Today Dutch-Ghanian singer-songwriter Nana Adjoa released the final song from her highly anticipated debut album Big Dreaming Ants, ahead of the album release on Thursday.
The song and accompanying video for “National Song,” is the album’s triumphant, slow-burning leading track. The video, directed by Robbert Doelwijt Jr., sees dancers wearing traditional Ghanaian school uniforms, paying homage to Nana’s heritage.
Nana on “National Song,” “I feel that neo-nationalism is occurring all over the world. Our ‘nations’ and borders are no longer what they once were because of so many different and rapid changes in what used to be our small worlds. Growing pains of progress (I hope), which express themselves as a desire for conservative ideas rooted in a fear of change. Every occasion in which the old tradition of a national song is sung, it feels to me like a moment of doubt between the past and the future. It’s something I never used to think about twice and now makes me feel something different; there is something uneasy about it. The Dutch national song, ‘Het Wilhemus’, is one of the oldest national anthems. It has its own funny story to its heritage. Some countries don’t even have lyrics to the national anthem because there has already been a history of identity crises within the nation itself. Some countries do not have one, but two, national songs, and some aren’t in the native tongue. What is this feeling of belonging to one nation worth nowadays? Especially for people with mixed backgrounds like myself.”