To me, being described as one of the most powerful voices of the future by the Guardian UK is the biggest highlight of my very young career.- Adomaa
For some of us, Evolution of Music was the deal breaker for you. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m an Afro-jazz singer born into a very musical family. I’m the first born of five kids and I’m partly Nigerian: I Was born and raised in Nigeria. I moved to Ghana permanently in 2004. I like to think of myself as a very artsy person but music has always been my first love.
You are a lady of many parts-actress, writer and singer. What influenced your decision to do music?
Growing up, music has always been part of me. Its second nature but I was a bit self conscious about taking it up seriously as a career until late last year when I decided to challenge myself and start a YouTube channel. It was a risk I’m glad I took.
Evolution of Music was huge. You got featured in the UK Guardian newspaper, describing you as ‘Voice of the future’. Did you anticipate such a reaction?
Not in a million years! I just followed my heart and it’s still baffling to see how far I’ve come in such a short time span. To me, being described as one of the most powerful voices of the future by the Guardian UK is the biggest highlight of my very young career. I feel truly honoured and blessed.
How much has that reaction impacted your confidence and music? Any pressures?
I started off very self conscious and shy so it has really boosted my self confidence and fueled my passion for music. I feel a little pressured to live up to that title but I believe I’m with the right team (V.I. Music) and as long as I follow my heart, it will all work out for the best.
The whole concept of Evolution of Music was a novelty. You showcased different sides of you- singing and rapping. Why did you settle on such a concept as a way of introducing yourself to Ghanaians?
The Baafira/Adonai mash-up had already come out and I was just thinking of stepping things up a little bit. I felt this mash-up would appeal to the older listeners and would also tell a story of how music had evolved through the decades. It felt like a very noble project and I’m glad it worked out beautifully.
You have said elsewhere that you want to ‘revolutionarize the music in Ghana and take it out to the rest of the world’. What exactly have you planned?
It’s a gradual process but I believe music can be a lot more than just singing in key. I intend to just keep bringing new creative ways to capture the Ghanaian sound as well as bringing back the authentic highlife groove back to the scene with a fresh positive message.
You announced a new EP weeks ago. From the tone of the accompanying tweet, one sensed an obvious excitement. How close is it to completion?
It’s very close to completion and I’m super excited to share it with the world. To me, this EP is more than just music, it’s revealing a bit of myself to the public so I’m nervous but at the same time very excited.
“Afraba’ as the EP is titled means ‘a child’. You drew an analogy between you and the growth of a butterfly. What level of growth will we be hearing on Afraba?
The child analogy is actually a pleasant coincidence. The actual meaning of ‘Afraba’ was coined from two words which mean butterfly (‘Afafranto’ in Twi and ‘Labalaba’ in Yoruba) I just picked out “Afra” and “Ba” from both words!
On the EP, you will be hearing the various stages of the growth cycle of the butterfly which also falls in line with my growth as an artiste.
Share with us the whole writing and recording experience of Afraba? Give me a bit of details on number of songs, themes touched on and style and personal favourites?
It’s been an eventful experience. The writing process was the most memorable. Some songs came by ‘accident’; others came from very touchy parts of my life. Some touch on issues everyone can relate to. It’s packed. It’s a 6 track EP.
Traffic Jam is already out so there are five (5) more to listen to. I tried to be a bit versatile and touch on other genres and styles so it should be very interesting. It’s hard to pick a personal favorite because I have a special connection with each song but “Born Again” stands out for me because of the message and also because I threw in a little rap in there.
I understand you are a Jazz lover. Who is/are your musical influence and how would you describe your style of music?
I’m a die-hard, hardcore jazz music lover! I fell in love with that sound very early in life. I realized early in life that I’m very drawn to vintage sounds. I love soul, blues, old RnB and classical music.
I listen to a lot of Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Micheal Buble, Corinne Bailey Rae, etc. But I also like to stay true to my roots so I like to fuse these sounds with very African rhythms and beats, so I coined the genre, “Afro-jazz” as my style of music.
You started singing in front of your mirror and graduated to the church. How much impact did the church have on your singing career?
A whole lot! The pulpit served as my very first stage singing in front of people! It really moulded me into who I am right now. I owe a lot to my music director, Pastor Williams-Thompson who was so hard on me, just so I would come out of my shell and be who I really am. I’m so grateful for the many positive influences in my life every step of the way.
Do you write your songs? Walk me through the writing process?
I do. I write mostly depending on the mood I’m in at the time or experiences I’ve gone through. I try not to think too much because nothing comes when I do. Most of my songs are always from a very deep place.
Are female singers doing enough to get a spot on the music scene today?
I think we can do more but we are also making the best of the opportunities we have. It’s a tough industry from the little I’ve seen so each artiste really needs to understand what they want to achieve. It’s not just about singing.
Do you think the scene is female friendly?
I think so. The opportunities are there if you are careful to look. You just need a very determined attitude.
The terrain is tough to break into. How do you therefore intend to survive the industry?
Exactly how I got into it. By following my heart and staying creative and authentic.
What do you when not singing or recording?
I’m mostly hanging out with my family, a few of my close friends or taking strolls.
I’m curious to know how much support your dad has offered you considering him being a preacher and you being a ‘secular’ singer?
I’ve been asked this question a lot. My dad is my supportive and biggest fan! He donated his study space to be used as a studio space and has been available every step of the way in this journey. He understands exactly what I’m about and where I’m going so it’s never been an issue.
What are you passionate about?
I’m very passionate about God, music, art and family
If given the opportunity to collaborate with two artistes-one Ghanaian and one outside Ghana, dead or alive, who would you settle on?
In Ghana, it would definitely be Efya! Outside Ghana, it’ll be a dream come true to work with Adele!
Any last words?
I’m just super grateful for the overwhelming love and support. It’s been a ridiculously fantastic year! I’m psyched for what’s coming! “Afraba 2016”!!!