Fuse ODG has achieved global success with a string of hits, including Million Pound Girl and Azonto, and he’s an artist who has used his fame to speak out on issues that he feels passionately about, and act on them.
He’s been vocal following the death of George Floyd in the US. And when I called him up at home in Ghana’s capital, Accra, where he now lives after growing up in the UK, he had plenty to say:
It’s very sad that in 2020 we’re still fighting for justice, still fighting just to breathe, still fighting just to be.
Protesting economically is one of the main things I feel we need to do as black people… we have spending power of something like $3.9tn!”
Fuse ODG has seen this kind of action in practice. He was at the forefront of a campaign to boycott Nivea following a major advertising campaign they ran in Africa featuring a girl happily professing that she now has “visibly fairer” skin after using the product:
I was like ‘No, you cannot capitalise on the insecurity of our people’… and I posted online that we’re not giving our money to Nivea.
Then everyone went on their Insta pages and there were videos of people flushing Nivea products down the toilet… and in three days the billboards came down.
There was outrage in Ghana, but also America and the UK. There’s this new wave of black people sticking together.
The power doesn’t really lie with the governments – it’s with the donors – and the donors are these major corporations.
If we take our money from them then they will be forced to stand with us.”