G-West, an Afrobeats artist, might come across as a relatively quiet and unkown artist, whose songs have managed to permeate the music space of Ghana.
In this interview, which greatly pays tribute to Amakye Dede, G-West details why his upcoming tape has been named after Amakye Dede and how he managed to get into the Afrobeats genre.
Ghana Music – Who is G-West?
G-West – G-West is a Ghanaian singer/songwriter and Afrobeats recording artiste, born in “The Garden City”Kumasi , Ghana.
On a normal day what is how is G-West like?
If i have nowhere to go i love to spend time home relaxing.
What was your introduction into music?
Highlife, Hiplife, Hip-hop, R&B
Why did you choose the genre of music you do?
I chose Afrobeats mainly because thats what my people relate to the most..and i love to keep my people happy.
For how long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
Been doing this professionally for 5 years now..it all started back in high school when a friend of mine persuaded me to go to the studio with him. I was reluctant initially but eventually when i did go i fell in love with the process and the art as a whole.
Some might be getting to know you for the first time, what famous song or sound production can you say ultimately describes how your music sounds like?
R2Bees with a dash of Amakye Dede
Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for your lyrics and your vocal abilities?
I would like to believe i got both but if i was taking a wild guess I’d say Vocals.
If you could choose to work with some of today’s established artists or producers, to move your game to the top, with whom would you like to collaborate?
Which ingredient is the most essential in making your style sound the way it is?
Rhythm. If you’re able to nail the rhythm before your composition i feel you’ve done 70% of the job. Great rhythms takes you to that spiritual level.
Out of every emotion existing, which emotion currently dominates your music? Joy, sadness, anger or fear. And why?
Definitely Joy. I really don’t take myself too seriously..i feel thats the only way to enjoy life.
During the music making process, what aspect excites you the most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
Rhythm. If i find a rhythm thats so good i get so exited i literally get goosebumps. I love writing music but ill say writing discourages me a little.. mainly because I’m a perfectionist and i really love great lyrics accompanying a great rhythm, so i really take my time not to sound like everybody else and not use the same lyrics as everybody else.
Are directly are you involved in the recording, producing, mastering and marketing processes needed to make and sell your music?
I’m directly involved with everything else but Producing and mastering.
Do you or have you thought of outsourcing any part of these processes?
Yeah I definitely plan to get more help with marketing my music and brand.
Would you say modern day technology has just created a mass of mediocre artistes who flood the web, making it difficult to distinguish between good music and bad music?
Yes, but modern day technology has also made it possible for extremely talented people to be noticed.
How well has modern technology and social media impacted on your career?
Tech has made the impossible possible in music. There was no way someone from Europe or America could hear an emerging artist from Ghana straight from their phones just 20 years ago..its pretty crazy when you think about how far tech and music has come. Today an artist can distribute their own music to stores without a record label, this i think is really magic.
In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today.
His following is crazy and people genuinely love him.
How important are music videos to you?
Visuals are part of the story an artist wants to speak about.. Videos are part of the art..so yeah i think its very important.
With the high cost of music video production, how do you finance your videos for a relatively not so popular artist?
In 2020 nothing is impossible. You can literally shoot a whole music video with just a smartphone. Yes you do need a very dope concept to make this look very good. You have to be artistic to make people see past the fact that it was shot with a phone..how do i know this? because i have done it. Yes i have shot a music video with a smartphone in 2020, and i can bet my lost pesewa you wouldn’t guess if i didn’t tell you.
This question still causes some debates around the industry. Is going popular in Ghana or winning an award important?
Awards are nice but in my opinion nothing beats a core fanbase..fans that will pull up to every gig to support you. for me i could not trade that for an award.
If you were forced to make only one choice, which of the two would you choose and why?
Being popular, because as i said A core fanbase is everything. If you have this you’re basically bullet proof.
Your album, Young Amakye Dede, why that title?
Young Amakye Dede means a whole lot to me. Amakye Dede himself i feel made such great impact in music which i know i can also do..I feel I’m the new school Amakye Dede when it comes to talent, fashion sense and sound..For me he was more than just an artist or musician. and thats what I’m aiming for in my career, to be more than just an artist..Young Amakye Dede is really a lifestyle for me. Hence the title.
How influential has Amakye Dede been to your career?
Amakye Dede has impacted my style, sound and art as a whole..I remember as a kid watching his videos and thinking, this man is so different. Even though he did highlife like the rest he was definitely different and that is why i always dare to be different.
G-West, what is the entire album about?
It’s About Heartbreak, love, lust, happiness, Sadness really almost any emotion u can think of.
Young Amakye Dede suggests a vintage-Highlife type of music. Is the EP for going to continue the steep resurgence of the Highlife genre?
Not so much actually..as i said I’m the new school Amakye Dede and so there is definitely highlife in this project but also i try to add a fresh type of sound..A sound i think the audience I’m appealing to would love.
Was is difficult getting Bisa Kdei & ToyBoi to feature on the album?
No. And i so lucky that was the case..To have a legend and an exceptional artist on a project is humbling to be honest.
Did the artists charge to be featured on the songs?
Getting Bisa Kdei to work on this album must have been a big coup. After working with him, do you also believe the assertion that he is the only artist doing vintage Highlife currently?
I wouldn’t say he’s the only artist doing it..but I’ll definitely say he’s the most popular artist doing it.
Production and content wise, what are we to expect on the Young Amakye Dede album?
Great Sound, phenomenal production and Exceptional lyrics. The Mixtape really shows the type of artist G-West is and how his contribution to the game will help propel it to the next level.
The attention span for albums have had a small average rate over the years, how well are you looking at changing this for Young Amakye Dede?
Every artist got their classic albums..i think this is mine. i know i will still make great albums but the YOUNG AMAKYE DEDE album will forever be that album for me. and i know people will relate to it that way too.
This is a big one. Are you prepared to accept the overall financial and musical returns from it?
What in your opinion is the biggest barrier an artist like yourself, has to face and overcome, to gain any commercial success?
Payola. TV, Radio, Blogs.
So far so good, but are you content with the audience you have attracted so far?
I’m definitely grateful and happy for those who like my sound but i do want more. I feel I have a lot to offer and so for anyone who really cares about music they should give G-West a shot.
Would you want to expand beyond that gather a much bigger audience?
Yes that’s the goal.
In closing, tell us something about any projects and ideas you are working or have in mind to work on
Something much bigger after Young Amakye Dede..but for now we’re going all out on this on.
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