Son of Jacob: Koby Martin painted 30 drafts to arrive at Kwesi Arthur’s impeccable cover art

son of jacob koby martin painted 30 drafts to arrive at kwesi arthurs impeccable cover art scaled

For someone with a very questionable church attendance rate this year, my biblical references in recent articles may just be enough to offset the offertories I owe… if that is how it worked.

But this is not for the anti-Sunday school squad hoping to go another day without a word from the Holy Book – it is the story of Joseph as told between Genesis 37 and 50.

These are the same people hooked on the idea that Friday, April 22, will bring some joy into their afrobeat/hip-hop hearts.

It’s just a day more to the Son Of Jacob, the most anticipated album in Ghana.

The art piece for the album’s cover had been dropped three days to the release date and fans had gone wild.

After a 2-year wait for the project, even a needle drop would get fanatics ecstatic and it was with reason.

Since the Tema-based star broke through with Grind Day back in 2017, the boy has never looked back until his brief hiatus. Even during the period, he gave his audience a couple of singles to sustain them.

Son of Jacob: Koby Martin painted 30 drafts to arrive at Kwesi Arthur's impeccable cover art
Koby Martin poses in front of one of his many paintings in the street of London

But the hype over this album’s cover art did not just stem from the hunger of the people, but also the genuineness from which it was birthed.

Koby was pacing in his room in London trying to figure out why my voice was not audible at his end.

It was not his fault though. It was my internet in Ghana doing me a disservice.

The meeting from which I had sneaked to squeeze in this Zoom interview had its own way of telling me to stay at one place, I thought while adjusting my seat in a conference hall’s lobby in Accra.

In about a minute we were on. After meeting the GroundUp Chale team some years back, Koby Martin is the brain and hands behind what has become the face of Kwesi Arthur’s album.

Son of Jacob: Koby Martin painted 30 drafts to arrive at Kwesi Arthur's impeccable cover art
Koby Martin and Kwesi Arthur

As an infant who fell in love with the creative art after he saw Picasso’s ‘The Old Guitarist’, it was only a matter of time for Koby to indulge in a body of work that would reshape the trajectory of a sector.

So when their world finally collided, the Tema-based rapper spat bars on the beat while the Ghanaian-born painter translated the emotion through his strokes on a canvas.

On face value, it is a lotto kiosk sandwiched between a group of people led by an uprightly seated Kwesi Arthur and a stretch of bush at the back.

“The clothing on Kwesi signifies the cloak Jacob gave to Joseph, his favourite son,” he said.

He tells me about the rationale behind the work and the process in the ecosystem that led to the creation of this doorway to the Son of Jacob album.

Son of Jacob: Koby Martin painted 30 drafts to arrive at Kwesi Arthur's impeccable cover art
Son of Jacob cover art designed by Koby Martin

It was the best out of “between 15 to 30” covers, he had personally created for the album, to make the cut.

The UK-based painter considers this no mean feat. According to Koby, the aim was to embody the essence of the struggle, growth and the end game through Kwesi Arthur’s eyes.

“We’re seeing those different phases of life through Kwesi’s eyes or through these individuals. Everyone can relate to what is going on in the cover,” he explained.

It is not difficult to notice a contributor who was a fan even before the work.

Son of Jacob: Koby Martin painted 30 drafts to arrive at Kwesi Arthur's impeccable cover art

Koby had been a Day One Kwesi Arthur stan and had been looking forward to collaborating in a way.

And so it was with excitement that he jumped on the invitation to create the art to convey the message.

In this interview, he speaks of God, the role of Jacob’s 12 sons, the tribulations and victory of Joseph as he laid it bare on the canvas.

There’s more in the interview I had with him below;

*****

The author, Kenneth Awotwe Darko is a journalist, music enthusiast and social media analyst.

Follow him on Twitter via @TheKennethDarko on Facebook, Kenneth Awotwe Darko and @TheKenDarko on Instagram.

Email: [email protected]

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