100% Yaw Tog: the asakaa boy wonder
He might still be a student, but the Ghanian rapper has just had Stormzy jump on the remix of his anthem, Sore. Here, THE FACE gets the full low-down on the voice behind those hard-hitting bars.
Yaw Tog is still a student, but he’s headed for stardom. Born Thorsten Owusu Gyimah, the Ghanaian high-schooler rose to popularity when a clip of his track Sore, boasting hard-hitting bars and an anthemic chorus, went viral in 2020, introducing the world to asakaa – Kumasi’s distinctive take on drill music.
Inspired by the style and sonics of the popular Ghanaian rapper Kwesi Arthur, Tog took up music three years ago. But the rise of Pop Smoke and drill’s proliferation in Kumasi persuaded Tog to switch his sound and rap over similar bass-heavy beats. From there, Tog began frequently collaborating with a crew of local rappers who are on the same wave, and who are associated with the Kumasi label Life Living Records.
The remix of Sore, set to be the lead single off Tog’s forthcoming debut project Time, sees Yaw Tog recruit Stormzy (who is of Ghanian heritage) and none other than Kwesi Arthur himself, guaranteeing major attention from an international audience.
“Young Bull, I’m coming, dealing with GOATs,” Tog raps on the remix. Familiarise yourself with the rising Kumasi native with his 100% questionnaire below.
10% Where were you born, where were you raised and where are you now based?
I was born in Kumasi, Ghana. Raised in Santasi, an area in Kumasi, and I’m still there right now.
20% What’s a piece of advice that changed your life?
Stormzy told me to keep praying to God, be humble, and work very hard at my craft. My manager tells me that same thing, too, and so does my mum.
30% Love, like, hate?
I love spending time with my family as much as I can. I like being around positive people. I hate dishonesty and people that can’t celebrate people doing well.
40% You rule the world for a day. What went down?
I’d take care of the welfare of children. I’d provide shelter and food for them and try to help them get a good life.
50% What is the last book you read that left a mark on you?
The last one was Rich Dad Poor Dad [by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter]
60% What kind of emotions and experiences influence your work?
Sometimes it’s sadness, other times it’s stress and joy. I just try to combine all those things and keep it moving.
70% How did you celebrate your last birthday?
It was just a normal day because of financial constraints, but the next one will be louder. More celebration and enjoyment.
80% What can you tell us about your next project?
It’s full of bangers. The project is going to be an EP, I think the Sore remix is going to be on it. It’s going to be called TIME, there’ll be seven songs and they’re basically trying to tell stories about my life and show that this is Yaw Tog time.
90% If you’re cooking food to impress someone, what will you make?
Jollof rice. That’s something I can make pretty well.
100% No.1 holiday destination?
I’ll say London, even though I’ve not been there. I hope to go soon.