Archive | September, 2013

ONE ON ONE WITH EDEM

25 Sep

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ONE ON ONE INTERVIEW WITH : EDEM

WRITTEN BY:AFROMUSION

Edem, the artist formerly known as Ayigbe Edem, has taken the year 2013 by storm, releasing music that can be categorized in various genres, while still maintaining his street credibility and loyal fan base. Nominated in two categories ( Hip Hop Song  of the Year and Best Rapper for “Heyba“) during the 2013 Ghana Music Awards, and performing in the Ghana Meets Naija show, and in other shows not only in Ghana, but throughout the continent of Africa, Edem’s undeniable talent has been recognized and  honored on several levels. The following interview details the musical journey of Edem:


 

1.Tell us a little bit about your background- where did you grow up and go to school, how many siblings do you have?

I grew up in Accra -New Town, and then in  later years I grew up in Sakumono.  In terms of siblings, I have an older sister.

2.When did you get into music- what sparked your interest in music?

I found myself attracted to good music while I was growing up, and the advent of 1990’s hiphop, reggae, and dancehall got me more interested in music.

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3.What is the importance of music in society, as a whole?

It is everything to society. Music represents the state of a society at every point in time – war,peace,morality, everything.

4.Who were your favorite musicians when you were growing up?

Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Bob Marley, Wyclef and the list goes on.

5. Who are your favorite musicians now?

Royce da 5’9, KendricK Lamar, and Ace hood

 6.Which Ghanaian musician would you like to work with and why?

I would like to  work with Rocky Dawuni, because I am sure he would challenge my Reggae direction and I would also learn from him.


7.How does technology impact your music?

Both positively and negatively. Music is being obtained for free and that is a bit negative because the artists do not receive a payment when the music is obtained that way. In terms of the positive aspects of technology, I am able to reach my fans with no mediators dictating the kind of record my fans should consume.

 

8. What year did you officially enter the market as a musician?

I officially entered the market as a musician in 2009 when we officially released “Bougez” or “U dey craze”- the video.

9. Over the years you have changed your name, and you now go by Edem. Describe the reasoning for the name transformation

It was due to the change in brand direction, understanding of the name ‘Ayigbe’ and its origin, and the quest to sell Ghana and its’ culture properly to the world. It is now EDEM people, just EDEM…LOL

10. Have you ever won a  Ghana Music Award?

We won the “Hip Hop Song of the Year” award  at the Ghana Music Awards in 2010.

11. Let’s review some of your songs. “Ghetto Arise”.  Tell us a bit about that song and the idea behind the video.

The  “Ghetto Arise” video and song tells a story of two different people who find themselves in various life situations in the ghetto. Although their situation in life is depressing, my character in the video is encouraging them to rise out of their situation. The video literally represented the stories.

12. Lets review some of your songs. “Over and Over again”.  Tell us a bit about that song and the idea behind the video ( well you have 2 videos for this one)

“Over Again”  is just a lyrical super-hero story designed to make men appreciate their ladies more. We did an English remix and shot a new video. You can visit www.youtube.com/edemontv to watch the video.

13. Out of all the songs you have performed/written, which ones are your favorite and why?

I have a song on my Volta regime album entitled “Emmre sesa” .It reminds me of where I came from and where I am now..all the time I hear it.

 

14. How do you define your music because it seems like you cover various genres?

I think I am just versatile with it. What my vibe is and what kind of beat I hear or come across determines my new swing.

15. Do you ever release a song which surprisingly becomes a hit?

Yes , “HEYBA”….it was a street anthem and we (the team) didn’t predict it would go mainstream because radio in Ghana is not hip-hop friendly. But it shot up and has become one of the biggest hip-hop songs in Africa.

16. Describe the way that you write your songs—what factors into your music writing process?

Simple ways.  Once I get an idea in my head then I  develop it over a period of months, sometimes a year. Or I get in the studio, hear a beat, and what I feel comes to bear on the beat.

Sometimes I sit down and compose the whole song, then make the producer programme the beat with a certain direction I have in mind.

 

17. What inspires your music writing?

Everything from life, other people’s records, the quest to put Ghana on the world stage, and feeling good vibes. Sometimes after a club session I get inspired by what the people there were enjoying.

 

18. 2013 has been a busy year for you. You have either featured or been featured in several songs, with artists like Eazzy, Kaakie, EL, Bessa Simons, and Stonebwoy. How do collaborations form? How do you pick the artists to work with and how do they choose you?

Well, some of the artists want to work with me, and choose me to work with. The ones I choose are people I connect with outside the studio. At times, I am also a fan of their music already and at certain times I just want to do something different and more challenging than my previous record.

19. The year is not over, and you have already released or been featured in at least six songs. Can you give us a hint of what you have in store for us for the remainder of the year??

I have many projects planned for the remainder of 2013. I am going to be shooting videos and releasing more super records. There are songs with more artistes underway -Wyre from Kenya, Kemenya ( the video for  “Economy was recently released), Gemini, Tinny, and a few other African acts.

20. Tell us a bit about VRMG? Tell us about the recording artists with VRMG.

Volta Regime Music group is the name of the label I am on. To be brief, we are undergoing some transformations in terms of business and direction.

I am sure the fans will soon see just THE REGIME MUSIC and also see VRF(Volta Regime Foundation) become iamEdemfoundation


21. If you could look back and give one piece of advice to yourself, like5 years ago, what would you say?

I’d say I should have left every other thing I was chasing then and focused on just the music, so that I could have come out earlier than 2009.


22. What advice would you give to young aspiring musicians?

Be humble, patient and prayerful.

 

23. How has the music landscape changed since you entered it?

It has moved from Dzama to crunk to Azonto or dance music. Endorsements are the order of the day now. And branding has become quite critical because of struggle for visibility. Personally I think only true talent will last through all of these changes.

 

24. What are your goals for the upcoming year?

My team and I want to get the music to Africa before the year ends.

25. If you were not making music, what do you think you would be doing in your life?

I am sure I would be doing civil work and also be an entrepreneur .

 

Fun Facts about Edem
Favorite TV show: Ellen Degeneres and Caught on Camera
Favorite song (non-Edem song): Mafikizolo (Khona)

Favorite Edem song: Emmre Sesa

Left handed or right handed: Right handed

Tell us something most people don’t know about you: I am extremely funny when you get to know me.
Favorite place to hang out: Home.
Countries you have visited: UK,SOUTH AFRICA,NAIJA,LOME….

Favorite food: Rice with any sauce..

Favorite Book: Anything by John Grisham

When was the last time you:

Cried: When I am in the kitchen..I shed onion tears……

Laughed: Everyday….Even now as I read this…lol

Cooked: two weekends ago….

Were scared: I DONT REMEMBER

What are you afraid of: I am afraid of all creepy crawlers

On Twitter, Edem can be found at: @iamedem

Edem’s YouTube channel can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/EdemOnTV?feature=watch

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