Artist : Mzbel
Genre : Hip-life
Mzbel,known in private life as Nana Ekua Amoah,was born on Boxing Day,that is,December 26,1979 in Accra to Mr Albert A. Amoah, an engineer and the late Agnes Nyarko.She is the last-born of seven children.
“She grew up in the ghetto — James Town and Mallam,”.After attending God’s Wisdom Preparatory and Morning Star schools, she continued to Korle Gonno I and Owusu Mills JSS at Mamprobi for her junior secondary school education.
She had her senior secondary education at Abuakwa State College between 1995 and 1997 where she offered General Arts. She majored in economics, geography and French.
“As a child, she always wanted to be a newscaster.So after SSS, She applied to go to the Ghana Institute of Journalism but she couldn’t because of financial constraints,”.
She was later convinced by a cousin who supported her with some money to enrol at the Ghana Institute of Languages to become a bilingual secretary between 1998 and 1999.
“That was not what She wanted to do but she had no choice,”. While at the institute,she had the hint that Manifold Tutorial College was offering a one-year course in Production and enrolled, combining it with her course at the Institute of Languages.
She studied public relations,TV and radio production.
After her course,she did her internship with GBC Radio 1 where she hosted a children’s programme “Mmofra kyepem”.
“The financial benefit was not rewarding and her twi was not too good so she moved to Groove FM,now Adom FM,to continue her internship and did a programme titled ‘Kids on Groove’ ”.
A friend who realised her potential and her production background advised her to apply to TV3 as a production assistant for one of the station’s youth programmes known as Goldblast.
She also worked as floor manager for Goldblast and also as a production assistant for another programme Talking Drum.
In the year 2002, Mzbel had the opportunity to work with Hush Hush Studios, which at that time had come on the scene as a new production firm.
“She left TV3 because the pay she was offered at Hush Hush was more lucrative,”.
“While at Hush Hush, She sometimes went into the studio and as the boys were playing the instruments, She sang songs she had created. She did not take it seriously at first and was only doing it for fun.
”Still working part-time at Hush Hush Studios,s he secured another job,at Metro TV,where she was tasked to produce a children’s programme, but because sponsorship for the programme was not forthcoming she ended up as a producer for‘ Smash TV’, a weekend entertainment programme, but had to quit after a few months because of a misunderstanding.
With luck on her side, it did not take long before she got another job this time at Apex Advertising located at Osu in Accra as an editor.
“I liked what I was doing then and also had the chance to meet different people,” she said.
According to Mzbel,“music came accidentally.I never planned to go into music but I’m now enjoying it so I’ve taken it seriously”.
She said one day she had a call from Hush Hush Studios and was informed that some of her songs that she had sung at the studio had been selected for production and that they wanted her to come over and take pictures for posters and cassette inlays.
“I was not really into it,so I told them they could release the songs but I was not going to put up any performances nor was I going to grant any interviews because I was not serious about the songs that had been recorded,” she recalled.
However, she said: “I went ahead and took the photographs and not long afterwards the songs were on air and everyone wanted to know who Mzbel was.
Some even thought it was Abrewanana,another female hiplife artiste,” she said.That marked the beginning of Mzbel’s career. Her first album titled Awosome was released in 2004.
“With a lot of encouragement,I started attending shows and before I knew I was all over the place,” she said.
Mzbel’s current album “16 years” was released in February, this year. It has eight tracks.
She writes all her songs.She describes herself as a very friendly person who likes hanging out with kids.
Most people have criticised Mzbel for the way she dresses which they have described as "sexy" or "skimpy" but she says she dresses in a particular way because she believes as an artiste "you must look unique.
I usually go for white or pink colours because they are more feminine.I sometimes also dress to match with the colour of my hair or nail polish," she said.
Mzbel prays and hopes she becomes more successful in her music career to enable her to be of help to street girls. She plans to have her own production studios.
She believes that hiplife has a bright future.“If we do it well, in the next five years,hiplife will take over the whole of the African continent.”
How did she get the name Mzbel? She explained that while working at Hush Hush Studios,she complained about the way her name Nana was pronounced by her superiors so they chose to call her by her English name Belinda (a name she does not use often),but they shortened it to Bel and sometimes prefixed it with Miss — Miss Bel.
“When her first album was about to be released, she needed a showbiz name and opted for Miss Bel but changed the spelling to Mzbel.”