Seidu Iliyasu, better known now as Bakilla, was born on the 27th of February in Chegu, a small village in the Northern parts of Ghana. He lived there until he was 2 years old.
Bakilla’s father was a farmer while his mother was a trader. His father already had lots of children and his mother also had four childern before having Bakilla and his sister together. Bakilla was first born from his mother and father together. After him, Amina was born and they were the only children from his mother and father.
His father has a total of 23 children and his my mother has 6 children including Bakilla, which means he has a lot of half sibbelings from both sides of his parents. Amina, his only real sister, sadly died when he was just 4 years old.
Bakilla’s father wanted all of his children to be farmers but his mother, who came from the city, wanted Bakilla to have an education. His mother understood that he wasn’t the child to become a farmer, which lead to a big fight between both parents and they separated.
When Bakilla was 7 years old, his mother took him with her to Tamale, Ghana’s 3rd largest city. He went to school for a couple of years until his mother couldn’t afford his education anymore. They couldn’t count on his father’s help because he still wanted Bakilla to become a farmer.
Bakilla was good at playing football. He gained the support from his teachers and the school needed him to play for the school. This way, he was able to go to school a little bit longer. Unfortunately, they couldn’t provide him with the other things he needed for school.
As his mother was trying to make a living by trading, she was gone most of the time, leaving her son with his grandmother. They didn’t have space to sleep or food to eat. It became clear to Bakilla from a very young age that he needed to care for himself.
Luckily, he made a lot of friends through playing football and he was lucky he could stay with them. Sometimes, they had to sleep in a room with 15 people.
Bakilla and his friends started a traditional dancing group to try to make a living, together with anything else he could think of to make a living, such as washing clothes, polishing shoes, carrying water,…
One day, there was a dancing competition in Tamale’s Culture Center. After the competition, Bakilla was invited to dance with the dance group of Tamale’s Culture Center.
In the meantime, he also started to write lyrics for rap songs. He was writing a lot but never took it very seriously or believed he could do something with it.
While being part of the dance group, he spent a lot of time at the Culture Center, which means he also came in contact with the tourists who visited the center.
He started getting involved with the tourists and became a tourist guide.
During that time, he met a Belgian girl who worked in Tamale as a volunteer. They fell in love and after her 6 months contract was finished, they decided Bakilla would come to Belgium with her.
In Belgium, Bakilla missed his family so much. Being in Belgium was a big change for him but it was hard and eventually, the relationship didn’t work out.
Bakilla needed to make the decision to stay in Belgium or to go back home again. His mother believed it would be better for him to try and make a living in Belgium.
In that period, writing lyrics became a way for him to deal with his problems and to express his feelings. It helped him to cope with life, it dragged him through it
On the way, Bakilla met a lot of interesting people, all connected through their love of music. His network grew bigger and he understood that music was actually his true calling.
He realized he could really do something with his music. Luckily for him, by chance he met Bart Peeters, one of belgium finest artist. Bakilla unexpectedly ended up performing part of one of his songs on Bart Peeters’ show.
Performing there, standing with this well-known artist, made him feel like he could do it. He could perform and be doing what he loves to do most in his life. Bart Peeters lifted Bakilla to a higher level and gave him more courage he needed back then. He told Bakilla that he believed in him.
Bakilla met his partner Rebbel Ashes at a show, where Rebbel needed to perform with one of his friends. They got in contact and later made a song together, which was actually supposed to be a song for Bakilla
Then, Rebbel was called by another artist and his manager to come and produce for them. There, Rebbel played them the song he did with Bakilla and the manager asked who the artist was. Rebbel told him about Bakilla and the manager asked Rebbel to set up a meeting with him.
In that meeting, the manager, Kobiye Kan, asked both of them why they don’t create a group since they sound so good together. If they agreed, he would manage them. Menez Gh was born.
And that’s where it all started taking of for real!