"Sawa sawa sawale, Ashawo" are lyrics that have been on the tongues of many Nigerians and (Ghanaians) over the last couple of years. They are lyrics from "Nwa Baby", a hugely popular song by Nigeria's Flavour Nabania, real name Chinedu Okoli. He calls himself the King of Nigerian High Life.
Turns out Flavour's Nwa Baby is a new school version of an old school highlife tune called (you guessed it) - Sawa Sawa le. The original is by Rex Lawson (c.1930 - 1971), one of the all-time highlife greats from Nigeria. Until his untimely death in the 1970s, Erekosima (Rex Jim) Lawson was a standard-bearer of the Nigerian highlife scene whose tunes achieved popularity across Africa.
Listen to the original
Flavour's song was popular in Eastern Nigeria, and then became a hit in Ghana. Two of Ghana's premier rappers, Asem & Stone of Bradez fame joined Flavour for a remix. It was a winding road for Flavour, as his popularity in Ghana helped him blow up in Nigeria. It's debatable whether he's more popular in Ghana than Nigeria still.
@AfricaTalks tweeted us saying that this popular beat actually came from Nana Kwame Ampadu's Kofi Nkrabea. Nana Kwame Ampadu is a legendary Ghanaian highlife musician.
Listen to Kofi Nkrabea at this link http://www.allghanamusic.com/nana-kwame-ampadu/his-african-brothers-band-e2-80-94-kofi-nkrabea-video_b24df717f.html
Watch the Nwa Baby video
He then got featured by many Nigerian artistes. Recently he tweeted saying "I have been featured the by best musicians in the industry presently, the list is endless.".
He got featured by arguably Africa's number one rapper, MI on 'Number One' and he also featured on VIP's Baby (Ghana).