Amassing over 200 million streams and over 100 million TikTok creations with “Sugarcane”, which won Best International Collaboration at the just-ended VGMA, Camidoh has been on a good run, enjoying the privileges that come with being a good artiste. Imullar caught up with him to discuss his new mixtape, mental health, bonding with external artists, and Fashion/music crossover.
Congratulations on the release of your mixtape, it’s been a great run since you popped up in the scene, going into Album mode. Did you feel any pressure recording this project? And how did you deal with it? You know, your debut project is sort of your statement, how has the whole recording process been?
Camidoh: The truth is I’ve been working on this project way before sugarcane, these are records I made during the pandemic, in 2020. The latest songs on here are like 3 or 4, this was supposed to be my debut album you know in 2021, so this is just like me making food, and just feeding my fans it. I didn’t feel any pressure, I’ve never felt any pressure, I don’t allow myself to feel that pressure, music is my safe space. Sometimes I even record music for therapy, this is the only space I can express myself to the max and let thing on my heart out.
You’ve visited countries and dug into their subcultures since your come up, performed in Europe and all, automatically learning about the places where you’re spending time. Were there any countries or cultures that inspired the album? , And if so, what did you pull from those locations and adapt them to your recording process?
Camidoh: It’s funny how Nigerians are always like Ghana, to them, it’s their safe spot, a very peaceful place. As an individual, I love peace a lot, and to find that, I go to my hometown which is Aflao, the beach, it’s always quiet, not too many people, and it’s serene. One of the inspirations I’ve had during days on the road is the spirit of hustle in Lagos, I love Lagos so much, I love to stay there just to breathe in all that inspiration, I love things that keep me up, things that push me to be demanding, and wherever I find that I just wanna stay. Nigeria kinda made me feel like I don’t have enough music, people come over to my place, o play them new stuff and they are like “Bro you have so many records”, then I get to Nigeria, watch the other artistes work and play their stuff and I’m like “yo, I don’t have enough”. That’s the atmosphere in Lagos, relentlessness, and hardworking, I love it there.
I’ve watched Afrolektra play at our Imullar Soundsystem DJ sessions as a DJ, a very diverse DJ, I had no idea he was a producer till your album, on which he has multiple production credits, what’s your relationship with him in terms of music and what made you give him multiple slots for your album? Clearly, there has got to be some chemistry.
Camidoh: Please when is the next Imullar session? I hope I’m in Ghana to come for it. I really love what you guys are doing with the culture. But yeah, I met Afrolektra through my engineer, Adeleke, and we connected, he is a humble soul, and easy going person and I like that people that, I enjoy working with people my spirit can bond with, I don’t care if you’re the biggest producer in the room if we don’t bond, it won’t work, so yeah we connected, a humble kid willing to works I brought him over, he made PTSD, Brown Skin Girl featuring Stonebwoy, we made more records, but two made it on the tape, very awesome guy, enjoy working with him.
“PTSD” is probably the most personal record on the project, tackling your mental health, how do you balance life as a celebrity and a normal person? What mental states were you in when you recorded the song, and why is that the intro? Any specific reason?
Camidoh: It had to be an intro because I really wanted people to know what I am truly dealing with, no word on that song is cap, everything is real life, something that I, if not just me, the youth, what we go through as creatives. It just explores the pressure, the pain we go through whiles trying to balance things, following your dreams, trying to get your vision to work with reality, the struggles of it all, sacrificing your peace for all this, bro its a struggle, for everyone, and the only place I can talk about stuff like this without getting mocked, is on my records, because people listen to me, music is a source of career, transporting my message and inspiration to the listeners, Its something I’ve been dealing with, this is not the first song which tackles mental health, my previous tapes have elements of that. People see celebrities as the perfect embodiment of life and all but bro, we go through it too
Amaarae appears on “Addicted.” What was it about that song in particular that made you think she would be great on it? That was a very surprising collaboration.
Camidoh: I met Amaarae through my engineer too, Ama used to fly into Ghana from Atlanta to record, and I remember being introduced to her, she liked my voice, how I croon in Ewe and all, so we recorded our first song “Sundays”, which is on her 2017 EP, you’re probably lost but back then I was called Fingers lol. Since then, we’ve always been in touch, so she came back to Ghana in 2019, I reached out, we linked up, I played a couple of songs and she chose “Addicted”. That was in 2019. Amaarae is family to me, we go way back, that’s my gee.
Remix culture is not really a big deal in our industry as compared to others, Sugarcane had an Ep of Remixes, now to the normal listener, one can argue that it’s the milking of the song (which is actually okay), but from a Label’s view, it’s a great tactic, what was the idea behind it? To those who keep asking.
Camidoh: We just thought like the record was becoming a global hit, it was making waves everywhere, so we schemed, how do we give it to people in their culture, their language; so it was a strategy to reach out to other cultures, so there’s a Spanish version, for my Spaniard fans, same as the dutch remix, you know, to play a role like a subtitle for the world, and it was fun making all these records, it’s been fun throughout, what a record!
Your fashion game is up there, you put on Ghanaian fashion brands a lot, I was on your Instagram a few days ago, and you had a Tribe Of God jacket on, Free The Youth for your Afronation set in Portugal, clearly, one can tell you’re a man of culture.
Camidoh: I Love fashion bro, not gonna lie, with me, if only more brands would understand the concept of partnering with artists, we’d be going places together because music goes with fashion, I mean literally, songs are played in the background during fashion runaways. A lot of people have failed to understand this and it’s not their fault, past experiences have this stereotype on us, corporate Ghana, and the industry in general. There’s been a try-and-fail instance multiple times, and it’s created a gap between external brands and artists, all this has to be refreshed, this should be easy for us. It’s a hand-in-hand thing, artists should also understand these designers, its money I used to make my cat, you can’t wear them at home, like show it off. I understand the culture, that’s why I’m with it. My manager is always open to stuff like that, we all move like this, and success is ours.
Is there any song that particularly feels pivotal to the overall feeling of the project?
Camidoh: Ideally, all the songs, let’s start with Brown Skin Girl, special shout out to 1gad, such an inspiration, one of my favourites. “No More” tackles the toxic parts of love and relationships, partners victimizing others and all, it’s a snap-out-of-it type of record you know. “Decisions” features manifest, it’s just about everyday life, the decisions we make, good or bad, and how it plays a role in our future steps, it was fun recording that with Manifest, we had a good conversation and learnt a lot during the session, so shout out to him, and Imullar, you guys are amazing, keep doing the good work, we appreciate it and see you soon at the next IMSS hopefully!
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