Consisting of a funk-based riff and some flavourful vocals, Ghanaian born and UK based singer/songwriter Stefanie Larmie just recently unveiled the first track from her upcoming debut EP dubbed 'Luv Cycle.’
We chat to Stefanie Larmie about what it was like working with producer Richie Mensah, what ‘Afro-Coustic’ means to her, and what we can expect from her upcoming EP. Bree Stewart writes.
‘Walking on my Own’ has a very upbeat sound accompanied by some very emotional lyrics, was the writing process a form of therapy for you? Overcoming heart break and unrequited love?
Oh yeah! It really was. It took me while to get over my heartbreak but the song was a form of release of the emotions I felt.
What was it like working with Ghanaian producer Richie Mensah on the track?
It was amazing. He is so talented. I just soaked in the process of watching him work. It was a unique experience.
What did Richie bring to the table in terms of the overall sound?
He produced and wrote the song. I did have input on the direction of the song because of personal experience and we went back and forth on the lyrics, but he brought my dream to light.
You’ve described yourself as ‘Afro-Coustic’; how important is it bringing forth elements of the Ghanaian music heritage into your music?
Very important, I always consider myself as African first and therefore Ghanaian before even thinking that I am a woman. It’s my heritage, it is a part of my identity.
Are you from a musical family yourself?
Yeah, my little brother from my Dad’s side is an abstract rapper, but mostly from my mum’s side of the family. My Granddad played the Organ, Grandma & Mum both did church choir. My Uncle used to sing and play the piano, my cousins are into rapping and singing, mostly my Mum’s side (laughs).
When did you begin composing your own songs?
It started when I was young and I just wrote little stories (as I love to read) and making little notes. Eventually I started putting them together. I usually come up with the melody, then put the words to it. It’s been a gradual process mastering the art of expressing myself.
What’s on your playlist at the moment? And tracking back, what were your early influences in music?
Justin Bieber – Journals, Jhene Aiko – Saling Souls and Sail Out, Solange – True EP and a mixture of songs from different Afro-beat Artists
My early influences were definitely rooted in R&B. Brandy, Boyz II Men, Monica, Tamia and Usher.
In approaching your upcoming debut EP ‘Luv Cycle’, is there a certain message you want to convey to your listeners?
My main message is to let my listeners know that you can go through heartbreak and survive. I want them to embrace the heartbreak, go through the emotions and finally just let go. You can definitely come out stronger and happier.
Whose your dream artist to team up with?
When can we expect the EP?
Early next year, the date has not been decided on.
Finally, what Stimulates your Soul?
I would say music and love. And sometimes a really good book (laughs).