Women in Music: How Ghanaian females are driving industry growth, success

Ghana is constantly bubbling with an ever-growing list of gifted female acts staking their claim as successors to the country’s current pop pillars. Staples in the underground scene and live band circuit, these rising divas, with their highly progressive compositions and genre-bending styles, continue to consolidate the efforts of the current big names that have left the blueprints.

The art and names

Although women artists have been involved in the making of art throughout history, their work, when compared to that of their male counterparts, has been often obfuscated, overlooked, and undervalued. The Western canon has historically valued men’s work over women’s.

Nevertheless, Ghana's music industry has moved from the all-male music umbrella to nurturing a crop of incredible female artistes who are representing Ghana locally and on the international music stage.

Here's a list of incredible female artistes who are contributing to the growth of the Ghanaian music industry in no particular order.

EFYA

Jane Awindor , who goes by the moniker Efya, is a Ghanaian singer, songwriter, and actress and the daughter of Oheema Nana Adwoa Awindor, a filmmaker and TV personality. Efya got her first exposure to fame when she participated in the maiden edition of the Stars of the Future talent show.

She found her way onto the music scene and since then is an incredible contributor to the industry, supporting other female colleagues and pushing globally the flag of Ghana.

Efya is one of Ghana's untouchable live performers, her vocal range is extremely depth which captivates the soul of every individual.

BECCA

Rebbecca Akosua Acheampong, popularly known as Becca, is a Ghanaian songwriter, singer, and entrepreneur. She soared to fame with the singing contest Mentor. formerly a childcare worker, Her hits such as You Lied to Me, African woman, Move was among the best sounds to be produced. Becca also as a humanitarian has served as a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador.

Over 10 years in the music industry has created a solid brand for the artist, who is currently off the music scene and focusing on marriage, motherhood, and entrepreneurship.

She recently graduated from the University of Professional Studies with honors in Brands and Communication Management as a Valedictorian for 2022.

MZVEE

Vera Hamenoo-Kpeda, better known by fans as MzVee, is a Ghanaian singer, Afropop, dancehall, and R&B artiste. Her debut solo album features several hit singles including ‘Borkor Borkor’, ‘Natural Girl’, and ‘Dancehall Queen’. MzVee was signed to the record label Lynx Entertainment and was the winner of the New Artiste of the Year award at the 2015 Ghana Music Awards. She parted ways with Lynx Entertainment in the year 2019 after she admitted to battling depression.

However, she is back onto the music scene with amazing songs doing massive on the airwaves.

WENDY SHAY

Ghanaian Afrobeats and Afropop singer Wendy Asiamah Addo, better known as Wendy Shay, Started her career as a midwife and nurse and later switched to music after returning to Ghana. signed onto Rufftown records just in time after the unfortunate demise of label mate EBONY REIGNS.

She is now one of the country’s most influential women in music.

ADINA

South African born with Ghanaian roots is an award-winning singer Adina Thembi has made waves in the Afro-pop scene. Her music also contains elements of Ghanaian folk music and highlife music. She broke into the music scene with her participation in the music reality show "Stars of the Future". Her song Let me go, Why, Makoma received massive attention and later won at the VGMA with her song "Hear Me"

ENO BARONY

Ghanaian rapper and songwriter Eno Barony is arguably the first and the toughest female rapper in the industry. Also known as the Rap Goddess, she soared to fame with her music hit single "Tonga". She has several awards under her belt, from winning at the VGMA to the AFRIMA'S.

She's one of the very few women breaking the stereotype of women in rap music and embracing gender representation.

AMAARAE

Born Ama Serwah Genfi, better known by her stage name, Amaarae, soared to fame with her 2020 hit "Sad Girlz Luv Money", which became viral after it was remixed the following year. Known for her signature buzz haircut, she is also a popular style icon. In April 2018, Amaarae was added to Apple Music Africa’s Favourite New Artist list. An excellent 2017 EP along with collaborations from Stonebwoy, FOKN Bois’ M3NSA, and Wande Coal have solidified her place not just as a key contributor to sounds from these parts, but also as a strong advocate for representation in society.

SEFA

Sefa is a Ghanaian singer, and songwriter signed to Black Avenue Muzik headed by D Black. Made waves in 2019 with her hit single “Shuga” which features DopeNation, amassing over 2 million youtube views.

Sefa under the imprint of Black Avenue Muzik released her debut album dubbed ‘Growth’. The amazing body of work has 12 beautiful songs including collaborations with Bisa Kdei , Praiz, Fameye , Medikal , Dopenation, Sista Afia , Wendy Shay , Camidoh & E.L.

CINA SOUL

Christie Quincyna Quarcoopome enjoys a healthy reputation as the next queen of soul. A free-spirited songbird, her music transcends a single genre, for her songs retain elements of everything from highlife to neo-soul, pop, and jazz. Her inspirations include Anita Baker, Brandy, Sade, Aretha Franklin, Asa, and Whitney Houston. Cina Soul is the author of the 2016 album Metanoia. An eloquent submission that put the music scene on notice, the project featured M.anifest, Worlasi, and KiDi. More music followed afterwards, notably ‘Ojorley’ and ‘Killi Mi’. For this, she has been rewarded with a broader fanbase, a deal with Universal Music, and an invitation to the big stages. Last year, for instance, she showcased at Music In Africa’s ACCES conference in Accra.

She has grabbed a seat at the table of women making impressive statements in the Ghanaian music industry as well as beyond.

GYAKIE

The daughter of highlife doyen Nana Acheampong, born Jackeline Acheampong, is bent on charting her path. 'Never Like This’, an ardent R&B number, registered her on the minds of Ghanaians. Not one to rest on her laurels, she recently dispatched her debut collection of songs a five-song EP christened "Seed". Unsurprisingly, the project received steady success, with many lauding the young songbird's serene vocals and bold experimentation.

Gyakie's hard work has scored her some nominations and honors at the AFRIMA's. She's currently the only Ghanaian artist to feature on VEVO UK's DSCVR platform.

SISTER DERBY

Deborah Owusu-Bonsu better known by her stage name as Sister Derby is a Ghanaian television personality, musician, model, and creative. Sister Derby aside from her music career is one of the few musicians alongside her brother Wanlov concerned about the environment and advocates for saving the planet. Sister Deborah and Wanlov the Kubolor both have a song together to encourage Ghanaians to recycle.

Sister Derby's creativity in arts and music distinguishes her craft from the others, she is a lover of life, nature, and the simplicity of living.

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