My creative work tastes like watermelon – P.Y.

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The brand PY actually belongs to PapaYaw Addo-Boateng, the dynamic impresario who’s name is indelibly linked with the youth cultural revolution #BlessTheMic. In addition to his many sides as Entrepreneur, Creative Director, Film actor, Tv Presenter, Movie Producer, Brand Ambassador, Talent Father, Agent, MC, and Event Producer,  this 27th day of July has added something priceless to PY’s already blessed life: another spin around the Sun. This is to a wonder-filled new year. Happy birthday, Star!!!

Following are excerpts from a chat first published July 27, 2021.

NANA S. ACHAMPONG: Are you smart, or do you work hard?

P. Y.: I will say I’m a smart worker, although I work hard in terms of what I have done for TV.

NSA: TV, radio, cultural movements, events, movies etc.: what in your personal life has influenced you to do what you do?

P. Y.: I worked with Viasat 1 as a co-host of The One Show. I did that for four to five years. We did about 10 seasons of that – which was really good. I really enjoyed doing that show. It brought out a lot of qualities in me that I didn’t know I had, because I had always been behind the scene – producing, creating, directing. And this was an opportunity for me to be in front of the camera, first time ever on TV, or in front of camera working.

I then hosted UGCY (the University Gospel Choir of the Year). It was a reality show for university gospel choirs across the country. We did two seasons of that. And Luciana, a Ghana’s first telenovela, in which I acted as a doctor.

I have also done a few movies: Interception and Gold Coast, both directed by Pascal Ackah. I was in The Curfew. And my most recent movie and project is Coming to Africa, in which I acted and produced as well. It was my first movie production. Produced in 2019, and we did an exclusive premiering in Ghana on the 4th of December [2020]. The movie is now on AmazonPrime streaming worldwide. It stars Khalil Kain (JuiceBonesGirlfriends TV series), Nana Ama McBrown (AsorebaTentacles), David Dontoh, Paulina Oduro, myself and a few other actors from Ghana and of course the director himself, Anwar Jamison, who is also a lead role. We had an exclusive premiere at Movenpick, with all the stars and celebrities on the black carpet including Khalil.

Radio: I did radio in the US. I did KBF 88.3 FM for 5 years. I had two shows: one with a Nigerian brother called Edu Menge which we hosted on Sundays. And I had my own show, Zion Train, on Saturdays: a reggae show where I interviewed the likes of Sizzla, the late Joseph Hill (Culture), Rocky Dawuni, Bushman, Ziggy Marley, the list goes on and on.

If you know me, you know I love events; that’s what I do best. I love events so I set my company Miprime Entertainment in 2007. We’ve been doing events for over how many years now? About 13 years now.

Bless the Mic: Bless the Mic Festival is one of our flagship events. We did Bless the Mic Festival for over 10 years. We also did an event called Guitars in The Park. And I worked with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, producing the Mo Ibrahim Governors’ Weekend here in Ghana 2015. And then we had many flagship events from Miprime Entertainment such as ‘Do Me Do‘ pork show, baking festival and other events. I’ve done corporate events; we’ve done the concerts, the festivals, and quite a few more things.

I used to do a podcast called The PY Says Show. I did it for three seasons. It was really good, and I had a co-host called Agnes Ntow who is also a radio and TV personality here in Ghana.

What has influenced me to do what I do in my personal life, apart from being prayerful and believing in the Most High, I think will be my college years in Arkansas where I discovered the other side of my creative self and started exploring it some more in terms of organizing events, DJing, working with turntable DJs, underground artists, hip-hop acts, poets, African drummers….They opened my eyes to another side of creativity.

NSA: Among the people you’ve unearthed/worked with, who has made the most impact?

P. Y.: Stonebwoy Livingstone. Stonebwoy will be one of the people that I will say I unearthed and has made the most impact…yeah…Stonebwoy.

NSA: Regarding what you’ve been part of so far: is there something that you hated but the public loved?

P. Y.: During the One Show days, sometimes I hated the lights in my face, naah naah. That will not cut it. Hehehehe. That will not cut it. I can’t seem to think of anything, everything I did the public loved, and I love what I do, so I can’t think of anything I did that I hated.

NSA: If you could interview one more creative person (past, present, future), who would it be?

P. Y.: I would want it to be Kwame Nkrumah, but the name that fits perfectly for me would be Bob Marley.

NSA: Have you ever had the need to hide meanings or messages in your presentations?

P. Y.: Yes, during the One Show days. I would be reading messages from viewers. There are some messages that are not too friendly, and you cannot read them on air.

On creativity

NSA: What inspires creativity more: lack or plenty?

P. Y.: Ah man! I love being creative. I think for me its lack, you know. The fact that it is not there so I have to create it. How do we make it work? We need to find answers: what are the solutions? Where do we start from? So that will be it for me.

NSA: Is there a connection between formal education and creativity?

P. Y.: It’s a thin line. I would want to say NO, because formal education is too rigid, you know, and creativity has to be loose, free. We are free thinkers, so I don’t see that connection; it would be a very, very thin line.

“I swear!”

NSA: When was the last time you changed your mind about something important?

P. Y.: Today, I changed my mind about something very important. Today. Yes, it happens a lot.

NSA: What’s in your playlist this very moment?

P. Y.: I have GyakieCobby Raymond, an artist called Young Boss 436, Ghanaian trap hip pop artist. I have the Kumericans on there; Stonebwoy, Adina, and Medikal. That is what I am listening to right now on my playlist.

NSA: What has your past relationships taught you?

P. Y.: My past relationships have taught me to find understanding, you know, to be able to live a purpose-driven life. Understanding, that is the key word.

NSA: Is it better to be extraordinary and late, or good and on time?

P. Y.: Well, obviously, it’s better to be good and on time. That is what everybody, you know, strives for, but I will say, I am the extraordinary and late type, you know. I try to check myself with time, yeah. I am extraordinary and late.

NSA: How do you feel about sharing your password with your partner?

P. Y.: No! It’s a big NO for me. That’s the only privacy I have as a partner, so everything else is open: we share everything else. My password on my phone or laptop? No!

Our homeland Ghana

NSA: If you were given the task of rebranding Ghana, what would the headline of the press release be?

P. Y.: If I was given the task to rebrand Ghana, I will really love it. In fact, they should add money as well. Big money, yes, you know. Then, I will be able to do the job. My headline will be “New Ghana, my country with an innovative mind”. And, yes, I think I can potentially change this country if we can provide proper education and consistent training.


NSA: What are the failures that you most cherish?

P. Y.: My divorce. It opened my eyes to a whole different side of life, and I cherish that very much.

NSA: How has Bless The Mic influenced youth culture in Ghana?

P. Y.: Bless the Mic has influenced the youth across the globe in so many different forms. It encouraged them. It has given them the hope that they can do it on their own while they still find support. It has given them exposure. It has opened doors to record label contracts, to A&R, support to industry endorsement, and we are still encouraging them and trying to empower them.

NSA: What does a viable creative arts industry in this country look like?

P. Y.: It will be an industry that will have a consistent training and development platform but with financial support – 100% – ’cause we have the talent. We are the best in the world.


NSA: What are you better at than most anyone else?

P. Y.: I will say, I’m a special child.

NSA: What’s your superpower?

P. Y.: It has to be my attitude… and my magic smile.

NSA: If your creative work were edible, what would it taste like?

P. Y.: Man, that’s a good one, Nana. It would taste like watermelon.

PY with Christopher Cox, Chief Product Officer (CPO) at Facebook, chief-of-staff to Mark Zuckerberg
PY with Christopher Cox, Chief Product Officer (CPO) at Facebook, chief-of-staff to Mark Zuckerberg

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