In Conversation with Dede Speaks: We talk influence, inspiration, and all things music
Written byWords by Soltesh Iyere
It’s safe to say we’ve been been a fan of Dede Speaks ever since we saw her debut EP “Tribal Marks” released in 2021 via Edna Odae / Jam Distro.
The Ghanaian songstress whose sound is a blend of afrobeat, hip-hop, and blues has force-fed every tastemaker on the internet to hail her as one of the ones to watch, and if the new EP “Accra to Soweto” is anything to go by then 2022 might finally be her year.
Speaking on the release, the artist, “Accra to Soweto came out of our love for the Amapiano movement that had just emerged in Accra the EP was constructed in 2020 December, But the world did not hear it until May 2022. We just wanted to provide our own take on something that we knew was going to blow up as well as something that we found love with.”
With her latest ep out, we spoke with Dede via WhatsApp talking about all things music.
Hi Dede Speaks! How are you?
I am doing well. Trying to always find balance in my life but apart from that remaining positive and open to life.
Where did you grow up and how did your environment influence your music?
I grew up in the United States and Ghana. Growing up I had a lot of people around me who loved music. From artists such as Judy Boucher, Luther Vandross, Kojo Antwi, and Daddy Lumba, to Wulomei, My family’s love for music was very intense. Music is something that we listen to every day and on every occasion, there was a song for every moment. I would have to say that the environment I grew up in influenced my music by exposing me to two different cultures and all the music that both cultures had to provide. Allowed me the opportunity to play around with my sound as well as my persona.
Tell us about your genre! How would you describe it?
When it comes to a particular genre, I feel as though I work on vibes and energy. I don’t have a particular genre that I would say encompasses my music, but I do dabble and a bit of everything. I like to rap, I like to sing, I like spoken word. But just to give me a genre I would say more of an alternative than anything else.
Congratulations on your newly released joint-EP “Accra to Soweto” – What was it inspired by?
Accra to Soweto came out of our love for the Amapiano movement that had just emerged in Accra the EP was constructed in 2020 December, But the world did not hear it until May 2022. We just wanted to provide our own take on something that we knew was going to blow up as well as something that we found love with.
What makes it a body of work?
To me, a body of work must have direction. It must have a story and it must have a purpose.
Do you have any unusual place you pull inspiration from and why?
Honestly, I really don’t know how to answer this question. For me, I write based on how I feel what I see and what’s going on around me. When I am going through a lot emotionally I find it difficult to write. For me, the best time to create is when I have peace of mind and have a bit of structure to my day or life.
What’s next for you?
For me what is next is mostly just putting out music. Being consistent in releasing and experimenting with my music. You are going to hear a lot of different genres from me. I plan on dabbling in trap, rap, highlife, honestly a bit of everything. I want to tell stories in my music and I want my music to show all aspects of who I am.