In the last three years, the Ghanaian government has put effort towards attracting and encouraging the diaspora to visit and take up residence in the country. It has largely been a success, with thousands of people of black origin making the journey to Ghana. To some, the spirituality of these exercises are superficial, to others, it’s an opportunity for them to reconnect with home and old friends or to build a new family in a place where they’re surrounded by their own.
For Eugy, The Year of Return gave him an opportunity to come back home after over 20 years and submerge himself with his culture and its sounds. Talking to More Branches, Eugy speaks about how he thought of the idea for his Home Run EP in London and how it has helped him not just connect with the sounds back home, with friends and creatives he admires, but also show the world a part of his artistry that has stayed behind closed doors.
On Home Run, we see different sides to Eugy as he celebrates the rich sounds and talent that drives the music back home. To Eugy, Home Run is not just a showcase, it’s a personal journey to connect with his home through friendships and collaborations. Recorded within the few months he spent in Ghana, Home Run is a musical exploration of his homecoming experience.
How has being in Ghana and recording your project been for you?
Eugy: I’ve been in Ghana for like two weeks now, but before, I had been in Ghana for like eight months, from December to July. I even started it before I flew out. I had this idea of doing songs with Ghanaian artists. One of the songs, the one with Medikal, I already started my part before I flew out, so when I landed there, I went to see him, and the rest just fell in place.
How has moving to Ghana been for you? What has helped you transition into living in Ghana for the first time in years?
Eugy: It’s all well and good, being in the abroad as we say and saying you’re Ghanaian or saying you’re African, but if you don’t actually take the time out to set foot back home and submerge yourself into what’s going on, you would always be out of touch. I’m African, I’m Ghanaian but no matter what, I can’t come and fool an actual Ghanaian living in Ghana. It’s very important for us to be in touch with what’s going on back home and for people to know that what we are doing is not some game and we’re actually down on the ground for them to meet us and see us. For me, it was very important and a part of my journey of being an African artist. I really feel like it’s not right for me to go and sell Ghana and push Ghana out there if I haven’t been there myself and spent time there. If the people of Ghana are not even familiar with me, then what am I doing? For me, it was a very vital part of my journey to go and spend that time. I wish I even did a year or two in Ghana, but that eight months changed a lot for me.
How did you decide on who to feature on the track?
It’s weird sometimes, because sometimes you already know I want to do a song with this person. Based on that thought already, the beat selection, I would be thinking about yeah, this artist could do this, the person I want to work with could do that. Other times, you can really just record a song for the sake of recording, and after I’ve done my part, I could be like oh, this artist would sound good on it. Collaborations are just based on the actual situation and time, and feeling. I don’t think it’s ever something that’s pre-set. It just depends on the vibe and the flow of how things are working.
The EP saw you come out and experiment so much for the first time? How was that for you?
First time doing it in public, yeah, but behind closed doors, everyone knows that if you come and listen to Eugy’s music on the hard drive, you might end up listening to rock. Even though, yeah, when we are releasing music, we have a style that we drop, sometimes I just like to let out energy and let out feelings through different genres. It’s just something I’ve always done, not something I woke up today and just said this is something I want to do. It’s nice that I’m able to put it out for people to see and say, “oh Eugy, you dabble in this as well.” I’m still going to give them what they know me for and what they want, but I’m going to try and be consistent. I feel like if I do enough of anything and do it well, people would accept it and love it. Music is music bro, and as long as the fans feel it and mess with it, I’m going to be consistent.
Could we do a breakdown of each song on the project?
Osu Freestyle featuring Medikal
That was the first song we dropped. Medikal has been a friend of mine for about four or five years now, and we’ve always wanted to do a song together. We’ve never actually done a song and dropped it, but this was the one I felt was right for it. I’ll tell you what, when I was recording the song, I thought in my head the person I could think of right now who would be able to mash up this song the way that I wanted the song to be is going to be Medikal. It’s just a song about flexing and being confident about who you are; that’s what that song is about.
Show Me The Light featuring Jhay Bhad
Is another drill type song but the message of that song is about going through the struggle and looking for a glimmer of hope and God showing just one little light to show that everything I’m doing is going to be worth it. In terms of the feature, Jhay Bhad is one of my favourite African artists and even one of my favourite artists in the world. When I finished recording, that was the only person I could hear on it, so I hit him up, and he did that for me.
I Need a Boo featuring Kuame Eugene
That’s an amapiano styled song with the singing side of Eugy. It was actually one of the label managers’ ideas; he called me and was like how about you do a song with Kuame Eugene and I thought that was a very good idea. All the age ranges in my family know who he is. Apart from that, he’s really talented. I sent the beat to him, and he did his part before I did my part. When I went to see him in the studio, he had already done his part, and made my job easier. That’s how efficient Kuame Eugene is. He’s a superstar, he proved himself on that song and is one of my favourite Ghanaian artists.
BumBumBum featuring DanceGod Lloyd
DanceGod Lloyd is probably one of the oldest friends I have in Ghana because when I first came back after those 21 years, he was one of the first few people I met, and he always supported me. He used to come and be in my videos for me when he was dancing alone. So for me, when he said he was going to be an artist, it was a no brainer. It made so much sense to bring it back again and collaborate, but this time as artists. He killed the track for me. If I wanted to do a dance song, how was I going to do a dance song in Ghana and not include the biggest dancer we have? That was a no brainer for me.
Down featuring Efya
Efya is one of my oldest friends in Ghana; she’s always held me down, always supported me, and she’s my favourite female vocalist from Africa. She’s so talented and such a great singer. We’ve always wanted to work properly, so I used this as an opportunity to get the song down. That’s a soulful, smooth song for the EP.
There’s been conversations about Ghanaian artists not getting their dues internationally, how do you feel about this?
I would say nothing in this life comes without work. I’m not saying nobody has a right to feel how they’re feeling, but I feel like it’s not a race; it’s a marathon. So I don’t feel we should be disheartened or feel like we are not doing this or doing that, and we don’t want to do it anymore. I feel like we should change the perspective and be like it’s possible cause we can see our peers and colleagues are attaining and reaching these heights, so if they can do it, why are we sitting here complaining about this and that. Everything has a starting place. At some point, our friends and colleagues weren’t able to reach where they’ve reached but found a way to do it. As long as we have breath and we’re alive and believe what we are doing, there are no excuses. I don’t believe in excuses or in blaming anybody. If you want to get something done, then you go for it.