(Photo credit: ARISE Magazine)
Efya Awindor has always held promise.
One of Ghana’s brightest stars, her live shows back in the day always saw her steal the spotlight from any artist unfortunate to claim to be the headliner. These days, she is a Ghana Music Award-winning artist who has somehow pulled the feat of becoming a household name here without even releasing a full album (Love Genesis will apparently drop later this year). It’s no wonder Arise Magazine gave her some shine last week.
On Twitter, she often shares with her ‘Gingams’ the beautiful music she listens to – James Blake and Frank Ocean spring to mind – but I had never heard her do anything that reflects the sophistication of her listening tastes…
With her new song, ‘Falou’ she has taken an infectious Naija pop song and turned it into this sweeping, powerful, epic love song. Here is Duncan Mighty’s original:
… and here is Efya’s ‘Falou’ (trust me: you’ll want surround speakers for this one):
More than anything, it’s the concept that completely and utterly melts me. Anyone can take an instrumental and slap some vocals over it.
But a Hans Zimmer instrumental?
Yes. Homegirl has taken Duncan Mighty’s lyrics from ‘Obianuju’, slowed them way, way down and placed them on top of Zimmer’s brooding score from the Christopher Nolan-directed, Leonardo DiCaprio-starring hit movie, ‘Inception’.
To have even picked up on the fact that the two songs were compatible… consider my mind blown. But to have merged them like this?
There is precious little I don’t like about this song.
Having been written in pidgen, it has that simple authenticity often missing when we try and write in English.
Hans Zimmer’s theme rises slowly from a whisper until it becomes an epic tsunami of horns and strings destroying everything in its wake.
Then there’s my girl…
With her impassioned vocals, Efya changes what was a lighthearted chancer’s anthem into a passionate, pleading love song. The combination is emotional and quite atypical of anything I think I have ever heard from any Ghanaian artist or song. Possibly ever.
Moreover, this is the sort of musical bravery I have prayed, begged and pleaded for from our music scene – unrequited – for a very long time. It’s not a typical Ghanaian song and while some will argue whether it can be called Ghanaian at all – given Zimmer’s score and the Nigerian lyrics – Efya commands the song.
To say I’m proud of her would be a massive understatement.