Some would argue that an artiste who has picked four awards, consecutively in the same category, at the biggest musical festival in this country, without an album could be forgiven for not releasing an album. For these section of fans, the singles are enough. An album would be excellent but who really cares if it does not happen.
Others proffer the view that, an artiste releasing singles and going on to win awards at musical events is all good but an album, a body of work is a better template for judging how incredibly good an artiste is. That is, an artiste receive reverence amongst music fans not based on singles but on albums. And I belong to the latter school of thought.
The artiste who has provoked this article is no other than the insuppressible songbird EFYA. Regarded as one of the best singers of her generation, EFYA’s impressive run and depth of talent is nothing short of admirable. She has managed to win awards and get nominations at various award shows across the continent yet she has no album to her name.
The first time I got hint of EFYA working on an album was somewhere in 2012. The source who disclosed this to me was part of a popular artiste’s team who was also working with the producer recording EFYA’s album. They often met at the studios of Lynx Entertainment where Richie Mensah worked.
The album kept dragging because of EFYA’s itinerant lifestyle-she kept hopping from one show to another, mostly out of Ghana. This on-and-off meant no real time and efforts were expended by her to get the album in shape. Despite these, my source kept insisting the album would come to pass.
Then, somewhere in 2013 EFYA, through her twitter feed, assured fans that her long awaited debut was about to hit the shelves. Obviously, the cries of her fans and many others who loved her and her music had gotten to her. She went further to disclose the album’s name ‘JANESIS’ – a play on her former name Jane. This move raised expectations and whetted the appetite of her ‘Gingams’ as she calls her fans.
In a swift move to back her assurance or promise, EFYA in November, 2013, released an ‘album’, which she described as an album which is not THE ALBUM. T.I.N.T, the abbreviated name for This Is Not The Album, was a compilation of 13 of some of her hit singles. TINT featured songs from the past and the new.
Songs such as the emotionally tickling soulful ballad A Moment Notice (Odo Y3 D3) and the melodic, Afro-Soul tinged Nothing –these two were the first singles she released and got her mainstream notice. Cover songs such as Falou (re-make of Duncan Mighty’s Obianuju) and Chris Brown’s Body were featured. The classics Best In Me, the ASEM penned Little Things, Getaway and the afro-rock movie soundtrack Sexy Sassy Wahala plus the Erykah Badu-esque Cigarette were all found on T.I.N.T. One look at T.I.N.T and you may be forgiven to think it was indeed the album we have been waiting for all these years.
Then came the year 2014 and yet again, fans kept asking when the album JANESIS was bound to be released. EFYA was on hand to assure all that she is working on it and that soon the fans would get served. I was at this juncture, losing faith. My patience to wait further for the album was waning very steeply.
I had forgotten all about EFYA and her album until I saw a tweet from one of the dudes with pulse on the music scene, Selasie’s (@Iamselasie) tweet that people were not ready for EFYA’s debut. I asked him if really he has heard all the songs or few tracks. His response indicated he had listened to it as he was in a studio where a producer was shaping the album.
This album too never come, Efya Ocean. https://t.co/tf76QjtW6S
— Em, the curator (@Em_PriceLess) January 12, 2016
A new excitement filled me up. And when months on, EFYA herself responded to my tweet on the release date of her album with an assurance, the flag of expectation began blowing at full mast again. On hindsight, an aloof posture from me after the interaction with Selasie and EFYA’s tweet would have been a better option. 2014 ended. No trace of JANESIS.
— SIZWE (@swayekidd) November 2, 2015
Darling I had an accident .. Just recovering now.. That’s why it was moved.. Promise it will be worth the wait.🙏🏾 https://t.co/52MrCJ8AZh
— EFYA (@EFYA_Nokturnal) November 2, 2015
We began the year 2015 and again there were rumors of the album dropping soon. Months into the year, I chanced on an EFYA tweet talking about the completion of the album. To proof she is serious, an album cover came with the tweet. To make the claim for believable and assuring, EFYA announced that the album would be released in October, 2015.
So, when October came to pass and there was no sign of JANESIS, I tweeted at her to ask when again. Her reply was simple: she was involved in accident and that had changed plans. And again, she assured me it was going to come soon. We are almost three (3) months into 2016 and still the talk of JANESIS dropping is in the air. Occasionally, one sees about it yet nothing concrete is made manifest besides the talk.
EFYA has been releasing singles and delivery mind blowing performances. Her spark is not in any way dimming despite missing out on her fifth consecutive award at the 2015 Vodafone Music Awards-Wiyaala snatched the award for Best Female Vocalist accolade. And to think that new artistes like Wiyaala and MzVee have an album and two respectively despite their short stint on the music scene, EFYA should stop this charade.
EFYA should know that her antics-the promise and fail tactics- leaves me thinking JANESIS does not exist. That, JANESIS is nothing but an illusion; a mirage. That is, there is no album being worked on or waiting to be released. EFYA coming to talk about her album is nothing but a gimmick to get her fans excited, expectant and get name orbiting across the musical space.
Her actions are not only contemptuous to her fans but anyone who loves her music. Putting out singles is good. But with an album, a fan or any music enthusiast would have a piece of you for keeps as long as they live. Albums offers the listener something valuable and unquantifiable than a thousand singles would. Until, I see the album out there, I’m going with the idea that JANESIS is an illusion. And as fans, we are getting played by the best illusionist called EFYA.