Archive | January, 2014

ONE ON ONE WITH: EFYA

25 Jan

efya


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

I was born in Kumasi but grew up in Accra, I went to school in Garrison, then Yaa Asantewaa Secondary then the University of Ghana. I have two brothers and a sister.

2. When you were a student at Legon did you have it in your mind that you would become a professional singer?

Yes, because I’d already auditioned for Stars of The Future & had begun performing already.

3. How did you choose the name “Efya” for your professional solo career rather than Jane?

When I decided to go solo, it made sense at the time to reinvent myself in every way, I wanted a name that was African and unique but at the same time relevant to me in some way. My manager Jimmi helped me come up with the name “Efya”,

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

Kojo Antwi, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations. I was really into old school jazz and highlife.

5. Who are your favorite musicians now?

Can’t say, I like a lot of music right now.

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

Some of the older ones like Kojo Antwi and Pat Thomas. I want to learn as much from them musically as I can. I feel they make timeless music.

7.How does technology impact your music and global reach?

It’s amazing how many more people I can reach now with my music, people all over the world. Technology helps me get to my fans faster than I ever could have.

8.You are very active on Twitter. How important is social media in promoting your music?

 It’s amazing, I can reach a large number of fans and get their feedback on what they want to hear more of, what they like and so on about my music.

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

 2008

10. How would you label your music?

 Afro Neo-soul, Jazz, but overall I’d call it timeless music.

11. What was going through your mind when you won your first Ghana Music Award?

I was really grateful because I was young. It made me feel really good about myself.

12 .Out of all the awards you have won, which one meant the most to you and why?

Definitely a tie, between record of the year for “Best in Me” as well as winning best female vocalist for the third time in a row. I was really excited to win both.

13. Out of all of the songs you have released, which one is your favorite?

I’d say “Best In Me” or “Little Things”, but I might have to go with Falou because of the impact it made, the fact that we completely reinvented an already fantastic song by singing it over a movie score. I like it a lot.

14. Out of all of the songs you have released, which one became a surprise hit?

When we put out “Best In Me” we didn’t know it was going to be so big. We released it in Nigeria on Valentine’s Day, and it just blew up and went from there. It was exciting to have it be a hit in both countries like that.

 

15. Where were you the first time you heard your song on the radio and what were you doing?

I don’t remember exactly but I know I got excited and called my mom and all my friends and told them to watch me on TV.

16. How has fame changed your life (or perhaps it hasn’t).  What can you not do now that you could do before you were so recognizable?

I can’t really say it has, I’ve been working at this my whole life so I can’t say I know any other way to live my life. It’s always been busy for me, I just grew into it.

17.Compared to male artists in Ghana, there are very few female musicians. What do you consider your role to be in Ghanaian music society, especially among female artists?

 I don’t look at it as a gender specific role,  I’m here to help expand the music scene because in the end it’s all about putting Ghanaian music on the map. Doesn’t matter who does it.

18.If you could only describe yourself in three words, which 3 words would you choose?

I would say… bold, ambitious and ready

19. What three words would your friends use to describe you?

My friends would say wild, gifted and kind

20. Tell us about the last song you wrote and what inspired it? Describe your song writing procedure?

Most of the time I’m inspired by the things and the people around me, things I’m going through etc. it usually comes from feelings.

21. What’s the greatest opportunity being a musician has afforded you?

 I get to meet some really awesome people like presidents, dignitaries, people I respect in the music industry like Femi Kuti, Hugh Masakela, Miriam Makeba, Jerry Wonder, etc.

22. Overall, what role does Ghanaian music play in world music?

   Ghanaian music is about to take the world by storm.

23. Apart from being a solo artist, you have many great collaborations- with Sarkodie,Manifest,Jayso and others.  How did the “Im in Love with You” collaboration come about.

Sarkodie wanted to make a love song, because at the time he hadn’t made one with a girl before & Little Things was a hit at the time so we just went to the studio, Killbeatz made the beat & the rest is history.

24. Will you ever do a collaboration with a female Ghanaian artist, like Tiffany, Noella, or Becca in the near future?

 I will.

25. You are known for your immaculate stage performances. What goes through your mind as you are performing live?

I hope I don’t fall down!

26.What was your most nerve wrecking live performance and why?

 Hands down the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, because it was a live telecast and all of Africa was watching so the pressure was on to put on an unforgettable show.

27.After you finish recording a song, how do you test it out ?Do you ever test it out with friends and family- have them listen to it to see what they think or do you just wait for the world to hear it at the same time.

I normally play it for the people around me a few times and get their thoughts on it, work on it some more and when I’m completely comfortable with it, we put it out when the time is right.

28. How do you decide which producer to work with?

 It usually comes from a connection, I hear their music or they send me some music and if I can vibe to it I use it. It’s all about if you can get the right vibe or connection with the music.

29. Your T.I.N.T album is clever, the name. Why did you call it that?

Because I had to put out a mixtape before my album and seeing how anticipated my album was, I didn’t want there to be any confusion whatsoever so I decided to spell it out.

 

30. Your TINT mix tape has 13 songs on it. Many of them are well known, and some of them are a little less known. Tell us about the “Weather for Two”—the concept and the inspiration behind that song?

Well I wrote “Weather for Two” because it used to rain a lot at the time and I wanted to make some slow, sensual cuddle music for my fans. Also there was a funny story to it, there was a joke on the internet that the Nigerian president said “when it rains instead of the youth going out to plant yam they tweet ‘weather for two’”.

31. Your mixtape is about love, romance, appreciating relationships and then there are the odd topics like cigarettes. What message do you want your listeners to receive from your mixtape?

 I make mood music, every song tells a story. I try to take the listener on a journey and share my life with them. So my mixtape is basically a day in my shoes, a little piece of myself.

32. Many of your songs are sung in English.Is that intentional or is that the language you are most comfortable singing in?

It’s just to make the music more international so more people can understand and relate to it.

33.Many people compare your sound to India Arie and other neo soul artists. How do those comparisons make you feel?

I don’t mind at all, India Arie is an amazing singer and to be compared to someone of her stature internationally, to me, says that I’m doing something right.

34.During your few years in the music industry, what’s the best piece of advice you have received?

Someone once told me, “just keep doing what you’re doing”, sounds simple but it’s worked out for me so far.

35. Over the past two years, you have been included in some beautiful and intricate videos. I’m in love with your girlfriend was like a mini movie, and Best In Me was a feel good video about love. What do you enjoy more—writing the song, recording the song in the studio, or making the video?

Making videos is very stressful but I’d say they’re my favourite part because you get to have fun creating something you love, and every time you see the video you’re reminded of all the good times you had making it

36. Are there any songs you have on the TINT mixtape/album which have never been performed live?

Yeah, “This Life”, I’ve no idea why.

37. What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done?

 Stole my panties, right off the drying line. That was super weird.

38. Apart from singing .you are also involved in humanitarian work, appearing in Awal’s ‘This is Who I Am’ song and video. Tell us a bit about your role.

Awal’s charity for orphans was just our small way of giving back to the kids. It’s one of the charities I belong to where we make and perform music and give all the proceeds to the orphanages to look after the kids with & also once a year we get together at Jamestown where we paint and feed the kids.

39. If you could look back and give one piece of advice to yourself, like 5 years ago, what would you say?

Keep singing, and make more money.

40. What’s the one mistake you have made in life that you wish you could take back?

I’m not sure, I’m pretty happy with the way I turned out.

41. What are your goals for the upcoming year?

Total
domination. We need to break records, making music that goes everywhere and trying to achieve the African dream .

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

 I’d be making films, directing, writing and producing films. Definitely that.

Fun Random Facts about Efya

Favorite TV show: Hannibal

Favorite song: All of Me

Left-handed or right-handed: Rightie

Do you play any instruments? The piano

Name one thing that scares you: Failure

Name one hobby you enjoy:  Playing basketball

Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you: I’m a deep person

Favorite food: Fufu & Green Soup

Hidden Talent: I can stand on my head

If you were stranded on an island and could only take one item, what would it be: my cellphone

Favorite Book: Cinderella

Favorite Place to Visit: New York

If you could pick a song to describe your life now, what song would you pick: Drunk In Love

Favorite Hang out spot in Accra: Twist

Name the Weirdest thing you own? Bow & quiver of arrows

Website: http://www.efyasworld.com

Twitter:@EFYA_Nokturnal

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PRESS RELEASE- EFYA

25 Jan


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
EFYA Unveils New Single “Forgetting Me” From Forthcoming Debut Album “Love Genesis”

Accra, Ghana – January 8, 2014 – Multiple award-winning Afro Neo Soul singer Efya’s debut album “Love Genesis” slated for a February 2014 release is about to get a follow-up to her 2013 promo single “Life”, entitled “Forgetting Me”. Set to be released on Saturday 11th of January 2014, “Forgetting Me” is a powerful ballad that tells the story of love and heartbreak. The ascending singer-songwriter delivers every note with precision and passion and the song marks the culmination of personal and professional growth for Efya as she continues to demonstrate her musical aptitude. The single as well as the forthcoming studio album “Love Genesis” follow the successful release of her recently digitally released mixtape (This Is Not The Album), a collection of all the hits she had released over the years as well as the songs which did not make the final cut of her debut album. To celebrate the launch of the debut album, Efya will embark on a nationwide tour subsequently followed by an international one. For tour dates and the latest on EFYA news, please visit us at http://www.efyasworld.com

(RECEIVED FROM EFYA’S PR TEAM)

2013 – A Year in Review

18 Jan


The year 2013 has finally ended, Thank you. Now we are in 2014, YAYYY.

So,, what did you think of Ghana music in the year 2013? A OT happened with GHANA music in 2013.. some good and some bad, let me go over some of the trends I noticed.

WOMEN: Ghana does not have many female artists, why is that? Is it because its hard to get into the business, the men who control it are demanding and abusive (Im making assumption), why doesn’t Ghana have many female artists. As far as Im concerned Ghana has: MZBel, Eazzy, efya, RnM, FellyGH, Noella, Lousika, Itz Tiffany, one to 2 Gospel singers like H. Borngreat, and that’s it.Why?  This is a topic that needs to be addressed.

I wrote a GREAT aper about GH music but Im waiting for it to be published so I wont talk too much about it, but its about GH women in music.

Shout out to EVERY SINGLE GHANAIAN FEMALE ARTIST.

SARKODIE: Does Sarkodie sleep? Oh boy, this guy released toooo many songs last year..he releases so many songs that I can not keep track of how many songs he has released… its too much.When music is in you , I guess you have to let it out.2013 witnessed his Sarkology concert and that was a success, so 2013 was a good year for him,it was also the year of the release of his SARK clothing line. 2013 was busy for Sarkodie. I like Sarkodie, Ive met him a few times, always a nice guy.

GHANA MUSIC AWARDS: a hot mess. SOOO many people who should have been nominated were not….Mr Lapaz Toyota thought he should have been nominated, forgetting that his song was not released in the eligible year..Ghana Music awards 2013,, the best things about this awards show was Manifest and the surprise appearance of Kontihene.. that was such a TREAT. But Ghana Music awards– really– the nominations were tainted,, people won who should not have won– half of the songs I had never even heard of. Lets stop corruption in Ghana music and make it real… we have enough corruption in other places.

5Five: 2013 was the year when 5Five’s GARGANTUAN BODY video was banned on GH tv..Nonsense.. do you know how many WORSE videos have come out since then? Ghana tv, if you are going to ban videos, be consistent, and do not choose and pick..yes the video was a bit extreme, but how is it worse then other videos where girls are barely dressed and shaking like a Polaroid picture?? Help me understand the difference?

MUSIC VIDEOS: one of the best music videos from 2013 was IM IN LOVE WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND. that was like a movie video. It was LOVELY.. Jayso and his team showed people how things get done. Possigee THIS IS WHO I AM  video was also one of the best videos of 2013, hands down. RnM video ECHO  with Trigmatic was the best public service announcement video, showing the results of domestic abuse. This video also deserves recognition.

ENDORSEMENTS: Noella got an endorsement by PEPSI. The singer of MAKE ME DANCE will be making the continent dance with her PEPSI endorsement. It is a great thing for Ghana, West Africa, and the continent as a whole.

BREAK UPS: VIP has supposedly broken up. I say supposedly because what is VIP without Promzzy, Prodigal and Zeal (formerly known as Lazzy). In 2013 they all released their own singles– Prodigal had DJs, Zeal had his Human Gyata, and Promzzyy had Have Fun..Sometimes people just want to break off and write their own stuff..whats wrong with that?? Let these guys write their own stuff and have their unique sounds out there in the world. But I do believe they will come back together— why wouldn’t they?

New GIRL on the Block: Lynx Entertainment introduced FELLY GH, shes like a rapper. I don’t know how she would describe herself, but shes quite gorgeous and the video was kind of cool. Im sure we will hear more from her in 2014.

Speaking of Lynnx entertainment, Richie Mensah showed the whole world that not only does he have the world’s longest OHHHHHHSSSS (check out THIS IS LOVE video), but he can also reallllyyy shake it ( check out EVERY MORNING video– the end).

GROUPS doing their thing: Team GLR, KGPM, and others, Of course that includes 4×4,5Five, Bradez, BukBak, RnM, and others.

SONG TITLES: In 2013, Ghanaian managers got lazy and didn’t do their research right. How can two Ghanaians have the SAME song title? its nuts, especially when it happens in the same year….people people people, if you are going to NAME a song, give it an ORIGINAL NAME!!! Artistss who have songs with the same name:

ItzTiffany and D Black: Carry Go

Iwan and Kwabena Kwabena: Adult Music

VIP and Iyanya(Nigerian) : Away

and there are more… be careful when you name your songs.

EDEM: Only the good Lord knows how many videos Edem released. I like Edem, juts like I like Trigmatic, because they work on their own pace anddo what they want to do.

Edem had a video with Kaakie, Stonebwoy, Kemenya, songs with Eazzy, Lil Shaker, Bessa, E.L, and TRIGMATIC AND X.O SENAVOE . Edem had a VERRRYYY Busy 2013 for sure.

KAKIE: she had a good year.She won her Ghana Music Award for TOO MUCH (a GREAT song), she went on tour, and she performed at Big Brother Africa, Go Kaakie.

BET AWARDS: R2Bees got nominated for the BET Awards.

ACCIDENTS: Yaw Siki was involved in a very seriousss car accident. Luckily he survived. Thank God for that.

DEATHS: In 2013, we lost Lyrikal from IKONZ; Ronnie Coaches from BukBak died, Nana Wusu (hiplife) ,Dr Paa Bobo (highlife), and Im sure I may have missed one or two.So sad.

ATUMPAN: This guy is still working it..I feel like people don’t pay attention to Atumpan, but Ido because this guy makes a different kind of music, and I think he needs to be paid attention to. THE THING was a HIT, MAD BAD is AWESOME, CLAP is awesome,  and so are his other songs. He is a diamond waiting to be discovered by bigger men.

MIXMASTAGARZY: This guy also doesn’t sleep because he made so many songs in 2013. he produced a good chunk of the songs made in 2013, so shout out to Mixmasta garzy for repping TEMA.

FUSEODG: He finally got the recognition he deserved for ANTENNAE, appearing on BBC and winning his Ghana Music Award. He is a classy guy and he represents well for Ghana regardless of where he is.

POSSIGEE STUDIOS: If you are an artist and you haven’t been to Possigees MOB studios, what are you waiting for? Shout out to Possigee, because I met Killbeatz and FuseODG,Stay J,  MixMastaGarzy, Atumpan, Kweku from IKONZ, all in one day at Possigee’s. MOB Studios– that’s where things happen, its that simple. Possigee also produced many songs in 2013 as well.

New Guys: NINO, Moxkito, RobbyMusic… they are working their magic, whether or not you are paying attention, so I encourage you to pay attention.

RAQUEL: She too had a busy year.yes some of her outfts were a bit risqué at times, but hey she was working it, Leave her alone and let her do her thing. If she could not sing, it would be something else. but she is capable of singing, so lets see what she brings us in 2014. She was definitely busy in 2013 with Yes or No, songs with Prodigal, Okyeame Kwame, sarkodie, etc etc. Go Raquel.

EFYA: another female artist who rocked 2013.

VIDEOS: Some of the GH artists had videos recorded inJapan, South Africa, London, Canada,and Ghana, It is good, it means that artists are getting visas from the embassies… its true 🙂

Overall, Gh Music was exciting in 2013, We have an array of music and there is room for more, we need more love songs if you want my opinion. The Azonto, I think will be coming to an end soon, I think, because someone will create something new. More artists, like Iwan are finding their inspiration from the actual conditions of Ghana. I think in 2014, Ghana music will spread even more and become even more international. Lets see what is in store in 2014.

One on One interview with Sound Knockdown

6 Jan


ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEWWITH SOUND KNOCKDOWN

By: Afromusion

SoundKnockDown is an African Artist with Ghanaian and Nigerian roots. Out in the musical scene since 2011, his latest hit “ If No Be You” is a timeless classy catchy song, which has grabbed the attention of an international audience. Read the following interview with Sound Knockdown to find out where he gets his musical inspiration from and what his musical goals are for the year 2014.

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

My real name is Martins Okuonghae and I was born in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. I attended Oba Akenzua Primary School Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. I also attended Edo College Nigeria and Dublin Business School in association with (Liverpool John Moore University) in the Republic of Ireland where I earned a degree in Financial Services.  I am the 3rd born of a family of 6 boys and 1 girl. My mother is a retired high school principal and my Dad was a bank manager.
2.How did music influence your childhood?

I grew up in a home heavily influenced by music, where my mum used to sing and record on a cassette player at home. This is where I witnessed firsthand the power of playing back a recording as a very young boy ,and over the years my father had built up a great collection of records including African, Jamaican, European and American artist such as Sir Victor Uwaifo, Osayomore Joseph, Akaba Man, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Lucky Dube, Jackson 5, and Alpha Blondy,  just to mention a few. Also, my eldest brother had a great collection of music videos and hip hop records and this obviously influenced my taste of music. In addition, my other siblings were involved with the church choir and I believe a combination of all these influences is the reason why I have a diverse musical taste.

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

Music plays an integral part in our society in various ways and without it the human soul will starve. Music enables musicians to express themselves and communicate in different ways, forms and styles, and listeners are entertained and emotionally influenced in the process.

People use music to share their feelings, life experience, aspiration, and ambitions. People also use music to motivate the listeners and as such people have always found music significant in their lives.

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

My favorite musicians were 2 pac, DMX, Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, BIG, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Jackson 5, Orits Wiliki, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Osayomore Joseph, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Akaba Man, and  Alpha Blondy just to mention a few.

5. Who are your favorite musicians now? 2pac, Jay Z, Rick Ross, Psquare, 2face,
Ice prince, Wizkid, Sarkodie, R2bees, Wande Coal, Banky W, Bob Marley, and Beyonce.

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

Sarkodie and R2Bees because I like their brand of music.
7.How does technology impact your music? Technology has impacted my music by making it easy for me to make beats and share my music across the world.

8. What year did you officially enter the market as a musician?
I officially entered the market as a musician in 2011.

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9. Do you consider yourself a UK artist,Ghanaian artist,Nigerian artist, or all? Where do you consider your base? I consider myself as an African artist and I am based in the UK & Republic of Ireland.

10. How many albums have you released? 2 Albums in 2 years. My First album , entitled “Passion Beyond Reason” was released in 2012 and my second album entitled “Celebration” was released on the 30th of November 2013.

11. Out of all of the songs you have released, which one is your favorite?

I actually love all my songs equally.

12. Tell me a bit about Safari Sound Recording.

Safari Sound Recordings is my record label and we have 3 artists, including myself, signed to the label. We are interested in signing more artists. I got the name Safari from safari trips to Africa.

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13. Tell us a bit about your latest 2 releases,” Tell me your name” and “Why you dey vex”.

Tell Me Your Name is a song about a guy that meets a girl in a social gathering and wants to know her better because he fancy’s her.

Why You Dey Vex is song that talks about people who are jealous of other people’s success.

14. How did you get the name Sound Knock Down?

I got the name from the way I deliver my vocals – on every track I make sure I knock down the sound with my vocals.

15.Describe the way that you write your songs—what factors into your music writing process? When I write I first of all figure out what I want to write about and then factor in energy, authentic lyrics, and melodies.

16. What inspires your music writing?

My music is usually inspired by my life experience and beats.
17. If you could look back and give one piece of advice to yourself, like5 years ago, what would you say? Continuously learn new skills and set goals.

18. What are your goals for the upcoming year?

Release a new album, collaborate with other great artists around the world, continuously release new songs, release a lot of music videos, world tour, star in a TV program, learn a new skill and continuously promote my music around the world on the radio, TV and the internet.

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

If I wasn’t making music I would be a financial adviser or a lawyer.

Fun Facts about SoundKnockDown:
Favourite TV show: BBC Premier League match of the day
Favourite song: Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting

Tell us something most people don’t know about you:  I like to read at least one book every month.
Favourite food: – Pounded Yam with egusi soup with assorted meat and fish

Check out Sound Knock Down on “

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SoundKnockdownVEVO?feature=watch

Twitter:  @SoundKnockDown