Isaac Wallace and his style of music started in Ghana with Milo cans acting as drums.
An Adelaide resident since the 2016 Adelaide Fringe festival, Isaac will once again bring his authentic, well-crafted and high-spirited sound back with his band Ozafro. “I came to this country through the Fringe. One of the reasons is that it is one of the biggest festivals.
“The Fringe allows us to showcase our skills and talents for the whole month. With other festivals people only have one or two days to see the musicians and then that's the end of it. With the Fringe people have a chance; if they can't come one week they have other weeks to see me."
Isaac and Ozafro work to create an authentic blend of music styles and genres. “People ask me why an African is playing with Australian musicians. I say that my type of music is world music, which means you, me and everyone all over the world can enjoy it.
"My music has Africa, European, Australian and salsa melodies. I want to show that I can blend anyone together through music.
"My lyrics have a little bit of English and a little bit of African, but the stories are the same in any language. I write about things going on in the world. Things like a crisis, political things, but I create music that keeps people smiling; if they are down in spirit it will help them.
"No one can sing if they are crying, so they have to be happy to be able to sing. Even if people are going through a bad time, music can bring them back to life.”
Although he had an unconventional start to his music career, Isaac has developed music that has incredible melodies and rhythms. "When I decided I wanted to be a musician I had no chance to have drums because of poverty.
"My parents saved Milo cans and I used them as drums. I have three brothers that all play instruments as well. One of my brothers taught me three chords on the guitar then I joined a band and ended up playing the piano.
“When technology came into music [sic] I learnt how to produce songs. Not all the sounds have to be by me; when I need a saxophonist, I call someone but I'm still behind all the music and that's why it is unique."
Along with the joy he has for creating his own style of music, Isaac says he derives more joy from seeing others' reactions to his music. “It’s the performance that I love.
"When you're in good spirits and people are listening and enjoying themselves it's amazing. Seeing people like the music and performance and getting in the spirit is my favourite thing."
Ozafro play the Ambassadors Hotel 17 Feb, The Wheatsheaf Hotel 18 Feb & 17 Mar, Sailmaster Tavern 24 Feb & 10 Mar, Gaslight Tavern 25 Feb, The British Hotel 3 Mar, Boomers On The Beach @ Glenelg Town Hall 11 Mar and Palmer Hotel 12 Mar. All shows are in Adelaide.