Drug addiction is an important issue that is not confined to one country, area or group, and opioid addiction has been particularly devastating. Although nearly everyone knows someone who is struggling with a drug habit, people tend to believe something like that could never happen to them. As a respected public health official, Nana Kottens has seen normal people who were living normal lives become addicted to prescription medication. Also a seasoned songwriter, his experiences prompted him to pen a song about addiction and the opioid crisis.

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Originally from Ghana, Kottens blends African and American cultures in his sound. You can connect with both continents when listening to his music which takes influences from R&B, Dancehall and Pop and combines them with Afrobeat.

Recorded at Azymth Recording Studios in Indianapolis, Indiana, his single, “Mama Don’t Give Up” helps fight the stigmatization of people who are struggling with addiction and get everyone talking. “When somebody is battling with addiction, it is not just them. The family is also going through the issue,” Kottens said. “I wrote the song for people to have a conversation about an issue.” The song also conveys a sense of hope and unity. The artist continued, “As much as we are going to encourage people to seek treatment as a society and one world body, we also have to encourage people by showing that they have our full support on their road to recovery.”


The single was released in March, along with the music video which was also shot in Indianapolis. Listeners clearly love the project. The video has amassed over 136,000 views in a short time, with video views and song streams coming from all around the world.

Interested in the arts since he was 6 years old, Nana Kottens (born Lewis Kofi Nana Antwi) enjoyed the drums, acting and dance from a very young age. As he grew older, he unknowingly began building his craft for writing his own songs. While in college, he and his friends enjoyed freestyle singing and writing and Kottens started cultivating different writing styles. After moving to the United States, he became interested in releasing music. In 2012, he founded the Sound Lion Records LLC label with friends to help promote talented African artists around the globe. As Chief Executive Officer for Sound Lion, he had the label and the concept, and with the encouragement of friends, Kottens began releasing his own music.

Although he has written over 150 songs over the last 25 years, Kottens is far more than just a singer/songwriter. He is an extremely versatile individual who is highly vested in several enterprises. Kottens is a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Uniform Services (U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps) and a U.S. Navy veteran. This entrepreneur is also co-founder of Grino Music, a music streaming app which allows musicians in Ghana to monetize their creative works. The newly developed platform allows the artists to see how much they are making when people stream their music. Grino Music also displays lyrics for the listener to view while streaming.

The current version of “Mama Don’t Give Up” launches of an ongoing project which will see Nana Kottens dropping songs regularly for the next 12 months to engage people around a conversation about addiction. Scheduled to come out during the first week of June, the second remix of “Mama Don’t Give Up” will feature the One Voice Choir of Ghana (winner of the Youth Choir award). In September, an acoustic version in a different style will feature a prominent gospel artist, and a Reggae version will follow after that. As the team releases different styles, they are destined to attract an even broader audience.

Kottens is extremely appreciative of the team of executives and assistants at Sound Lion Records who are helping dreams come to fruition. This group includes:

Vice President of Sound Lion Records, Michael Owusu

Director for Africa, Michal Mawugbe

Europe Vice President, Kelvin Senates 

Co-Founder,John Ocran

Special Adviser, Captain Daniel Kankam 

Consultant, Charles Frelix

Ethics Officer, Kingsley Essegbey and Dr. Ashley Queen

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