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Actor, vegetable grower, music producer, vocalist and DJ, French-Ghanaian artist has been a long-time affiliate of the Nyege Nyege crew, releasing her debut album Cociage on their sub-label Hakuna Kulala. In addition to her recording activities, her electric live shows are an experience to remember. As well as being a live performer, she also DJs. Her sets are a treasure trove of discoveries, unexpected connections, bodily revelations and high-intensity energy.

They are the inner voices, the spirits that animate, the ghosts crawling behind closed eyes. They have always been there, originate from deep down and come and go with the tides of emotions; They whisper through the electronic waves; doorway for unspoken words quietly waiting to be born. Is how your bio starts. What does this passage describe? Who are “they” and what is “their” relationship to your work?

“They” are feelings such as envy, resentment, hope, disappointment… They are those immaterial forces that animate us, in the literal sense of moving our soul and motivating the acts of our existence. “They” is therefore the incarnation of those feelings. A character, an entity that expresses itself without any filter, in the form of singing, growling, screaming…

Your music is primordial, guttural and raw, with your vocals as the most prominent element. This is also reinforced by your electric performances, which are almost ritualistic and macabre but at the same time empowering. Can you talk about your sonic aesthetic as well as your live performances?

The live performance is an open door for these feelings to incarnate, and is also an invitation to the audience to feel and perhaps express what needs to be expressed, while being an active part of the show.

I made the choice to break the fourth wall and seek interaction with the audience in order to allow this to happen and to take the spectator out of their passive and anonymous role. 

The experience is not meant to be comfortable, and the idea of knowing that you could be put under the spotlight at any given time forces you to be present and alert.

The show is never the same, thanks to those interactions. 

I’ve had people start to scream with me, run away, cry, and dance, but also exhibit inappropriate behaviour.

The point is: this is not a place of control, not for me, not for the audience, so it’s about letting go and seeing what happens.

When you perform, do you always transform into the same character, or is it a different character at every show? Do you channel those feelings mentioned earlier?

It is the same character that comes back, richer, with the experience of the last time it incarnated and interacted with others.

Some of the songs and lyrics mostly trigger the same emotions and feelings, some of them can have different sensations and manifestations each time. Whatever comes naturally and needs to be expressed is channelled.

You have been close to the Nyege Nyege crew and your debut album “Cociage” appeared on their Hakuna Kulala sub-label. Can you talk about the relationship with NN? 

I’ve been working with Nyege Nyege for six years now. It started with a collaboration called Poko Poko with Congolese producer Rey Sapienz with whom I toured for two years.

I then focused on my solo project and toured as a DJ while producing my voice-based music until I released my album last year.

Nyege Nyege is an inspiring and encouraging family, experimenting on the fringes of electronic music and giving a space to artists who might not have one in the current music market.

Can you talk about this particular album? It heavily features your voice, but also has mellow parts, sometimes exploring varied music styles, like post-punk, etc. Is it a personal record for you?

The idea of using my own voice as the only instrument to create my kicks, melodies, and shrill noises is a great freedom for me in terms of possibilities in sound design. 

I can twist, distort and fiddle with the sound more easily than if it were a regular instrument that comes with its own story.

The variety of styles is a reflection of my taste in music and the range of subjects I want to touch on. From the soothingly melodic to the harsh, indefinable extremes.

What inspires you? 

Anything from one sentence heard in the street, to that one specific sound lost in the middle of a track, to the low buzz of a broken fan, to the two notes a frog sings relentlessly.

Besides making music and DJing, you are an actor and also tend a garden. How do these activities balance out the music-making side of you? 

Acting training is an important background that has helped me build my live performance and work on developing a specific character.

Gardening is a different way of producing.

It helps to create a balance between life on tour; meeting people, lots of noise, everything going fast, and the tranquillity of nature; patience and space to reflect while the hands are kept busy.

What has the future got in store for you?

A second album, creation, and expansion.

A summer tour with exciting shows to be announced!

Photo Libor Galia (PÖ live at the SHAPE+ meetup in Prague, September 2023)

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