Ghanaian singer Gyakie is out with her debut 5-track EP titled Seed.
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Real name Jackline Acheampong, Gyakie is an afro-fusion artist who isn’t scared to try new sounds.
Gyakie is relatively new in the scene but she already has a huge legacy to follow.
Born and raised in Kumasi to Ghanaian ‘Borga’ Highlife singer Ernest ‘Owoahene’ Nana Acheampong, popularly known as Nana Acheampong (one-half of the famous Lumba Brothers), Gyakie is the ‘Seed’ of a legend.
Looking calm donning her Seed branded round neck shirt over a jeans trouser, Gyakie looks very relaxed as She joins me on the couch to discuss her debut EP.
From the on-set, it is obvious Gyakie cannot be bound by a particular genre of music, as she reveals her reason for swaying away from the Gyakie sound people know her for (Love).
“I mean everybody knows me, the girl that write love songs, the girl that does cool songs so I needed people to know that I could also do something else, you could hear Rap, you could hear Reggae, you could hear RnB.”
Gaining an early career endorsement video from Sarkodie, couldn’t outdo the surprise of people getting to know Gyakie was the daughter of the legend Nana Acheampong.
Though she dropped hints, the artwork of her Seed EP brought the right kind of attention for the young singer.
Speaking to Muse Africa’s Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, Gyakie talks about her Seed EP, the reception, her Dad Nana Acheampong, and growing up in Kumasi.
NYB: Hello Gyakie, how are you doing?
GYAKIE: I’m doing good, how you are doing too?
NYB: I’m good, so you recently released your debut EP Seed, How is the whole feeling like?
Gyakie: Exactly, it’s an exciting feeling Because I feel like, I introduced myself properly and I didn’t know what to expect of the fans but after I dropped it, the reception was great everybody loves the project and then I’m super excited about that.’
Stream Seed EP: https://music.apple.com/gh/album/seed-ep/1517184554
NYB: Alright, so the EP, first your dropped the cover art, which was like a surprise to me because people knew Gyakie but they never knew she was the seed of the Highlife legend Nana Acheampong, how significant was it, revealing to the world that yeah, this my dad?
Gyakie: I think before I did, there were some slight rumors about that, Gyakie’s dad is Nana Acheampong but I think they need some sort of Confirmation from me so after I the artwork, to be very honest with you, it was loud, everybody was talking about it, everybody was going around saying; have you seen that Gyakie’s dad is Nana Acheampong so I mean it also brought some sort of attention to the EP, so a lot more people couldn’t wait to hear what Nana Achampong’s daughter had to deliver.
Per the picture you used, it very obvious that aside from music being part of your genes, you started at a very tender age.
Yeah, I think we could say that growing up sometimes when dad is going to the studio, he goes with myself and my siblings just to have a feel. And we live in a house where you wake up you hearing music, you going to bed music is played, in the afternoon music is played so it part of the reason why I fell in love with music.
Listening to your EP I could Feel there was some sort of experimentation going on with the sound.
Right, and as in the EP it’s a versatile one, yes, I decided not to do the regular Gyakie sound, I mean everybody knows me, the girl that write love songs, the girl that does cool songs so I needed people to know that I could also do something else, you could hear Rap, you could hear Reggae, you could hear RnB. So the EP is just a versatile project, everybody can get their favorite genre on it.
One thing that stood out on all the songs was how laid back you delivered. It’s felt like you were in a relaxed state, What state of mind were you in whiles creating seed?
The thing is I always like to write in a very quiet, dark peaceful place (you know I write my own songs), the start in which I was in when I was writing the songs, it made the recordings also feel so calm, because I didn’t rush, I took my time to write the songs with the fans in mind. So when I was recording, I just stayed in my zone, and I delivered everything calmly.
Nice, it good you’ve clarified that you write the songs. So which song off the EP took you the longest to write?
The longest on the EP, I would say Sor mi mu, because I wrote the first verse and then Bisa had to write his verse, funny enough the last part wasn’t on the song after everything was done then my manager said that the song sounds like it’s not finished so he asked me to write another verse, which was the last bit, that was was when I wrote it so it took quite some time. And funny enough that part is people’s favorite, the last bit of the song.
When we are talking of Gyakie, Kumasi comes to mind. How did Kumasi influence your music? For people in Accra, some listen to Gyakie and are like ‘are you sure she lives in Kumasi?’.
Right now they don’t say you are from Kumasi, they say you are a Kumerican. So I’m a Kumerican, I live in Kumasi and I school there too, I’m in KNUST. My entire life has just been in Kumasi from primary, JHS, SHS, University, I’ve just been in Kumasi, Bomso to be precise.
Your whole life is centered in Kumasi but now you have to move all the way from Kumasi to Accra.
That’s one of the difficulties I’m facing especially last year because you would have a show in Accra then you have to come all the way and go back. Sometimes you are coming for just a day or two days because you have to go back to school. Those were the little difficulties that I was facing.
So I have seen you perform twice, the first one was the Giltz Style Awards and the second was on Manifestives, In fact, we met and spoke and I think you were walking with Selasi (Gyakie nods). It was amazing, I got to watch you this past weekend on the VGMA Unsung, and I honestly enjoyed it. What goes into preparing for performances?
A lot, one thing I need I to say is, my manager is a creative and that’s one fortunate thing that I have at the moment because he doesn’t joke when it comes to organizing things, do you get it? So preparing for a show or an event, a lot goes into it. Big shout out to Electro Mirror, a lot goes in, my hair, my clothes, my performance, my voice, my demeanor on stage, everything is actually planned properly before I go on stage.
It’s been an insightful conversation with you, I have really enjoyed it. Before you leave which song is your favorite?
Of all my songs, my favorite song is actually an unreleased song but my favorite that has been released, and honestly, it’s Sor Mi Mu.
This is coming from someone who started her journey on a broken heart and now she’s found, love.
(Smiles) Thank you so much.
Listen to the conversation: https://audiomack.com/tunesxmuse/song/gyakie-talks-about
Interview & Story by Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh
Transcribed by Akua Saahene-Britwum