A collaboration between the singer ELi and beat-maker, Alex Wondergem, the EP Buying our Freedom dropped yesterday.

The feel-good video to single Sunday Morning was shot in on the streets of Accra, between buses, weaving through traffic and in the football stadium. We talked to Alex about his project.

Introduce yourselves

Alex: My name is Alex Ofori Wondergem. I was born in Silver Spring, Maryland. At the age of four, my family moved to Africa where I spent my childhood living in Zimbabwe, Tchad, Ivory Coast then settling in Ghana for next 12 years. My father is Dutch and my mother is Ga.

I don’t speak Dutch because my father thought it would be more practical to learn French, so I spent 10 years in the French educational system. My mother taught us Ga which I understand and speak however I’m not fluent.

After high school, I went to London and studied film and television at the University of the Arts London. About a year ago, I finally realised I was an artist and I decided to live my art.

I’m an multi-media creative who loves to fused the world of moving images and sound. I’m currently in an experimental phase with my creations for a deeper understanding of what makes me tick.

Buying Our Freedom is a statement of two young artists from the centre of the world wishing for a better paradigm for the next generation of Africans.

Eli: I am Edward Elikplim Ayikoe by birth and Eli as an artist. I am the son of a well travelled engineer from Peki in the Volta region of Ghana and a business woman whose dream was to marry a man from her village. In my village I have two homes.

I’ve enjoyed the beauty of a life growing up in an average Ghanaian family and have tasted the best sound any well travelled man would bring back. For me my life has been a song and as I go along it gets even better.

Tell us about your latest EP Buying our Freedom. What is it about?

Alex: At the core of the project, our EP is about reflection of self and the environment we live in. It’s a body of work that represents the creative renaissance that is happening in Accra.

Buying Our Freedom is a statement of two young artists from the centre of the world wishing for a better paradigm for the next generation of Africans.

Eli: First this is not just any other project, it is my heart song and a reflection of the times and the world we live in.

As a young Ghanaian filled with art, history, knowledge and hope for the future, buying our freedom back is the most important thing now. The EP was made for the sole purpose of changing hearts and minds.

It is about a people, a country’s future and a continent’s state of mind.

For me this is the renaissance and many are waking up to the idea that Ghanaian and African lives greatly need the freedom to grow, plant seeds for the future that do not poison the land and politically choose without sanctions, unfair trade, imposed ideologies and the many more practices of economic exploitation and conspiracies by imperialist nations that preach world peace, fair trade, religious freedom, human rights amongst other lies and yet everyday steal that God given right of freedom from the Ghanaian people and the African continent.

Tell us about your collaboration. Why are the visuals so important for this project?

Alex: Eli and I were once housemates. He stumbled on my beats and being the great musicians that he is turned it into music. That moment triggered my identity as a music producer. We both complimented each other and shared our resources in order to bring these songs to life.

The visuals were critical because it allows the world to see a different reality of west Africa.

Once the music was done. I sent it to my childhood friend Will Niava who is a filmmaker. He got involved and shot the videos for Sunday Morning and Je M’en Bats Les Couilles.

His visuals and creativity brought a new dimension to the project, it felt as if we were inhabiting the Buying Our Freedom paradigm. The visuals were critical because it allows the world to see a different reality of west Africa.

Eli: It’s amazing that we were able to do this. We went as far as Ivory Coast for this. Both Alex Wondergem and Will Niava are great people and I’m happy to have met them.

What’s a night out like where you live?

Alex: You can take it to any heights in Accra. From just chilling at the beach vibing to some reggae, knocking down a couple of Purple pub’s five fingers drinks to enjoying the Accra skyline at the Sky Bar. Accra’s night life is vibrant.

Eli: Oh waw it’s lively. It’s filled with pubs, loud music, game centres and all sorts of food. It’s mostly people drinking their pain away or trying to convince some lady: I’m the one for you tonight, a couple more nights or forever. But for myself it’s mostly spent looking for food or going to the side of town where it’s peaceful and like-minded artists like myself meet to have a good time.

What song do you listen to: (a) turn up to (b) feel sexy (c) pine over your ex


(a) Shutdown – Skepta

(b) Hard one… only thing that comes to mind is Bring Em In – J Cole

(c) Dead Lovers, a song I produced on my May17 project.

Eli: I love me some Benjamin Clementine, Brymo, Fela, Nina Simone and a few other artists that one would say fall in that group.

Turn up to I’d say maybe some Phyno, Odunsi, Mr Eazi, Shatta Wale and the likes. These are rare moments for me so just a few come to mind.

Feel sexy and pine over my ex? Waw. I’ve not had much of those so I cant say but when it’s about relationships maybe Benjamin Clementine is best for those moments. I listen to him a lot.

What are your musical influences?

Alex: I grew listening to Peter Tosh and U2. Eminem in my early teen years, then NOFX, Green Day, Fall Out Boy. That’s when I began drumming. As of recent, J Cole, Mac Miller, Suzi Analogue.

J Cole really made me understand the art of sampling. Mac Miller’s earlier work was fun to listen to and gave me the drive to be on my grind. I recently discovered Suzi Analogue. She inspired me to treat my music as sound art.

Nshona Muzik and Gafacci introduced me the the world of making music with FL Studio after working with them on some projects. Those were pivotal moments of my journey with music.

Eli: A lot of these guys I’ve mentioned before have in one way or the other influenced my art. And I’d add Bob Marley and Osibisa. Yeah, they make up my influences.

Visit Alex’s SoundCloud page here

Visit Eli’s SoundCloud page here