Ghanaian Afro-Fusion artist Gyakie took over summer 2020 with her hit single ‘Forever‘ and she then further blessed us with remix featuring Nigerian artist Omah Lay. Gyakie’s debut EP ‘SEED‘ gave us a bevy of flavours from R&B to reggae and yet what always remained true was a distinct West African sound. The EP was a short but sweet sample size of what we can expect from the dynamic artist in the future.
When Gyakie is not juggling studio sessions and photoshoots, she is busy studying International Business at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Although being a student and a new artist at the same time is definitely tough, everything Gyakie has learnt at school has given her a head start on how to navigate the tricky music industry.
The artist plans to take over the summer yet again with promise of new music that she has been hinting at on her Instagram. For now she has treated us to a dance-filled music video for ‘Whine‘, a fan-favourite of her EP. And yes, an album is on the way!
Tomi: What experiences and events inspired the sound and the title of your debut EP ‘SEED’?
Gyakie: The name of my ep came from a conversation when I was on the phone with my manager Electromirror. There was a childhood photo I’d sent him and he grabbed the idea of me being my father’s seed, while at the same time being a new seed in the music industry! With the songs on the EP , I touched on different genres to give the listener an idea of what sounds I’m capable of working with, thus an introduction to Gyakie’s sound.
T: Your single ‘Forever’ took off and became a hit. Why do you think this song resonates with so many people?
G: I personally believe ‘Forever’ has resonated with so many people because of how soothing the song is. The song has easy going lyrics and a serene instrumental.
T: Omah Lay features on the ‘Forever Remix’. What is it about his style that made him the perfect fit?
G: Omah Lay was the best fit for the remix because I love how he goes around with his melodies. His lyrics are always out of the norm and that’s one thing I love about his music. Apparently he tweeted a while back about how he had already written down the lyrics to the song before we reached out to him. Omah actually sent back his verse in 2 hours after my team reached out to him with the song.
T: All of the looks in your music videos are so fly. Who are some of your favourite designers?
G: AB Jade from Ghana is my personal stylist who I vibe with when it comes to fashion and what I wear. However, Rihanna is a major inspiration to my fashion sense. My favorite designers are mostly upcoming Ghanaian designers. To mention a few, MOD, AB Jade and Attoh Tetteh.
T: You’re labelled as an Afro-Fusion artist. Is that how you would describe your sound?
G: Yes I would describe my sound as Afro fusion. There is always an element of Africa in my sound. Even if I’m on a reggae song, my melodies might sound African or you might hear African instruments somewhere within the song.
T: How did growing up in Kumasi-Ghana shape you as an artist?
G: I grew up and schooled in Kumasi, a city in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Now this is a place where creatives were not given enough attention towards their crafts for quite some time. For a long while, Accra has been the epicentre of the music culture where artists like Stonebwoy, Sarkodie and the likes live and hangout more often. This gave me some form of enthusiasm to be consistent with my music and to push Kumasi to the rest of the world.
T: You’re currently an International Business student. How’s the experience of university been so far while juggling a music career?
G: Life in school keeps getting tougher each and every day. Juggling being an artist, doing photo shoots, tv and radio interviews and school is a real task. But I believe if you set your mind to complete a journey, you’re definitely going to finish. On the other hand there’s a lot that I’m learning from class which is reflecting in the business aspect of music so I am grateful for the experience.
T: If you could launch a business today, what would it be and what products or services would you sell?
G: If I could launch a business today, it would be to set up a music school. I think there is a need for something dedicated like this to help grow the arts in Kumasi, where people can work on their skills in music. Whether it be playing instruments, vocal training, or even expanding into movement coaching and dance class etc.
T: We saw you post on Instagram to expect new music soon. What kind of flavour are you dishing out for the summer?
G: Yes I’ve been working on a new album actually. I just dropped the video for a track called ‘Whine’ as a gift to my fans as they constantly tell me how they love it from the ‘Seed’ EP. The video was shot in Accra by Michael Dzamesi, a Ghanaian director. The colours and vibe are perfect for summer and I hope it gives joy to those around the world who are coming out of lockdown. The new music in July is something soothing, something unexpected and something that would once again take the world by surprise. Hold on tight!