Michael Owusu Addo also known in showbiz as Sarkodie, is a Ghanaian rapper and entrepreneur who hails from the Ashanti Region but is based in Tema.
His contributions to the Ghanaian music industry has earned him numerous accolades, including the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards Artiste of the Decade. In 2015, Sarkodie was ranked the 19th most Influential Ghanaian by e.tv Ghana. He is considered as one of the best rappers Ghana and Africa has ever had having won the hearts of Fans worldwide.
Early life and career
Sarkodie was born and raised in Tema, and is the fourth sibling of five GUchildren. He attended Tema Methodist Day Senior High School and proceeded to IPMC where he earned a degree in graphic design. Sarkodie began his music career as an underground rapper, participating in Adom FM’s popular rap competition Kasahare Level which was then hosted by the legendary Doctor Can.
He met his former manager Duncan Williams of Duncwills Entertainment while participating in the competition. He also met musicians Edem and Castro, who introduced him to Hammer of The Last Two, an established record producer. Impressed by his rap flows, Hammer worked with Sarkodie and released two tracks for his album Volta Regime.
In the year 2009 to 2012 he released Makye and Rapperholic.
Following his collaboration with Hammer, Sarkodie recorded his debut album Makye. Its production was primarily handled by Killbeatz and Jayso. The album featured guest appearances from Kwaw Kese, J-Town, Sway and Paedae of R2Bees. Makye received positive reviews from critics and fans. It was supported by a concert held at Holy City Gardens in Accra. On the 16th of September 2009, Sarkodie performed alongside Busta Rhymes at the Busta Rhymes Live in Ghana concert. In 2010, his “Push” and “Baby” songs were ranked ninth and thirteenth on Joy FM’s Top 50 songs of 2009, respectively.His album’s lead single “Baby” which featured Mugeez became an instant hit and gained grounds in Ghana and Africa.
Sarkodie’s second studio album Rapperholic was released in 2012. It featured guest appearances from Efya, Chidinma, Mugeez of R2Bees, Obrafour, Jayso and EL. The album was supported by five singles: “Good Bye”, “One Time For Your Mind”, “You Go Kill Me”, “Living Legend”, and “Onyame Nhyira”. It received positive reviews from music critics. Sarkodie went on a nationwide tour to support the album. Rapperholic paved the way for Sarkodie as he won his first International nomination with the Album. Surprisingly he won the BET award for Best African Act that year. Sarkodie was also featured on the BET Hip Hop Awards cypher alongside Talib Kweli, Jean Grae and Ab-Soul. He was the only African act featured on the cypher.
On 7 July 2012, Sarkodie kicked off his European tour beginning with Canada in July, He toured the United States in August 2012, performing in cities and states such as New York City, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland, Atlanta, Chicago, Texas and Massachusetts. After releasing Rapperholic, Sarkodie embarked on a tour to promote the album. On 27 August 2012, he performed alongside R2Bees, Fally Ipupa and Iyanya at the Africa Unplugged Music Festival.
In 2012, Sarkodie performed “How Low” with Ludacris at the 020 Live concert.
On October 30, 2013, Sarkodie released the official remix of “You Go Kill Me”. The song climbed to number 1 on various Musical charts in Ghana. Its remix featured vocals from Wizkid, Ice Prince, Navio and EL. In January 2014, Sarkodie released his third studio album Sarkology. Primarily recorded in Twi, the album features guest appearances from Fuse ODG, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Banky W., Timaya, 2 Face Idibia, Efya, Mugeez, Obrafour, Burna Boy, Vivian Chidid, Vector, Silvastone, Sk Blinks, Stonebwoy, Joey B, J Town, Lil Shaker, Raquel, Sian, Kofi B and AKA. Its production was handled by Magnom, Hammer, Killbeatz, Masterkraft and Silvastone, among others. The album’s launch concert was held at the Accra Sports Stadium in December.
Sarkodie released the official remix of “Adonai” which fearured Ghanaian sensational vocal powerhouse “Castro”. Adonai appeared on Capital Xtra’s list of the Top 35 Afrobeats Songs and climbed a lot of charts in Ghana. Sarkodie launched his music record label “Sarkcess Music records” in 2014. As part of the launch, he premiered the video for his hit song “Adonai” (Remix) and “Special Someone”. Sarkodie also released the songs “Megye Wo Girl”, “Love Rocks”, “Chingum”, and “Whine Fi Me” under the label.
On 3 May 2014, Sarkodie performed at the 15th edition of the Ghana Music Awards. On 7 June 2014, he joined Miguel on stage to perform the latter’s single “How Many Drinks” at the MTV Africa Music Awards. In June 2014, Sarkodie collaborated with Mi Casa, Lola Rae, Davido, Diamond Platnumz and Tiwa Savage to record “Africa Rising”, a song for DSTV’s campaign of the same name. The campaign was designed to inspire Africans to partake in community-based social investment projects. The music video for “Africa Rising” was released on June 24, 2014. It was shot and directed by South African production house Callback Dream.
In 2015 to 2018 he released his albums Mary and Highest
On 10 June 2015, Sarkodie released the Ace Hood-assisted “New Guy”. It was released for digital consumption on 10 June 2015 through Sarkcess Music and Ivy League Records. Written by the two artists and produced by CedSolo, “New Guy” is an African hip hop and hip hop song that contains alternating rap verses, while its lyrics deal with Sarkodie’s desire and motivation for success. Development for “New Guy” began in early 2015 when Sarkodie paid a total of $25,000 to cover the production fees associated with recording. He also wanted Ace Hood to appear on the track because he considered him as “one of the world’s most powerful rappers”.
On 12 September 2015, Sarkodie released Mary, a live album named after his grandmother who died in 2012. “Mewu” was released as the lead single from the album two months prior. An autograph session for the album was held at the West Hills Mall in Accra. Sarkodie sold nearly 4,000 copies of the album on the first day of its release. In February 2016, he spoke to a group of Harvard Business School students. Themed “The Art of the Hustle”, his speech was primarily about the challenges associated with being an African musician. Sarkodie also performed at the event following his speech.
Sarkodie held the fourth edition of his Rapperholic concert on Christmas Day. Tickets for the event sold out within 72 hours of its release. The concert featured additional performances from Fuse ODG, R2Bees, Wizkid, Samini, VVIP, Efya and Shatta Wale. On 11 March 2016, Sarkodie performed with the music band The Composers at the O2’s Indigo venue. The event was hosted by DJ Abrantee.
Sarkodie released his fifth studio album Highest on 8 September 2017. It comprises 19 songs, including 3 interludes and a bonus track. Released through Sarkcess Music and Dice Recordings, the album features guest appearances from Jesse Jagz, Moelogo, Flavour, Korede Bello, Victoria Kimani and Big Narstie. Highest was primarily produced by Jayso, with additional production from Masterkraft, TSpize, Ced Solo, Nova and Guilty Beatz.
Currently he is considered as the most decorated Ghanaian Rapper and is married to his long time heartthrob Tracy and had one daughter called Titi.