Typography
Ghana’s azonto beat is being increasingly enjoyed around the world. PHOTO: Miika Saukkonen

Azonto, a style of dance that comes from Ghana, is gaining worldwide attention. With new club nights dedicated to urban African music around the globe, the dance craze is tipped to be landing soon in a major way also in Finland.

Azonto dance is full of humour and expression. One of its key features is the use of gestures that mimic different daily activities. You can come up with all kinds of moves as long as you stay in the rhythm and look confident doing what you are doing. Often music styles help create and name new dance moves. This time it was the other way around.

“Azonto started as a dance among the youth, and then the dance made us come in with new music,” explains Albert Ayeh Hanson, better known as Ball J, one of Ghana’s most hardworking azonto music producers. “We picked a little bit of highlife and fast pop music, and fused it with something new that sounds real afro. We didn’t have a name for it, but as people were dancing azonto to it, artists like Kwaw Kese and Sarkodie started endorsing it as ‘azonto music’.”

Try your hand at azonto at:

Club Obama

Club Roba 10

Iso Roobertinkatu 10

Helsinki

During the last three years, azonto music has exploded in Ghana and within Ghanaian communities abroad. More recently, azonto has been gaining worldwide attention thanks to YouTube dance videos and popular azonto songs like Antenna by Fuse ODG. Last year was a big year for the azonto movement in UK. Could this year mark its breakthrough in Finland?

Miika Saukkonen