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Singing in local dialect will take you global, says Efya
Singer Efya

Singing in local dialect will take you global, says Efya

JUST as Chinese movies have captivated global audiences despite language barriers, celebrated musician Efya is convinced singing in our local dialects is one sure way for our musicians to gain global recognition.


She is therefore encouraging her colleagues to embrace singing in their native tongue, challenging the common perception that it rather limits their reach.

Speaking with Graphic Showbiz on the sidelines at the recently launched West Africa Music and Arts Festival (WAMAFEST) in Accra, the Best in Me singer said although a greater part of the world didn’t understand, they loved watching Chinese movies regardless.

She mentioned that “our music could similarly transcend linguistic boundaries, evoking powerful emotions with listeners worldwide, regardless of the language in which it is sung”.

“We must break free from the shackles of limitation and unleash the power of our mother tongues through our music. Be proud, be bold and let your voice be heard in the language that speaks directly to your ear”, she stressed.

She expressed concern over a growing trend in the Ghanaian music industry, where artistes feel compelled to sing in English or other widely recognised languages to achieve international recognition. (More articles on Efya: My best collaboration is with Sarkodie – Efya, Some people come into your life to use and dump you, says Efya)

Efya, who is four-time Ghana Music Awards Best Vocal Performer, said performing in one's native language served a dual purpose—preserving cultural heritage and boosting the music's global appeal.

“Singing in your own language is a treasured gift, and we must celebrate and encourage it. Mastering your craft in your mother tongue is a remarkable achievement that deserves our praise and admiration.”

“I believe that originality and quality craftsmanship will naturally wow audience worldwide without having to necessarily sing in their language,” she added.

Backing Efya’s call, Director of Warner Music Blavatnik Centre for Music Business at Howard University, Professor Jasmine Young, urged African musicians to embrace their cultural heritage through their music.

She emphasised that they shouldn't feel pressured to compromise their cultural identity for global acceptance. “African musicians must rise above the standards imposed upon them. Our unique cultures are what make us special. Don't conform to what doesn't align with your values. Instead, do what you love and celebrate your culture through your music."

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