In Gyakie’s My Diary, The singer-songwriter’s theme dwells in the space between grand Afrobeats balladry and Afro-soul tunes.
In late 2019, during a studio session with Kuvie, I met two individuals who had just wrapped up their recording session. Kuvie termed the singer (which happened to be Gyakie) as the next big thing to graze our ears, alongside a hard-working manager.
She looked sonically ready to catch every beat thrown at her; fast forward to 23; she’s had the no.1 song in Nigeria and multiple countries with her 2020 hit “Forever”. She has also performed at European Festivals and bagged three awards from the 3music awards and Ghana music awards, with a nomination at the 2022 Headie awards scheduled for September 4.
Her efforts landed her a deal with Sony music that extends to RCA records in the UK and Sony Music Africa, subsidiaries of the global music company. You just knew everything regarding her recording process was going to elevate after the deal, and this EP says it all.
A 15-minute run with six songs is all she needed to prove to us. It only gets better from here; in the intro “Audience”, which features her alter ego “songbird”, she seems to showcase a sizzling spirit and illustrates the breadth of her musicianship to a calm crowd, sonically it creates an imaginary scene where she’s performing at a jazz club, the perfect introduction to her mini diary.
Like any youth’s diary, it’s a collection of different components that fully documents a captivating woman learning to indulge her romantic, artistic, and aesthetic desires.
“Far Away” shows her experimental impulses on a reggae-inspired production created by long-term producer Ipappi; his tender beats evolve Gyakie’s kinetic vocal performance, darkened with lonely lyrics, words you’d find in a diary. “For my baby” is a sensual song with minor chords, liberalness of lovemaking and Gyakie’s crooning, which sandwiches effortlessly between the mild saxophone and flitting drum lines. She’s flirty here, ready to risk it all.
Once again, just like a diary, there’s less space for third parties, which falls in line with the feature list. Davido is the only artiste who gets a slot on here. His commanding voice soars heavily on “Flames”, allowing Gyakie to consolidate her sound while exploring the less intense territory. It’s not the perfect duet with peak vocal performances, but it’s a bop and Davido’s touch, as expected, lits up the scene.
The lead single, “Something”, still sounds like the same silky uptempo record that mesmerizes the portrait of modern romance. She ends the EP on an experimental note, allowing her lyrical proficiencies to earn a spot on “Waka Waka”, a proper trap song produced by Sosawavegod. The song is a new type of Gyakie that teases at the playful nature of her hip-hop version if she were to go down the road more often.
Gyakie is year 4 in the industry; she’s a talented artiste whose lineage alone allows her to snowball as an artiste thanks to her Dad, Nana Acheampong; who happens to be a legend and one of the pioneers of “burger highlife” in the Ghanaian scene. The thrill of her music comes from hearing her play every version of herself, and we are content with what we’ve heard so far.