NANA FOFIE has just released her new single Yeno Ntem. The Dutch Ghanaian artist has amassed over 10 million streams on Spotify and over 15 million views on YouTube, while also garnering co-signs from Nicki Minaj and Complex along the way.
AC: Let’s talk about your upcoming single Yeno Ntem. What does this track mean to you?
NANA FOFIE – The single is all about having fun, dancing, and spreading positive vibes. The song was made last year during my writing camp. The studio was packed, it was hot – it was summer – and we were vibing out and having fun. So when people hear the song, I want them to get that positive feeling.
AC: In the studio, do you have a fear you’d like to conquer?
NANA FOFIE – Yes, hitting the high notes. I’m terrified of that, even though I know I can do it. I just prefer to stay safe within a range that makes me feel comfortable. But it is something that I’m trying to work on.
AC: What about outside of the studio?
NANA FOFIE – I’m afraid of heights. I prefer to stay with my feet on the ground, where I’m in control. [Laughs]
AC: Where does the creation of a song begin for you?
NANA FOFIE – It all starts with the music. During a session, I usually first vibe with the producer and let him or her know what kind of song I feel like making that day. I always want them to make the music while I’m in the studio, so I can give my input as well. After the music is done, I’ll think of a melody and lastly, I’ll write the lyrics to the song. I usually write alone, but when I have to write in different languages I have some expert friends that I consult, to make sure that my articulation is correct.
AC: Who do you feel inspired by in the music industry?
NANA FOFIE – I’m definitely inspired by Nicki Minaj. She paved the way for so many female artists who came after her. She’s a goat. Tiwa Savage and Teyana Taylor are other female artists who have inspired me. They are both strong women with their own sound and style, which I love.
AC: What can you tell us about your friendship with Nicki Minaj?
NANA FOFIE – She is very supportive of me and my music. And I love her for that.
AC: As a music artist, what are you still trying to learn?
NANA FOFIE – It is very important for me to learn how to be patient. With social media, people tend to always show all the good stuff that’s happening to them. Because of that, I used to compare myself a lot to other artists and think ‘Damn, why hasn’t that happened to me yet’. But I need to keep reminding myself that everything happens for a reason and everybody has their own path. God has a great plan for me, I just need to be patient. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day either.
AC: Everyone seems to have an app idea at the moment, what’s yours?
NANA FOFIE – Honestly, I never thought about that. I would love to create an app that teleports food. That would be awesome. Just see something that is made on TV or on the internet and within seconds it’s wherever you are and you could eat it.
AC: How important is social media to you right now?
NANA FOFIE – Very important. I’m an independent artist. So, to me my social media is everything. It’s the place where I drop my music and connect with my fans. Now, that shows are not allowed and I’m not able to travel, it’s the only place where me and my fans are able to link up.
AC: Ahead of a gig, do you have any pre-show rituals?
NANA FOFIE – Not really. I usually take a shot of liquor before I get on stage just to calm down my nerves and get in the zone. If my son is at the show, he always gives me a big hug and a kiss before I go on stage.
AC: What do you want the world to look like in 10 years?
NANA FOFIE – I would love for Africa to get the respect that it deserves. African countries have a lot of great resources, that were and are still being used by other countries to gain wealth and power. I would like for them to return the favor and help those countries in gaining more stability and wealth. I would also love for the media to show more of the beauty of Africa and its people.
AC: If you had the chance to put something on billboards worldwide next week, what would it be? Or what would it say?
NANA FOFIE – Definitely Yeno Ntem. Last Friday, I had my first billboard in my hometown and that was amazing. So I would love to have my music projects promoted on billboards worldwide.
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES