Abrewa Nana – Dorcas Opoku Dakwa

Abrewa Nana (born Dorcas Opoku Dakwa, 3 December 1980) is a Ghanaian singer, songwriter, dancer and former Idol series judge.Nana’s parents are Isaac Dakwa and Juliana Blankson. The name “Abrewa” literally means “old woman” in the Akan language, her mother tongue. She adopted this as her stage name partly because she had been named after her grandmother. Raised mostly by her single mother, Nana attended primary school in Accra and Aggrey Memorial Senior High School, before studying Business Accounting at the Takoradi Polytechnic. As a teenager, she idolized Mariah Carey and Aaliyah, but was introduced to hiplife – a combination of hip hop and African highlife – as a student in polytechnic, and began to compose her own lyrics.Following the recording of her demo, Nana became a favourite among radio DJs, and her collaboration with Sass Squad Tuma received huge airplay. However, it was her first album Sagoa, in 2000, that launched her to national fame. She earned three nominations at the Ghana Music Awards for Female Artiste of the Year, Rap Song of the Year, and New Artiste of the Year. In 2001, Nana won an award for hiplife Song of the Year, and was named Best Female Vocalist in 2002. That same year, Nana released her second album African Girl, and was named Best Female Artiste of the Year at the Ghana Music Awards UK the following year. Her third album Maba followed in 2004. Nana is also a dancer and famous for her heavily choreographed videos.In 2007, it was announced that Nana would be a judge on Idols West Africa, alongside the Nigerian Dede Mabiaku and the American Dan Foster; at twenty-seven, she was one of the youngest judges in Idols’ history. Although the producers of the show were determined to portray her as the ‘nice one’, Nana was determined to “be myself”. The show was a ratings success, and made Nana popular outside Ghana. Apart from being the only female judge, she was well known for her catchphrase “It doesn’t work for me.”Nana has since used her position to criticise local DJs who favour foreign artistes over African performers, and has spoken of the difficulty Ghanaians face when breaking into the music industry, including payola.

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