More importantly, he’s always thinking and tinkering. He’s currently working on his 14-track sophomore album even though he has no title for it yet. He was also calm enough to help me distinguish between Ga and Twi languages.
“I feel like people always mix it up with Ghana [laughs] and say we speak “Ghanaian language” and I don’t know what that means [laughs],” Promise says. “But I also don’t blame people. For example, I can tell the difference between Igbo and Yoruba because of music but languages of people from the same country always have this sonic similarity.”
For the record, Promise speaks Ga and he’s proud to say it. Away from living in the studio, which he likens to a “9 to 5,” he enjoys playing with his producer, Killbeatz’s daughter and living a good life, which can sometimes be wild.
Who is King Promise?
Born Gregory Bortey Newman, King Promise 25-year-old singer from Greater Accra, Ghana. In 2017, he graduated with a degree in Business Administration, from where he took his music seriously. He calls his foray into the music “an accident,” but he also confesses that he’s always been into music.
“A friend wanted to make music and needed an assist, and I was available. I was familiar with music, but I wasn’t exactly making music at the time,” he reminisces. “When I helped him, I found myself going back to making music more and more till it became my reality. After graduation, I just knew that I wanted to face music and I was lucky that I broke through before people even knew me.”
Promise never wanted to have the life of working a “boring 9-to-5 desk job” while answering to somebody.
“I always hated the idea of a desk job. Even if I wasn’t making music, I still wouldn’t have worked a boring 9-to-5 job,” he says.
When he decided to pursue this music career, his parents were supportive, but nothing beats his dad’s experience on the streets of Ghana these days.
“My dad would probably go out of the house and get sold stuff cheaper or even halved prices because he’s King Promise’s dad. That was when it hit me that something was happening [laughs]. It happened to my dad as well,” he jokes. “These days, I just like showing gratitude to God and winning big.”
The growth and evolution of King Promise
Two years after graduating from University, Promise released his debut album which was distributed by Mr. Eazi’s emPawa. This led a lot of people to believe that Promise was signed to Eazi’s Banku/emPawa.
While he calls emPawa and Mr. Eazi “family for life,” he says that he was never signed to Mr. Eazi.
“[emPawa] only distributed by debut album, but I was never signed to Mr. Eazi,” he says.
These days, he’s signed to Sony Music Entertainment. He claims that he signed to the label because their views, model and goals aligned with his.
“We spoke with a bunch of labels before we decided to sign for Sony,” he says. “Sony just stood out due to their offer – short-term and long-term – and it was literally a no-brainer to sign with them.”
In the early days, Promise wasn’t much of a clubgoer because he preferred his own space and peace at home. But starting from 2019, he realized that “Life is too short and sometimes you need to blow off steam” so he started going to clubs more.
“These days, when my friends like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido pull up to Ghana, they call me because they know they’re in for a good time,” he enthused. “I’m still not the greatest clubgoer, but I go to clubs more these days.”
Regardless of the vanity, Promise isn’t getting carried away. To him, superstardom is mostly about responsibility and the weight of projecting Africa in a positive light, as our music continues to travel beyond borders.
“It looks like Afrobeats is going to become the new Reggae and gain worldwide acceptance,” Promise enthused. “It is our responsibility to project our culture, our people and our identity in a positive light. We are ambassadors and we have leverage and opportunity. It shouldn’t just be about us.”
To promise, superstardom is equivalent to being an African artist and it comes with the same responsibilities, even though the scales might be different.
The growth of African music
Promise measures the growth of African music by label and DSP influx, distro influence, TikTok and Triller’s growing power as well as social media capital. While his music used to be more popular on Triller, where he would garner one million views in no time, his TikTok reps are growing.
“I think TikTok is a great way to explore and promote our music, but I’m new to it, even though I’ve seen my music on the platform,” he says. “The way songs can go viral in seconds is definitely something to explore.”
Goals in life: Children and growth
Promise doesn’t have a child. The girl that was on the cover of his EP, Love and Happiness, was Killbeatz’s daughter because it was a joint EP between the legendary producer and Promise.
“I love kids and I’m always around kids, that’s why a lot of people think I have kids when I really don’t,” he says “I really hope to have a kid someday, but I don’t have baby fever, no [laughs]. My goal in life is to take this music to heights unseen and do things that most people can only dream about. All the while, I want to represent Africa.”
We anticipate his upcoming 14-track sophomore album.