Paapa Versa Drops Neo-Highlife Anthem ‘Treadmill’

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Paapa Versa has unveiled the second song from his “24 Songs in 2024” project, “Treadmill.” The soulful neo-highlife song, a follow-up to “Brand New,” was released on January 19. It also follows the launch of his “Brand New Challenge,” which gives artists the opportunity to win $100 and an opportunity to feature on the upcoming remix.

Written and produced by the Ghanaian Afro-soul singer, “Treadmill” touches on the frustration and confusion of feeling stuck in life. Despite being framed around a romantic relationship, it expresses the emotional turmoil of yearning for progress in anything. The inspiration for “Treadmill” came from Ghanaian rapper KooKusi, who joined many to suggest themes for Paapa Versa’s project upon his request. In Paapa’s Instagram post, he commented, “Write about feeling like your life is stuck on a loop and not going anywhere.”

Paapa Versa Treadmill
Treadmill cover art

Paapa Versa believed it was a perfect fit for the first month of the year, providing comfort to people working on their resolutions with no progress. The songwriter skillfully employs the term ‘treadmill’ as a metaphor, reflecting not only those who have given up on their workout goals but also mirroring the feeling of stagnation in life.

Paapa Versa’s proficiency in multiple instruments and production skills shines in ‘Treadmill.” He blended an acoustic guitar, electric piano, synth bass, and drum machine with shekere and frikywa (thumb bells) to create his neo-highlife sound. At the beginning of the record, he incorporated a subtle sample of a treadmill beep. In contrast to “Brand New,” Paapa Versa described the creative process for “Treadmill” as cathartic.

While creating the song, Paapa listened to music from Osibisa, Juls, The Cavemen, Worlasi, and more, which inspired him to embrace his path of interpreting highlife and traditional Ghanaian rhythms with soulful pop songwriting.”

Listen to “Treadmill” on your preferred streaming platform here

About Paapa Versa

Born Edwin Paapa hMensa, Paapa Versa is a versatile Ghanaian producer, singer-songwriter, rapper, and podcaster. He has received much attention and respect for his empathetic and broad musical style since his debut. The lead single, “Write for Me,” off his sophomore album Songs for Kukua, received massive airplay and critical acclaim, locally and internationally. In 2021, he changed his stage name from Paapa to Paapa Versa, with the Versa as an abbreviation of versatile.

As a gifted multi-instrumentalist, Paapa can play most instruments but is well-versed in the piano, drum kit, ukulele, bass, electric guitars, and percussion instruments. His genre-bending music is often labeled as eclectic, insightful, uplifting, and more. Paapa’s greatest wish is to inspire people everywhere to utilize their gifts and follow their dreams.