Hey, have any of you heard of this guy Ed Sheeran? As unavoidable as he's been to anyone with a functioning radio over the past decade, I really hadn't paid him much mind until my recent foray into parenthood. Sheeran's vast catalog of slow tempo'd wedding jams has been a life saver over the past year, capable of calming even the most unruly of infants. In fact, if my dear old nana had access to these songs back in the day I may have been spared exposure to whiskey until a more advanced age. In any event, thanks to a near constant rotation of Ed's greatest hits in the nursery it is no exaggeration to say I can identify virtually any of his songs in less than five notes (and were I not happily married, I can only imagine how well that boast would play as an opening line with the ladies).
In an ongoing effort to share more details about my personal life to better facilitate further identity fraud, and to better understand where I'm heading with this post, my kid is half Ghanaian. I've made it a point to slowly expose him to as much of Ghanaian culture as I'm capable of, given the difficulties of both the quarantine and the demographics of the northeast (though you may be interested to know there is a decent sized Ghanaian community in and around Yale University). So given that, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the unlikely union of Sheeran and Ghanaian music. Apparently during a visit to Africa he became a big fan of the country - to the point of getting a tattoo of the country's flag - and put out two surprisingly competent takes on Ghanaian pop music.
There is always a danger of praising an outsider's take on African music without taking the time to consider the historic complications involved in such appropropriation, but my kid just woke up again so it's time to load up the playlist and get back into daycare mode. So we'll save that analysis for another day. Mah krow.