Whether it is through Soul, Afrobeats, Kwaito music, or collaborating with artists like Mr Eazi and Wizkid, Ghanaian artist Efya is all about breaking boundaries.
Being raised in a musical household allowed her to find her confidence and influences that allowed her to be the musician she is today. Being inspired by the music of icons like Whitney Houston, Brandy, and Beyoncé, when it comes to creating her own music, Efya strives to be the best version of herself, especially when it comes to her brand new single, “The One.”
We spoke to Efya to find out what makes her who she is today, from growing up in Accra, to musical influences as well as the first time she realized music was a path worth taking.
How has your upbringing in Accra influenced the music you make today?
Accra has been a huge influence on my music from the people, the culture, and the music. I make music that is vibrant and what full of life just like the bustling streets of Accra. Musically when you listen to my music you will hear highlife and the Ashanti vibes. I try to ensure the culture is always present.
You grew up within a musical household. What are some of your favorite musical memories with your family?
I have so many memories it is hard to choose from! Music played a big part in my household which I am truly grateful as it paved the way for my own musical journey. One thing I do remember and hold close are memories of singing at church. We would all sing together, we were happy and the sound that came from us united as one sound was beautiful.
Since appearing on Stars of The Future talent show in 2008, how has your journey in the music industry been? Is it what you expected?
Making the transition from a talent show to being a ‘proper’ artist has been quite the journey. I had to learn to adapt quickly, work harder than I expected, and get to grips with how the industry works. It wasn’t as simple as just getting up on stage and singing, there is so much that comes with being an artist, creating music and getting it out into the world. I have literally gone from competition to shows across Ghana to international shows to winning awards. It has been a whirlwind. I am truly grateful for everything I have experienced and learned so far and am looking forward to what the future brings.
Do you remember the first time you decided to pursue a path in music?
I always knew I wanted to be in the music industry but I think the point in which I decided to really take it seriously and give it a shot was just after the competition. Being part of the duo ‘Irene & Jane’ was my first real entry point into the industry and set my sights on really making something of myself and being a star. I learned so much during that period and continue to do now.
Before becoming a musician, you worked at your Mom’s production company. Even though you were working towards becoming a director, was there anything you learned whilst working there that you applied to your career as a musician now?
Yes being around so many creatives while growing up really helped me understand what can be achieved by hard work and pushing creativity as far as it goes. No idea is ever too big. Currently, I am very much involved in the production ideas and set up for my stage shows, videos, etc which is a direct result of my time learning to be a director. I take a director’s approach to it all and can really shape the creative which wouldn’t have been possible without my previous experience.
For anyone who hasn’t listen to Ghanaian music before, who are some artists you would recommend they check out?
I would definitely recommend Sarkodie, King Promise, Wiyaala, Adina, Kidi
What was the process of writing and recording your single “The One?” like?
Tiwa And I found ourselves in the same place with producer Blaq Jerzee in Accra. In December most of the Nigerian artists come around for Christmas shows and we just bonded during the session. We were in the studio all night and she loved the song we were making. I asked her to do a verse and the rest is history. It happened very organically which is always the best way.
Who are some of the inspirations that influence the music you create?
I get inspired by so many different things as sounds. Ghana and African culture is a huge influence but in terms of musical inspirations, I would say, Aretha Franklin, Fela Kuti, Kojo Antwi, Beyoncé, Brandy, Usher, Baby Face, Pat Thomas, Angelique Kidjo and so many more.
As an official ambassador for Awal Children of the Future Foundation to help victims of physical/emotional trauma, as well as helping disadvantaged kids, how do you feel you can use your voice to raise awareness?
I truly believe that the children are our future and it is the responsibility of people in the celebrity world / public eye to help shine a light on causes and help where possible. I have a strong fan base and whenever I support or campaign for something that message is sent out to them who then may share with others and so forth. My voice helps take the message further. It is a real honor to be in a position to be able to help others especially children who will be the adults and leaders of tomorrow.
Other than in music, how else do you like to showcase your African heritage?
Me as a person is a showcase of my African heritage. I carry my heritage wherever I go from the way I look, the languages I speak, the way I dress, and how I wear my hair. I love the vibrancy of African cultures and that transcends into using traditional clothes to create outfits, drawing inspiration from different tribal hairstyles or the use of beads in jewelry, etc.
What else do you have in the pipeline this year?
I am currently working on my album which I am super excited about. I am pouring my heart and soul into it and can’t wait to release it to the world. That is where my main focus is right now. Once the music is done I can start to work on the creative and select singles. I can’t wait. Hopefully, I can drop it by the end of the year