Birthed into a family of musicians, Ghanaian singer Gyakie is continuing a legacy of boldly African musicianship. She is the daughter of 80’s highlife music legend Ernest ‘Owoahene’ Nana Acheampong, but has come into her own as singer and songwriting, releasing her debut EP Seed last August.
While making music, the 20-year-old is also studying for her degree in International Business at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi where she was raised. But akin to other growing stars, like Megan Thee Stallion, her educational pursuits have not deterred her from making an impression on the music industry.
She released her first single; “Love Is Pretty” in February 2019, which was shortly followed by “Never Like This.” With the release of Seed, Gyakie dropped the single and video for “Forever,” which charted — not only in Ghana — but Nigeria and Kenya. The single also made Billboard’s Top Triller Global and ranked on Shazam’s Top 200 chart.
Gyakie keeps creating music with her artistic inspiration from genuine moments of extreme emotion and experiences of people around her. Ghanaian artists like Gyakie are utilizing the power of social media to reach new audiences across the globe, especially in a time where travel and human connection are very limited due to the novel coronavirus.
And with the recent launching of Spotify in 85 new markets, including Ghana, there is the opportunity for more musicians to reach new audiences globally. Teen Vogue caught up with Gyakie talking about her music and what’s next.
Teen Vogue: Where did your love for music first begin?
Gyakie: Growing up with my father, the legendary Nana Acheampong, who influenced highlife music in Ghana, I was surrounded with great music around me. I first went to the studio with my father when I was just eight years old. I knew I could sing but pursuing it as a career was very much a reverie. Seeing and hearing all that he put into his music was all part of the reason why I fell in love with music.
TV: Which artists, other than your father, influence your sound?
Gyakie: I draw from Asa and Omar Sterling. They both have something I fell in love with, that is the uniqueness in their sound and their lyrical content. Growing up I watched their stage performances, I read through the lyrics of their songs, even to the point of following up on any interviews they have had, their speech. Omar Sterling inspired two songs on my EP.
TV: Let’s talk about “Forever,” how did you arrive at that sound?
Gyakie: “Forever” is such a special song to me. Firstly, [it was] produced by Kros who made the beat offshore and even without a network he still managed to send it over to me. “Forever” was written at the corner of my dark bedroom during the lockdown period in Ghana. I threw my thoughts ahead of time into my future love life. I spoke about what I see and what I want to experience and apparently a lot of people related to it in their current lives!
Gyakie: “Astonished! Blessed and highly honored. And this is because, when I look at the hard work and enthusiasm my management and myself put into making us get there, it leaves me in tears. Hard work has gone into it, and I mean seriously hard work.