Meet Kidi, the Ghanaian singer behind Touch It, the Instagrm Reels viral song

If you’ve scrolled through Instagram Reels in the past month, you cannot have missed users dancing to his earworm, “Shut up and bend over"

Anagha M Published :  08th October 2021 05:00 AM   |   Published :   |  08th October 2021 05:00 AM
Denis Nana Dwamena aka Kidi

Denis Nana Dwamena aka Kidi

YOU MAY NOT have heard of the musician Denis Nana Dwamena. But if you’ve scrolled through Instagram Reels in the past month, you cannot have missed users dancing to his earworm that goes, “Shut up and bend over.” The dance challenge went viral and how! With more than 1 crore views on YouTube and more than 1.4 crore streams on Spotify, the catchy song called Touch It is making everyone get down to its beat. But very few people know the 27-year-old who created the tune. 

Earlier this year when the Ghana-based singer Denis who goes by the stage name Kidi released his third full-length album The Golden Boy, he never imagined that it would become an international success. The 14-track album has songs such as Cyclone, Dangerous, Daddy Issues, So Fine and Like A Rockstar. But, without a doubt,  the stand out song is Touch It. “One day last year I was in a very good mood and I just wrote the song. I’m so grateful for how massive it has become,” Denis tells Indulge

On the beat
Touch It falls under the genre of highlife, a style of music that originated in Ghana in the 19th century when it was still a British colony. It blends indigenous Akan and Ga music with western instruments like guitar and jazz horns. Denis is known for mixing highlife with R&B and Afrobeats.

The beat of the song is what has made it popular with everyone. There are viral videos featuring Indian celebrities like Malaika Arora and Farah Khan, as well as other social media influencers. Although the lyrics are a little suggestive, and a few people have even objected to it, it has not stopped Instagrammers from grooving to its tunes. The #TouchItChallenge has more than 1.5 lakh Reels. It is popular not just in India, but is topping the charts in the UK, Costa Rica and Columbia as well. 

For Denis, the most surreal moment was when he opened Instagram one morning and The Great Khali was vibing to Touch It. “I grew up watching him compete in WWE matches. So that day, when I opened the app and saw him, I was like, wow! That was a big moment for me,” says the artiste who has close to two million followers on Instagram now. 

Early days
Denis was born and raised in Ghana’s capital, Accra. Music has always been an important part of his life. “I began singing when I was 12 years old. I would sing in church and then all through my school life. And I’ve been making music professionally for the past five years,” the singer tells us. Growing up in Accra he was inspired by legendary Ghanaian musicians such as Daddy Lumumba and Katherine, but he also listened to a lot of American rappers and singers. Bruno Mars is one of his favourites. “When you hear Bruno’s songs, you want to get up and move. You don’t just sit down and listen to it. You want to move your body,” Denis explains, adding, “I take a little bit from every artiste I admire.” Ghana’s independent music circuit is vibrant and there are many new, as well as established acts making interesting music. “We hope that everyone here will make it big in the world and that their music will be heard by people outside of Ghana. That’s something we all hope for,” he tells us.

Denis himself is no stranger to fame and recognition. The Golden Boy, his album, won him awards for Artist Of The Year, Song Of The Year and EP Of The Year at the 3Music Awards 2021, West Africa’s biggest music event. “The album has a song for everyone. It has happy songs, sad songs and upbeat dance numbers,” he explains. The artiste also topped the local charts with his earlier tracks Say You Love Me, Odo, Adiepena, and Thunder. 

With a host of music videos and tours in the pipeline, the artiste is just getting started. “I want to express my gratitude to everyone supporting, streaming, and dancing to my music. I owe a huge debt to the entire universe. And I’m super grateful to all my Indian fans. Hopefully, I get to see you guys soon!” the singer concludes.

Available on online streaming platforms