Ata Kak

Ata Kak


North America

Upcoming Shows

03/23/2022The Sunset, Seattle, WA
03/24/2022Polaris Hall, Portland, OR
03/28/2022The Chapel, San Francisco, CA
03/29/2022Lodge Room, Los Angeles, CA
03/31/2022The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PE
04/02/2022Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY
04/03/2022PhilMOCA, Philadelphia, PA
04/05/2022Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
04/06/2022Cactus Club, Milwaukee, WI
04/07/2022The Cedar, Minneapolis, MN
04/08/2022Memorial Union, Madison, WI
04/09/2022Rozz-Tox, Rock Island, IL
04/11/2022The Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS
04/13/2022The Blue Room, Nashville, TN
04/14/2022Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN

Ata Kak

Ata Kak is the mysterious Ghanaian electronic/rap/highlife icon who kick-started the whole Awesome Tapes From Africa phenomenon. After a long wait he has now started to play his first ever live performances in Europe.

Ata Kak’s Obaa Sima cassette fell on deaf ears when it was first self-released in Ghana in 1994 but when American musicologist Brian Shimkovitz stumbled upon the tape at a street stall in Cape Coast, Ghana eight years later it became the stimulus for him to launch his Awesome Tapes from Africa blog, writing in his inaugural post: ‘This is it. The song is called Moma Yendodo. You may never hear anything like this elsewhere. No one I know in Ghana listens to this frenetic leftfield rap madness.‘ 

The music on the recording – an amalgam of highlife, Twi-language rap, funk, hip-hop and electronica – traverses a pop music landscape that encapsulates international modes while reflecting contemporary Ghanaian music of the period. Presented with the sweaty passion of a Prince record and the lo-fi recording charm of early Chicago house music, Obaa Sima’s joyous soul and casual brilliance made the enigmatic Ata Kak an underground internet sensation and a party-starter the world over. After more than a decade of searching Brian finally tracked down the singer and released the LP officially in March 2015.

Press links

Pitchfork Documentary
FACT Mag – interview
Vice – article 
The Quietus – article