EDDIE BLAY 13 02 2016
She started out as a backing vocalist for Rocky Dawuni, Kojo Antwi, Samini, among others. Soon enough, Elivava discovered her sound, and began a career that can be compared to the likes of Miriam Makeba and Angelique Kidjo. She sings in several languages, from English, Ga and Twi, to French and German. She is managed by her own record label, and she is set to have a great 2016. I caught up with her to find out more.
How would you describe your style of music?
Elivava: I call my music contemporary African music. It’s a fusion of highlife, funk, jazz, pop and anything else you can think of. I try to blend all these genres to create a unique sound that people can recognise instantly. It takes a lot of work and research to create my sound, but once I get there, it’s truly worth the effort.
At what point did you decide you wanted to be a recording artiste?
Elivava: Well, I used to be a back-up artiste for many established artistes. During that time, I realised that there was only so much I could deliver. So around 2004, I decided to go out and do my own thing. I made that move to start creating my own music, and become a full time artiste myself. I have not looked back since.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Elivava: The inspiration comes from other artistes, from the music they make to how they perform on stage. I’ve always had this deep passion for music. I don’t see myself doing any other thing. Music is my life. Listening and watching other artistes do their thing motivates me greatly.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career?
Elivava: With my kind of music, when you look at other African artistes, they get very old before they make it. This is because we don’t support one another. When you come out with music that people are not used to, you go through a lot of difficulty promoting it. Also, you might go into someone’s office to discuss business, but the man might end up trying to sleep with you. It’s not an easy road at all, but it doesn’t pull me away from achieving my goals.
Is being a female in the industry an advantage or disadvantage?
Elivava: When I started, there were hardly any females in the industry, so it was an advantage. However, because there wasn’t enough promotion for my work, I wasn’t able to make it in Ghana. It was when I went outside that I really saw the advantages, as they really loved my music and style. They loved the fact that I was an African woman doing my thing. So yeah, I would say it is an advantage.
What are you working on at the moment?
Elivava: Well, I just got back home. I’m back in Ghana after being away for a long time. I’m working on my new single, which is soon to be released. Also, I went back to my village for the first time in 10 years and realised that so many people and communities have been neglected. The children are not going to school, the women are not empowered. I’m planning a homecoming concert in my village to entertain them and push the kids to go to school, and empower the women to better for themselves. I’m really excited to be giving back to my people.
What advice would you give upcoming artistes reading this?
Elivava: They need to be ready for the ups-and-downs. It’s a very rocky road, and you need to be very patient to travel on it. You need to find yourself, discover who you want to be as an artiste. You need to do a lot of research. Be as unique as you can, and don’t try to copy blindly. We all have role models, but it’s very important that you be yourself, and find out what makes you different from the rest.
What are you in this for; money, fame or passion?
Elivava: It’s all about the passion for me. I need to make the most of this talent and creativity God gave me. However, at the end of the day, I need to eat and look good. I need money for that. It’s all part of the package of being an artiste; so ultimately, it’s all of the above.
What does the future hold for Elivava?
Elivava: I have too much to deliver. So, there is a big future ahead of me. Words cannot describe how bright my future will be! (laughs)
A message to your fans?
Elivava: Be loved, give love, be peaceful, courageous, keep pushing for your dreams, and most importantly, be yourself!!God bless!!