In a world where so much fights for attention and instant gratification, it is refreshing to find self-assured artists blazing their own trails through experimentation. Going through Anbuley’s Soundcloud page is like stroll though an Afrofuturist garden, where cosmic rhythms an melodies are in bloom. The singer’s well-modulated and rousing vocals lend her a unique layer to the polarizing music she producers. You would not find anyone, anywhere sounding like her. But what makes her even more memorable is the use of the Ga language in her music. Ga electronic music is nothing new, with artists like DJ Katapila and John K, haven experimented with low-fi synth lines and grizzly drums patterns. Yet Anbuley has found a creative way to leverage the melodic qualities of this language in a poetic and soothing way.
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On her latest body of work, The Freedom EP, she appears to have smoothed out the creases that characterized her experimental phrase with all kinds of sound from spooky soul to acid house and pop to a temperate “Nshorna House” vibe. This EP, which dropped without any warning is more consistent in its sound despite being 5 tracks long. She echoes sentiments of liberation and the bliss that comes with finding your free on the tape whilst sticking to the ideals of Afrofuturism which she is known for.
 
The stand out track from the tape, Yehowa, might be Anbuley’s best song yet. The racy deep house drum line and warbly synths feed the charged atmosphere on the songs. Yet Anbuley’s vocal which are decked at different heights on the song, modulate the energy of this celebratory jam where Yehowa leads her to her freedom.
 
Given how unique this body of work is, DANDANO reached out to Anbuley to share with us the elements that go into building this irresistible sound. She shares with use below, her well grounded Ghanaian heritage and creative process in the interview below. Shout out to Sabolai Radio for putting us onto her music!

 

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Dandano: How would you describe your sound in one sentence to a potential fan?

Anbuley:  Afrofuturism

Dandano: What is your relationship with Ghana? On your website you mention that you lived here for a short time?

Anbuley: My roots are Ghanaian, they are my roots; without my roots there could be no me. I love them myself because I also love my roots so do I love Ghana! I lived in Ghana from Age 4-9 in my childhood, luckily I was able to get to know my roots early on.

Dandano: What prompted you to want to make music in Ga? It is very interesting how you leverage language in your rhythm which leans heavily towards, disco and dance music.

Anbuley:  I spoke Ga fluent as child but  now I don’t anymore, Ga has now found a special place in my music.  For me the sound of the words are more fitting to the music I make than any other language could, For myself Ga is the most earthy language.

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Dandano: Although your lyrics are skeletal, you do use the Ga language and English in a refreshingly poetic way. You also mention that your mother helps you in translation from English to Ga. How does this process go about?

Anbuley: I am fully aware that Ga is not spoken by many anymore, so i use my the sound of my words like they are an instrument,  it’s about the sound of the words.  I try not to use too much words, cause then I think it could be overwhelming for listeners…

It’s about the sound and the vibes of my words…

The process is:

I write my lyrics in English,  I am always writing and making notes, everywhere (except the hooks they are always directly born in Ga). Then when the time comes and I am in the process of voicing new songs, I translate the lyrics I feel are a perfect fit to the song into Ga with my Maa (but also leave some of the lyrics in English after the translation process). After that I record the lyrics on the song at home on my garageband. When i am ready with that, I spend time recording at a Recording Studio.

Dandano: There’s also a consistent presence of Afro-futurism in your work which is riveting, both with the production and lyrics, like on the song Obonu. Does Afrofuturism connect you to Ghana where sound originates from?

Anbuley:  For me it feels like taking my roots which are deep within out through creativity. Taking them into the Future with Music, yes it does connect to my Ghanaian Roots.

I do love to work with Henry (DJ HEN BOOGIE) who produces most of my music. He is a perfect match for me, we don’t have to talk too much to understand each other,  his tracks are a perfect match to my Soul. We make music out of love to music and out of love to our roots.

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Dandano: The Freedom EP is your first body of work for quite a while now. How did it come about?

Anbuley: I do not make music to make money, of course that would be wonderful, it is wonderful if u can live from what you love, but in my case I would have to give up me and go with mainstream music and also stop singing in Ga which would kill my soul, I am not mainstream, I really can’t, I know cause i did try to go a bit more mainstream, I am not walking that path again it nearly killed my soul. I prefer to not do any music before I sell my soul out!

I love creating and doing what  am I’m doing. To me that is already success.

But then if u are not mainstream nowadays  it is really difficult to find the right labels to release and invest in you.

Dandano: Have you played any music in Ghana? What was the reaction?

Anbuley: No not yet, but i have heard people telling me they heard my songs played in Festivals. I’m hoping next year, I have had requests to perform. It’s time, to do it!

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Dandano: Do you plan on releasing an album after this?

Anbuley: No plans one step after the other, it’s better that way I have seen, otherwise I pressure  myself too much and then I start making the wrong decisions.

Meanwhile I am happy with releasing EP’s.

Dandano: Your work seems to get remixed by a lot of house and EDM DJs like Auntie Flo, like your song, Supernatural being. Do you seek to target certain demographic when composing your music as you seem to have a very consistent sonic palate.

Anbuley: For myself the original is the most important, but I always love to hear to a remixed track.

Dandano: Is there a single piece of art (film, painting, song) that could perfectly sum up who you are as an artist?

Anbuley: Nope -it’s complicated 🙂

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Listen to The Freedom EP below

Written by Hakeem Adam

Images: Anbuley

 

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