Ghanaian singer Nana Yaa a few days ago, opened up to Shine Publications in an exclusive interview from the United States of America. She said though her unique voice sometimes draws her focus to the RnB music genre, she remains committed to her home-grown Highlife music as this feels more of a responsibility to her. She also said that record companies today and even the Ghanaian music industry did not care about talent anymore but rather social media following. She said her previous album was a Highlife and Afrobeats dominated one, but her new one would be different.
When asked about considering making music for a global audience due to her strong RnB roots, singer Nana Yaa described it as not an easy task; especially if she was to market such an album in Ghana as well. “Yes, I have thought about it. But, I’m not making music for only the international market. I make music that my fans in my country can appreciate and relate to as well. And unfortunately, we all know the mass in Ghana won’t relate to RnB music. African and Highlife music has always been a part of me. And, I feel as a Ghanaian and an African, it is my responsibility to take our music and culture and share it with the world. I grew up on listening to RnB and Pop music and I still love it! Infact, you can still here elements of RnB and Pop in my music because of the style of my voice. I’m still gonna do a pop album, but for now, the focus is African music, Highlife and Afrobeat”, she explained.
Despite being exposed and having a voice and accent that can easily pass for an American artiste, Nana Yaa has described working with foreign record companies as a challenging task. “It’s not easy to get a label to work with you. And even if you do get one, these days, they don’t go by how good you are anymore. It’s all about the numbers on your social media’, she said.
After receiving nominations at the prestigious Vodafone Ghana Music Awards and delivering some of the most memorable vocals on hit songs of Highlife music legend Kojo Antwi, Nana Yaa said that she still feels underrated sometimes in Ghana. “Oh yes, definitely. In Ghana it’s not about the talent and how good you are. It’s about how popular you are, being in the right click, having connections and so on”, she said.
Finally, she hinted on a change of music on her new album in the works. “The ‘Manye1’ album was a commercial album for the fans. It was released in 2018, but the next album won’t be the same. However, I believe my fans are still gonna love and appreciate it”, she said.
Nana Yaa has been one of the leading vocalists on the annual Whitney Houston Memorial Concert organized at Zen Gardens in Labone, Accra.
By Jerry Wonder