabeyin’s impressive career includes collaborations with Kanye West, Drake, and Grammy nominations for his work on Kanye West’s “Donda” album.
  • Vic Mensa
    • Background: Victor Kwesi Mensah, known as Vic Mensa, was born in Chicago to a Ghanaian father and an American mother.
    • Career: Vic Mensa’s journey started with Kids These Days, leading to solo success. His recent project, “The Black Star Line Festival,” aims to engage black communities globally through art and music.

Ghana’s influence on the global music scene extends to these talented American musicians, connecting diverse cultures through the universal language of music.

Ben Blay
Ben Blay
As a music publicist, blogger, and distributor, I'm your trusted source for the most up-to-date music news, trends, marketing tips, and exclusive releases. Join me in exploring the dynamic world of music, and stay tuned for daily updates that will keep your musical senses tingling. 🌟🎶★Bookings +233506623757 or +233557647791


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