Music Review: OJ - Onipa Hia Mmoa Featuring Nana Nacee
Who needs help? Who wants to help? Whence cometh help? God helps people but does so through other mortal beings and that is exactly what Michael Oware Sakyi, one of Ghana’s quintessential song writers, preaches about in his new song, ‘Onipa Hia Mmoa.’
Instrumentation: Done in Key E Flat Major, 'Onipa Hia Mmoa,' starts with few bars of guitar works then the chorus comes in. Like any typical soothing OJ song, 'Onipa Hia Mmoa' in a 2/4 time signature and also has keyboards, wind instruments and percussion, among others. The guitars are however, dominant in the instrumentation.
Vocal Delivery: OJ doesn’t strain in singing his notes. He knows which keys are comfortable for him to sing in and he does so with ease. In this song, he does not use too many dynamics in vocal delivery. I am sure the simplicity was to make many people relate to the simple yet sensitive theme of the song. Nana Nacee harmonizes the chorus but also joins at the tail end of the song and he beautifully sandwiches it with his velvety voice.
Song Arrangement: The 5:21 song evinces OJ’s storytelling and songwriting prowess. He starts with the chorus and laces it perfectly in between the verses. It makes the communication flow smoothly because right after the chorus, thoughts are stringed on to the next.
Subject Matter: ‘Onipa Hia Mmoa’ touches on a subject that is common to humanity – a subject that pricks emotions of the ordinary Ghanaian and anyone who is dire need of help but what makes it unique is the kind of wisdom he espouses in the song.
In the chorus, OJ admonishes the listener to help people while they are alive because that is when they need help.
In the first stanza, he continues that there a lot of people who would have gone farther in life if they had helpers to push them at the initial stages of their lives.
In the second stanza, OJ sings that God blesses people through others but continues after the BRIDGE that some people have been plunged in big troubles because of their kind gestures but the Bible enjoins us to do good always irrespective of any problems helping others may bring us.
He finally comes back to sing that God’s blessings to us are not for our parochial benefits but to also serve as a blessing to others. Nacee wraps it all up by reiterating the essence of helping others.
Commentary: OJ’s songs have always carried powerful messages that speak directly to the individual. Apart from the Biblical inclination to the import of the message, there are also sociological benefits to it. Especially in a developing country like Ghana, the best way we can grow and rise is to help the less privileged.
In fact, you don’t need to have a lot to help. You don’t need to be self –sufficient to lend a helping hand to the one crawling. Everybody can help somebody. Everybody needs help. Help, not because you want the same people you help, to help you – but help because helping is for the good of humankind and even if you don’t get the same help from the people you help, Karma pays it back to you through other conduits.
Rating: This is obviously a classic piece. I score ‘Onipa Hia Mmoa’ 90%.
Conclusion: Kudos to OJ. He should continue to touch on the G-spots of life’s practical subjects like he always does.
Song: Onipa Hia Mmoa
Artiste: Michael Oware Sakyi [OJ] ft. Nana Nacee
Author: Kwame Dadzie