Meet Gracey Mae, one of the many Gatekeepers of the Afrobeats movement.
While working 24/7 to get musicians music heard by the masses Gracey Mae is a well recognised brand within her self, we were lucky enough to catch up with Gracey to find out how she started in radio.
SK: When did you know you wanted to get into radio?
GM: I’ve always been a chatter box. If you look at my reports from primary school, I was the one distracting others by being talkative. I don’t think I had a defining moment when it hit me that radio was for me; I’ve just always loved being in entertainment and now I’ve got the privilege of using my voice to get other people heard.
SK: Who are some of the people who’ve influenced you?
GM: The list is endless but my mum is the most influential person to me. She’s the hardest worker I know, she moves with dignity and integrity, and she’s a boss b! Professionally, I have to honour the strong Black British female journalists that have come before me or walk along side me: Trisha, June Sarpong, Diane Louise Jordan, Angellica Bell, Afua Hirsch, Claudia-Liza Armah, Lukwesa Burak, Gillian Joseph, Afua Adom, Pandora Christie, plus, AJ Odudu, Amplify Dot, Yinka Bokinni, Shayna Marie, Bisi Akins, Henrie, Remi Burgz, Cindy Temi, Miss P, Ola Aweo, Esi, Linda E, Cynthia MVP and the list goes on.
SK: What’s your prediction for Afrobeats scene on radio in the near future?
GM: I believe our definition of what Afrobeats is will change and it will no longer be the umbrella term for all music from the motherland. Afro house will feature in house sets. Rappers like Nasty C will be played along side the “mainstream” stars like Stormzy, and the southern African vibe will be the new sound of popular African music.
SK: Tell us about your involvement with The Afronation Show?
GM: For our weekly broadcast I do a significant amount of work from booking guests, to running the social media pages, to editIng audio/footage/images, to radio production. Week on week, I analyse the broadcast and identify areas of improvement. I created the current branding on top of all the stuff you hear on the mic. I research for each guest and engage in highly stimulating conversations.
SK: Any advice for those just starting out in broadcasting?
GM: Your network is your net worth. Actively engage with people and form a genuine community. Who you know always trumps what you know.
SK: Can radio prepare you for any other professions?
GM: Of course, in radio you’re ultimately a sales person making music attractive to a new audience. The amount of talking you do could also lend itself to consultancy. Most importantly, by being in the system, you can easily provide PR services based on your network, and A&R services as you’ll be used to spotting a hit record
SK: How have you managed to succeed in so many areas of media?
GM: God’s grace and mercy, consistent content creation and selfless promotion.
SK: How do you select songs for your playlists?
GM: My only criteria to be featured on the NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: AFROBEATS EDITION playlist, is the song must have been released in the last 7 days. If I like, I’ll add it.
SK: What are three things you look for when you see an artist play live?
GM: Live arrangements of the song, un-auto tunes vocals and stage production
SK: Give us an insider tip on what artists are about to break?
GM: Look out for Victony (Nigeria), Camidoh (Ghana) and D’wante Navire (UK). These men are about to go far!
SK: What song do you currently have stuck in your head these days?
GM: Sound – Fireboy DML
SK: What is the best gift you have received from an artists?
GM: It’s not even material for me, though I love presents, it’s usually when they say thank you for believing in me. Like I’m literally a gateway – I’m making dreams come true!
SK: When can we catch you live, please share all your platforms!
GM: Please join me the @afronationshow every Wednesday from 9-11pm on @thisiswestside, I release weekly @frobeatspodcast on a Sunday via YouTube and all Podcast streaming Platforms, plus I host Unsigned 3 days a week on Instagram Live via @_graceymae; this is a talent show where we review emerging afrobeats artist in the hunt for a star!
UP CLOSE WITH KAYDEE
Meet Akinduro Henry Oluwagbenga, known better by his stage name KAYDEE, latest edition to the Afrobeats scene who intends to capture the emotions of his fans this year. Find out more as we get up close and personal.
Who is Kaydee?
Kaydee is a dad and an artist.
Describe yourself in two words
Funny and Playful
What made you get into the music industry?
My love for music, like to me; it felt like if I wasn’t making music, I was fulfilling my full potential.
What are some of the main influences or artists you look up to?
I have always loved music from 2face, Akon, Sinzu, wizkid etc.
What is your creative process like when making new music?
It’s simple from the start for me, I let the beat lead me. From the first note o the beat to the last I let it lead me.
What challenges did you face when you started doing your music?
Some of the challenges faced was convincing my dad to support my getting into music, another was financial backing. Fast-forward to today and his a big supporter.
How would you describe the year 2020?
AHHHHH! 2020 can come and go. The events of this year were unexpected but at the end of it, we thank God for life. I’m so ready for 2021
How has the pandemic affected you as a musician?
As its my first year as a performing artist, it’s been hard dealing with the cancelled and postponed shows, connecting with my new fan base but thanks to social media it hasn’t been all bad.
What has been your everyday motivation since Covid19?
It’s been tough but work, exercise, and especially my music surpassing my personal milestone has been my everyday motivation.
What lesson have you learnt from the year 2020?
Hahaha, to be more careful and wash my hands. Also consistence is very key.
What was the inspiration behind your debut song ‘Piroro’?
Ahhh this question. honestly, the tantrums from my daughter made me decide to freestyle to distress, luckily for me the word “Piroro” came to me and then I connected with an experience I had with a friend called uncle Rukky.
What’s next for Kaydee?
Release more singles, shoot more videos, connect with my fan base and basically try take over the music scene lol.
Where do you see your self in the next five years?
In 5 years, my EP release, a joint mixtape and an album. Also would be headlining my own show both home and aborad. So yh really big plans in the coming years. Big projects.
Any words of advice for our readers?
Stay safe, keep on listening to Afrobeats and watch out for KAYDEE.
EUGY RETURNS WITH NEW EP ‘4PLAY’
Eugy has been silently working away behind the scenes, to bring you 4 Play a musical experience he promises will keep you glued to your social feeds. He returns with 4 Play, his latest instalment a collection of sultry songs exploring the power of intimacy. This love tale takes the listener on a journey of emotional volatility. Across 4 songs Eugy’s weaves a narrative which explores the power of 4 Play, not just the physical but the psychological state of it too.
We caught up with Eugy to find out 10 interesting facts, you the fans may not know:
- He was born in Ghana
- He is the eldest of 5 siblings
- Our 6ft4 musician is super scared of heights
- Eugy plays the piano, drums and bass guitar
- His favourite food is a Ghanaian Dish Kenkey, accompanied with fried fish and pepper
- Eugy is terrified of Flying
- He previously went on X-Factor with his siblings
- His favourite drink is Super Malt
- Eugy can’t eat dinner/savoury food unless it’s spicy
- His new EP is out now
Eugy is amongst the key players at the forefront of the unstoppable new wave of African-inspired sonics that have infiltrated the UK scene and continues to flood the European airwaves. His breakthrough hit ‘Dance For Me’ alongside Nigerian singer-songwriter Mr Eazi, came in the summer of 2016 and went onto become a colossal hit. It racked up over 30 million views on YouTube and over 28 million streams on Spotify. Wherever he travels now, the reputation of the track precedes him including his second MOBO Award nomination in 2017.
Through live shows and a plethora of internet hits, Eugy has built a high fanbase stretching from the UK all thorough to the coasts of Africa and especially in Europe where he packed out shows in Amsterdam, Paris and Stockholm. He’s also done stadium shows in Japan and Ghana and supported Nigerian artist Wizkid at the sold out Afro Republik Festival at the O2 Arena in London.
Keep it locked to get the best in music, gaming, food, fashion and lifestyle from Eugy.
‘4 Play’ available on all major platforms – https://lnk.to/eugy4play
5 REASONS WE LOVE TOMI OWÓ
Meet Tomi Owó a dynamic songwriter with a distinct vocal tone, Tomi Owó incorporates reality with substance, to make for the musical output she is coming to be known for.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, she grew up in a musically inclined family, where music from all over the world was appreciated, and where making music was a way to express the many facets of life; and she dreamed of making her contributions through music one day. With the musical brilliance she’s shown so far, Tomi Owo is expected to rattle the Nigerian music industry this year.
We put together 5 reasons why we love Tomi Owó:
Her personality is likeable:
Tomi Owó has a personality that will make you fall in love. She is sweet, very down to earth and she shows love to everyone — no matter who they are. Tomi embraces her strength and coming into her confidence as a woman, a creator and a healer.
Tomi’s music hits our soul:
Her musical style is mellow, albeit rich with eclectic vocal dynamics. Her genre is unafraid, a musical palette splashed with urban soul, pop, and afro-inspired sounds. She has a soft but sultry voice that when she sings, it sounds like gentle bubbles of love.
Her music is relatable:
Tomi Owó believes music is a gift, and a channel through which we can tell our stories, support ideals, and inspire change.
Her lyrics are firmly based on everyday experiences – hers and those of others, as she explores relatable human themes: resilience and kindness, affection and courage with many women (and men) being able to relate also.
She’s a creative genius:
When it comes to visual arts Tomi is extremely creative in this area. Growing up, she was also drawn to other forms of art, expressing this through personal poetry and dance. She likes to partake in the artwork for her music, as well as the visuals behind her videos and live performances. She continues to amaze us with her creativity.
She’s an original:
There is no doubt, Tomi Owó is one of the most refreshing artists in today’s music scene.
Her lyrics and style of vocals are unlike your typical Nigerian artists, and that’s what makes her an original Gem!
Check out her latest song titled “Beautiful”
The song explores beauty in a way you may not expect. Painting both male and female scenarios, she wonders when they will take a step to answer the call to a new kind of life, to begin something life-changing.
“In many ways, “Beautiful” is the soundtrack to my life right now. And how funny, because I was not thinking about myself when I wrote it; I was thinking about everyone else-all the people searching for something, listening for a true voice, taking steps towards something they believe in-I was thinking about all of them.”
Stream and Download ‘Beautiful’ – https://instagram.com/tomiowo
Follow Tomi Owo – https://umgafrica.lnk.to/BeautifulTO