Meet the gifted performer AK Songstress
AK Songstress has always dreamt of becoming one of the biggest female artistes from Ghana and Africa to the world.
She has always created a dreamlike interactive confirmation in her mind for a very long time. But when the time came for her to choose a genre of music which could easily and smoothly defined her, she chose Dancehall/Reggae genre of music.
She didn’t just jump into the scene and become one of the most talked about female in the act, she didn’t come out of the blues to stamp her feet where her counterparts dared not.
Before anything could alter her dream, she went for grooming under her now management-Paradise Entertainment.
Her adventurous and daring abilities stood her out, beefed her boldness and taught her a lot that she now addresses in her lyrics.
Fast forward to 2104 after her three years of grooming, you will understand that she was a ‘good student’ who learnt the nitty-gritty of the genre coupled with her talent, passion and zeal.
Akosua Kwakye which is her real name is the first female to ever win the ‘Discovery of the Year for Dancehall/Reggae Artiste’ at the 2014 BASS Awards in the midst of male contenders.
In this interview, we caught up with this gifted performer known for her energy and crowd involvement, to talk about her life so far after exactly one year of coming into the music industry.
Hello AK, congratulations on your newly won award. You are fast becoming a household name, but many people especially your fans don’t know who you are on the outside, can we know you?
My real name is Akosua Kwakye, a young talented Dancehall artiste from the Ashanti region of Ghana. I grew up with my Granny, mum and my two siblings. I realized my passion for acting and music at a very tender age. Then I took part in several acting and singing activities in school.
After my senior high education, I decided to go professional with my singing (that was after polishing myself for three years as an underground artiste). I am signed unto Paradise Entertainment Ltd., where I have released over ten singles which are enjoying massive airplay. Among these singles, I have had huge collaborations both in Ghana, Nigeria and across the globe.
How has the journey being so far?
It’s being great and more of hard work. It has not being easy because that urge to achieve more has been there, so until I get to the peak then I can relax, but for now, the journey is still sailing.
Before the recognition, what did you learn during the three years of ‘grooming’?
It’s being a year now exactly. I have been grooming under Paradise Entertainment for three years, so coming out now meant I was really prepared. Before the recognition, I just knew that to become a superstar, I must understand the whole knowledge of the genre I was preparing for. Then I was patiently researching and writing lots of songs down. I was also learning all the attributes and the style I wanted to channel my kind of music. My love for Dancehall tickled me and that purpose met the timing and then I just had the conviction to go deep into my passion. I really studied the industry both home and abroad. I had patience to learn and become the best.
The year 2014 alone seems to have been a great year for you in terms of nominations and also you picking up an award, tell us about it.
I got nominated in three different categories at the 4Syte Music Video Awards and also I got three nominations at the Bass Awards. I think hard work pays. I have really worked hard with the team and management, so when we get such recognitions through nominations, then it means whether we win or not, we have put in some kind of positive energy.
I won one award and that has really made my entire year fulfilled. Winning the ‘Discovery of the Year for Dancehall/Reggae Artiste’ at the 2014 BASS Awards in the midst of male contenders, has put a huge smile on my face knowing well that I have made a history in my country. Hopefully more awards will start rolling in 2015, because we have worked hard.
Why is this award so special to you?
The uniqueness of this award to me is simple; imagine this with me, which award is won once in an artiste’s lifetime that never comes around again? It’s the ‘Discovery of the Year’. Other awards can be
won by an artiste over and over or can be won and still won in intervals.
So I feel so happy that I was the only female to have picked this award in the midst of all the men that were nominated in the history of Ghana. Again the beauty of this award comes with passion, because during my grooming stages a year ago, I said to my management that this award I am coming to watch and support, in a year’s time with hard work and focus, I will pick it up, and just like that, my words came to pass. This award has motivated me to push hard. I know that by God’s grace, 2015 is going to be great.
Within your first year of breaking through the industry with your genre of music, collaborations have flooded in, which one will you say has been the best so far and why?
The collaboration with Sizzla Kalonji will always be one of the best for me now. His approach towards the genre is just amazing. He has gone way out of the box as a Dancehall artiste and nailed the art with something I will like to say ‘perfection’.
He has over seventy (70) albums and yet he had never done any African collaboration, but when the time came for him to do, the first name that came to his mind after his research was my name. So you see that I stand privileged being chosen by one of the world’s great Dancehall artiste to do a collaboration with. The song stands out as well. The vibes are punching and trust me that this song is also evergreen.
Why did you choose to do collaboration with Patoranking?
Patoranking is one of the hottest artistes in Nigeria presently as we speak. When you look at his track record within this short period of time that he has made entry into the music industry, then you will understand that he has done well for the continent of Africa.
From our end, we don’t settle for less, we go for the kill and when we thought of doing a Nigerian collaboration, Pato’s name came up and management got in touch with his management and the rest is history now. The song currently with Patoranking is topping charts and everyone is happy that we had that collaboration.
Are you looking at performing soon in Nigeria with Patoranking on one stage anytime soon?
Yes why not? In fact, my management here in Ghana and that of Nigeria have over the past few months being preparing me for the market out there in Nigeria. I am one artiste that knows how to rock shows, I have been attentive to event styles and also I think I am ready to be on any platform across the world, not just Nigeria.
Hopefully, Patoranking and I will soon be on one stage as well as other great Africa artistes too. Nigeria has got a large market and it is wise for an artiste to dream of rocking shows on platforms in Nigeria.
Would you advice an upcoming artiste to under grooming?
Yes why not? You need to be passionate about what you want to do, what you want to serve the public with. You need to brand yourself before getting to the mainstream. Some people have done music but have not gone anywhere because they didn’t patiently take it step by step.
An artiste needs to grow into what he or she is ready to take up; it’s not a rushing matter so one needs to be nurtured well. An artiste must get into the public domain as a complete product. You don’t just follow the crowd because it is a known fact that you can make hits but not a brand. You need to be shepherded and led, as well as be patient and humble.
When should your fans expect your album?
My album is going to be released in a spectacular fashion. If you know my trend, you will know that I do not rush into whatever I believe is my passion. Management has decided that the proper work must be done, there will be no chance for complacency, and energy must be put at work. We are hoping for the best with our esteem fans in mind, we cannot do just any music for them. We have a winning formula and that is what we are working with. But by December, 2015, we shall have a great album.
Thank you for spending time with us on this interview
You are welcome.