Emerging artist King Promise is quickly becoming an international phenomenon with his up-beat, relatable and experimental music.
The Ghanaian music scene has witnessed a well-deserved boom in recent times and Ghanaian/British singer-songwriter Gregory Bortey Newman, better known by his stage name King Promise, has been leading the pack with his extraordinary music.
Taking influence from his own experiences, King Promise aims to make relatable music. Explaining his writing process, he says, “ I see myself as being a mouthpiece of the people through my music. As such, I’m usually writing about things I have either experienced, seen my friends experience or even things I’ve seen on TV, radio or the internet.”
Along with relatability, he hopes to cultivate happiness in the hearts of his listeners. He says, “ I sing about love & happiness, and want my music to be something that makes people enjoy the good times instead of focusing on the bad times. It’s the kind of music that reminds you that life is to live; so people should just chop life rather than letting life chop them.”
Having shaped his music by drawing on the various sounds, rhythms and moments he has come across, the rising talent has always favoured experimentation – shifting tones from his initial RnB singing to a more a hilife/afrobeats-inspired soundscape. Crediting his evolution to the natural passage of time, he says, “ With time has come some level of growth, and in that time I’ve more or less found and shaped my sound.”
King’s journey to finding his sound has been aided not only by personal experiences but also a plethora of professional inspirations. Asked about influences, he replies, “ There’s a lot but to name a few – Ghanaian legends Kojo Antwi, Ofori Amponsah as well as R2bees, Sarkodie, Mr Eazi, Wizkid and Drake.”
After this we discuss his bucket list, where the name features again as he says “ I want to be an international artist creating & sharing vibe all across the world. I hope to be a global phenomenon just like Drake or Jay Z, but this time one from Africa, based in Africa.”
Already on the path to becoming a phenomenon in line with his bucket list, King Promise not only excels at representing the Ghanaian music scene but is also a style icon. Having won big at the recent Glitz Style Awards, he explains his past and present with fashion, “ My parents have been in the fashion/clothing industry in Ghana since I was a kid, so I picked that up fast, and I’ve always loved to look good right from then. Winning those awards at the style awards meant a lot. It’s a pretty cool feeling to be seen as a style icon and being acknowledged for it.”
But it’s not the awards- for fashion or music- that excite him the most, it’s the process of creation, with his favourite part of making new music is being recording process itself. It’s no surprise therefore that most memorable moment of his career so far was the day he dropped his first album. He recalls, “ I’d always prayed for a time when I could share a body of work I’d created- I’ve never felt anything like I did when I finally dropped it this summer.”
Photographer: Noa Grayevsky
Stylist: Yety Akinola
Stylist Assistant: Ellie Saluan
Retouching: Amanda Unger
Location: Urban Myth Studio