If I can make it in Ja...
Up-and-comer Nana Kofi sets sights on music success
Nana Kofi

FOR nascent entertainer Nana Kofi, a career in the medical field was the obvious choice. After all, his father is an established OB/GYN and he was enrolled in school pursuing pharmacology.

Still, for the Ghanaian-born artiste, there was no shaking his love for music.

He quickly realised that the dreams his family had for him were not his own, and so he began charting his own course to greatness, and it involved actively engaging his long-time passion — music.

"[Music] was a calling. It chose me. I tell myself that every day because the craziest story is that I wasn't supposed to be a musician. My dad is an OB/GYN and with the whole African culture, you either gotta be a doctor or lawyer or pharmacist, the traditional jobs. I went to school for pharmacy, but I had to tell my dad, 'Listen, this is your dream, this ain't my dream.' I told him I wanted to go to music school, and so I did," he told the Jamaica Observer.

"I started around 2016 and the rest is history, because even in pharmacy school I was making music, playing the piano, but I did it as a hobby. I didn't want to do that anymore so I went and did full-blown music. I fought with my family for years about it, but now they're my biggest fans."

With his family now on board and his foot through the first doors of the entertainment industry, Nana Kofi is looking to take his career to the next level.

He admits that he grew up with Jamaican music being a strong influence on his musical taste, and decided Kingston would be the best place to kick-start his latest round of promotion.

"I'm here to shoot three videos for three songs I have coming out soon. Two of them have features but the main song that I'll be shooting the video for is my next single called Sika which means money in Twi, which is what we speak [in Ghana]. It's gonna drop on June 15. On top of that, I'm promoting the single I have out now, which is Rubba," he said.

Nana Kofi said he is aware that the Jamaica audience is perhaps one of the hardest to please, and believes if he can win over the Jamaican people, he could gain his footing anywhere.

"The main aim is to put a footprint in the music industry out here because I know if I can establish myself here, I can do it anywhere. So, on this trip, whoever we can link up with to make that happen we're gonna do it, because you'll definitely be hearing more about Nana Kofi out here for sure," he said indicating how pleased he is to see that there is a growing love affair with Afrobeats in Jamaica.

"I am very pleased to see that Jamaica is so receptive to Afrobeats. Y'all actually listen and enjoy and that makes me very happy, because that means it's looking good for me and the music I create," he shared.

"Music-wise I am very inspired by Jamaica. My dad, back when we lived in Ghana, he used to play a lot of Jamaican music — Buju Banton, Bob Marley, it would play in the house on Sundays, so the Jamaican rhythm would always be in my ear. Today, my influences include Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Skillibeng, Popcaan, and a few more," he shared.

Highlighting his hopes to one day collaborate with a Jamaican entertainer, Nana Kofi says he is committed to taking things one day at a time and is hoping seeds sown in Jamaica over the next week will reap great rewards in the near future.

"Over all I feel like I do really good music, so if you love music and enjoy instrumentals you're going to enjoy my music for sure. I am just really looking forward to what will happen for me from the connections made this trip. I am putting myself out there and hoping the Jamaican audience will love me and what I bring to the table."

BY SHERITA GRIZZLE Observer writer grizzles@jamaicaobserver.com

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