5th Dimension

5th Dimension

With his fifth studio album, Ghanaian dancehall superstar Stonebwoy reveals an unwillingness to slow down, and he sought out a title that would reflect that. “In the space that I find myself, I want to continue to contribute to my culture, and my time, and my generation,” he tells Apple Music. “The fifth dimension goes beyond the physical—it goes into the astral; it goes into the spiritual. It deals with all aspects of emotions and thoughts. This is vibration; this is levels, emotions; this is waves.” Stonebwoy has consistently shown he has no fear when it comes to diversifying his sound, a trait that’s ever present across the album’s 17 tracks. He even ventures into amapiano territory alongside South African superstar DJ Maphorisa on “Apotheke”—displaying as much passion as he does on his signature dancehall-meets-Afrobeats records. Below, he breaks down key tracks from 5th Dimension. “Life and Money” (feat. Stormzy) “When you critically listen to the song, you find out that I acknowledge where I'm headed. I acknowledge how hard I'm investing into myself by virtue of hard work. And then I also understand that there's a need to actually live life and make money in the end. And also, I'm wishing this for all of my people. And I just pray that we all have long life to be able to enjoy whatever we work hard for.” “Far Away “‘Far Away’ takes you on a meditational path. It's taking into consideration everything that's going on and knowing for a fact that you are a champion or you are a winner and you are mentally gone—basically, far away. You’re vibrating on the higher levels. And all this can only happen inside of your mind. Whatever you do, it's your mind that starts the thought that takes you there.” “More of You” “‘More of You’ is a double entendre. I think love runs the world, and many things that go on actually center around the existence and the management of relationships. And I think love is the biggest commandment. So you give what you get, basically, and whilst you're expecting to be given the most, you also should be understanding enough to know that you have to also reciprocate it to that level. It's like a highlife kind of sound, but it’s embedded in today's kind of rhythm, so it's a proper blend of the styles that I'm known for.” “Ava Wum Lo” “‘Ava womlo’ means ‘you go kill me’ in my native Ewe language (I’m from the Volta region of Ghana). It's also a very nice love song, sung in my dialect, and gives us that traditional feel and [sense of belonging] for my people as well, so that they can really feel connected and attached to the vibes. It is a sensual love tale, honoring women and then praising them for the amount of love that they show, and the way women express love.” “Forget” “The beat gives me the vibes of a typical jama…these are songs that are on the streets, like when you're going for school competitions or football matches—all the type of songs that are played when the Black Stars play football matches. I needed a subject that could fit that style of rhythm. ‘Forget’ speaks about making a firm decision not to go back to your ex. It’s telling them, ‘Yo, when I didn't have nothing, you were not there for me, but now that I got something you want to find your way through.’” “Run AM” (feat. Mereba) “I've always loved to just dig deep and do something unique. Not every artist can take risks, but my career is built on risks, because combining reggae and Afrobeats in the first place to create a certain sound is really very important. Mereba's voice is different and her style of music complements a dancehall song.” “Activate” [Stonebwoy & Davido] “Shout-out to Davido; that’s a brother of mine. ‘Activate’ [has been] a huge success and we couldn't leave it alone, so we had to bring it on here, and we all have enjoyed this [combination] of a typical Afrobeats with my dancehall flavor. You can see when I get into the first verse, there is a different dancehall style that brings some energy to the whole situation. I'm always intentional about continuing to represent for the African sounds that were formed both in Africa and in the diaspora.” “My Sound” (feat. Shaggy) “It is a typical Afro-dance style. I've been [making music] for over a decade, and we've seen the tempo of Afrobeats go from 120 BPM down to 85. And the same way it transitioned from the hardcore to today, where the dancehall rhythm is more laidback, I had to go back. The song has an Afrobeat feel produced by Praiz, a Nigerian musician and sound engineer. I sent it to Shaggy and he really just blessed us with this one, because Shaggy is one of the artists [who made me love] dancehall. These types of collaborations go a very long way to unify us, both the African people and the people in the Caribbean. It adds more sauce to that intentionality of knowing that we are all one people, and we share sounds.” “Apotheke” [Stonebwoy & DJ Maphorisa] “Afrobeats really is an umbrella name for all the sounds that are generated in Africa, in today's terms. And I believe that amapiano is also one of the very huge ones. So DJ Maphorisa and I had to jump on one like this. Recording in South Africa, I realized that we don't really understand the Zulu and the Xhosa, but we love it. We love what we hear. The intention of the song is: We're going to have fun. We're going to party. And it's like a drug; the vibe is going to be like a drug. ‘Apotheke’ is a pharmacy—apothecary.” “African System” “It speaks to government and power and politics, even some very pertinent things that happen within the African system, whereby the political policies and agendas that have to be implemented only [exist] on paper, but are hardly executed to the maximum on the ground. I will never depart from my consciousness no matter what it is. My music addresses every and anything.” “Where Is the Love” “This is actually a very soulful song to me. It is my personal story, and it also is very relatable. The more you grow, the more you go, the more you realize that many people give us love, but they don't really have it for us. It's conditional. And thus I'm inspired to speak about my terms myself, and I ask the question, ‘Where is the love that was supposed to show?’ Enemies are in the circle, because we've been beaten a lot of times by people who [posed] as innocent people, or people who loved us—but you realize that they're the same ones who would hurt us at any given opportunity to fulfill their own desires.”

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