Ghanaian Afrobeats artiste based in the United Kingdom, Nana Richard Abiona, known as Fuse ODG, has been plying his trade in the music industry for ten years.
“Exactly today marks my 10 years in the industry. Grateful for all of the support,” he posted on his social media handles on October 28, 2021.
It was in 2011 that Fuse ODG had an awakening. Frustrated with his experiences growing up in south London, he decided to take a trip to Ghana, the country of his birth.
“I saw a whole new Africa that I had never seen on TV. You’re just a human here, you don’t feel like a minority. It feels like home. That’s the energy I got from coming back: peace of mind,” he said.
That trip was a catalyst for what happened next: a string of Afrobeats singles that melded old African highlife rhythms with western rap and R&B melodies.
After his trip, Fuse decided to put Ghana at the forefront of his music, taking the local Azonto dance to a global audience. The dance is a rhythmic thrusting and jerking of arms, ankles, and hips that he packaged into a viral hit single of the same name.
Subsequent singles, ‘Million Pound Girl’ and ‘Dangerous Love’, reached the UK’s Top 5 chart.
“I love myself more now. Africa has done that for me. And if you love yourself, you’ll be able to love other people; you value them how you value yourself [sic],” he added.
Fuse ODG released his debut single ‘Antenna’ on June 2, 2013.
The song peaked at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart. It was also at number 85 on the Irish Singles Chart.
On September 29, 2013, he released the single ‘Azonto’ which made it to the number 30th position on the UK Singles Chart.
The same year, on October 19, he was awarded ‘Best African Act’ at the MOBO Award’s 18th Anniversary.
He won four awards at the Urban Music Awards 2013; Best Music Video, Best Single, Best Artiste and Best Collaboration.
Fuse ODG released the single ‘Million Pound Girl (Badder Than Bad)’ on 29 December 2013. The song was at number 5 on the UK Singles Chart and number 65 on the Irish Singles Chart. On 18 May 2014 Fuse ODG released ‘Dangerous Love’, featuring Sean Paul, which was at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart.
His next single, ‘T.I.N.A.’ featuring British R&B artist Angel, was released on 19 October 2014. His debut album, T.I.N.A., an acronym for ‘This Is New Africa’, was released on 3 November 2014 and includes all five singles. The album peaked at number 25 on the UK Albums Chart, and also at number 63 in Scotland.
Fuse ODG turned down an offer to sing on the Band-Aid 30 project because he objected to the way the lyrics of the song portrayed the victims of the ongoing Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, and Africa generally.
In April 2015 he featured on Tinchy Stryder’s single ‘Imperfection’. In July 2015 he released the single ‘Only’.
He featured on Angel’s single ‘Leyla’. The song was released on 17 July 2015. On 4 September 2015, he released the single ‘Top of My Charts’.
In 2016, he collaborated with British Asian artist Zack Knight and Indian rapper Badshah. They came together and composed an African/Indian soundtrack, Bombae.
Currently, with his record label Off Da Ground Record, he manages Ghanaian songstress Feli Nuna. He recently released Winning, On a million, and Jekka.
Fuse ODG also has worked with British singer Ed Sheeran. In 2017, he released ‘Boa Me’ which featured Ed Sheeran and R2Bees.