Efya
Efya at an event.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJane Awindor
Also known asEFYA
Born (1987-04-10) April 10, 1987 (age 33)
Kumasi, Ghana
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active2008–present
Labels
  • Starboy
  • One Nation
Associated acts
Websitewww.efyasworld.com

Jane Awindor (born April 10, 1987),[1][2][3] better known by her stage name Efya, is a Ghanaian singer, songwriter, and actress from Kumasi. She is the daughter of Nana Adwoa Awindor, a filmmaker and celebrity host of the late television show Greetings From Abroad.[4] Efya got her first exposure to fame when she participated in the maiden edition of the Stars of the Future talent show.[5] She won the Best Female Vocal Performance category at the Ghana Music Awards in four succession, beginning in 2011. Moreover, she was applauded for her performance at the 2013 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.[5]

Her debut mixtape TINT was released on November 11, 2013. It consists of songs that were released between 2011 and 2013.[6] The mixtape was supported by two singles: "Getaway" and "Best In Me". She released her long-awaited debut studio album Janesis on April 22, 2016.[7] It was previously scheduled for release at different times between 2013 and 2015. On January 11, 2014, Efya released "Forgetting Me" as the album's lead single.[8][9][10] On May 8, 2016, she was announced as one of the newly signed acts to Wizkid's Starboy Entertainment. The announcement came following Wizkid's performance at the Ghana Music Awards.[11]

Life and music career

Efya was born in Kumasi, Ghana. She has two brothers and a sister. Efya obtained her secondary education from Yaa Asantewaa Secondary School.[12] She relocated to Accra when her mother enrolled at the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) film school. Efya received voice training from some of her family members at a very young age.[13] She graduated with a degree in theatre and music from the University of Ghana. In 2008, she gained national acceptance throughout Ghana by becoming the first runner up in Charterhouse's Stars of The Future television show. She lost to Irene Logan, but secured herself a three-year recording deal.[14] The recording deal enabled her and Irene to do a collaborative album titled Unveiled, which was released in South Africa. Following the conclusion of her recording deal with Charterhouse, Efya continued to record songs and perform at local gigs. She changed her stage name from Miss Jane to Efya prior to going solo. In an interview posted on the Modern Ghana website, Efya said, "When I decided to go solo, it made sense at the time to reinvent myself in every way, I wanted a name that was African and unique but at the same time relevant to me in some way. My manager, Jimmi, helped me come up with the name Efya".[12] In 2011, she signed a recording deal with One Nation Entertainment.[1]

2011–2013:T.I.N.T.

Efya's debut mixtape TINT was released on November 12, 2013. An acronym for This Is Not The Album, the mixtape comprises 13 tracks and was released as a precursor to Janesis. It was also released for free digital download and was supported by the singles "Getaway" and "Best in Me". T.I.N.T is composed of songs that were released between 2011 and 2013.[2] It features a guest appearance from Black Magic. In the aforementioned interview with ARISE, Efya said love is the overall theme of the mixtape and that the record is about the good, the bad, the ugly, the heartbreak, the pains, the highs and lows of life.[14]

The mixtape's lead single "Getaway" was released on November 10, 2011. The music video for "Getaway" was shot and directed in and around Accra by Sony Addo.[15][16] The mixtape's second single "Best in Me" was released on February 14, 2012.[17] Directed by OJ of Big OJ Films, the music video for "Best in Me" was uploaded to YouTube on September 2013.[18][19] On February 14, 2013, Efya released "Body" as a cover of Chris Brown's single "Don't Judge Me".[20]

2013–2017:Janesis, clothing line and other releases

Efya performing at an event

Efya released her debut studio album Janesis on April 22, 2016. It was initially slated for release in the third quarter of 2013.[1] However, the release timeframe was postponed.[21] The album's lead single "Forgetting Me" was released on January 11, 2014.[21] The song was met with great reception. A writer for Modern Ghana described the song as a "powerful ballad that tells the story of love and heartbreak".[9] In an interview with Alexis Stephens of MTV Iggy in 2013, Efya said the album will contain numerous love songs and explore the universal topics of hate and pain. Moreover, Efya said album draws from her personal experiences.[22]

The Bisa Kdei-assisted track "One of Your Own" was released on 16 July 16, 2014, as the album's second single. Efya initially wanted to release "Gingam Too Much" as the second single but after discussions with her team, she decided to postpone the release of the aforesaid single.[23]

The Kaywa-produced track "Gingam Too Much" was eventually released on December 26, 2014, as the album's third single.[24] The music video for "Forgetting Me" was directed by Prince Dovlo of Seven Streets Entertainment.[25] On December 23, 2016, Nigerian musician Wizkid released a solo single "Daddy Yo", with unaccredited vocals by Efya. However, Efya makes an appearance in the music video.[26] On June 10, 2017, Efya released the reggae-infused track "Until the Dawn". It was produced by British-born Nigerian record producer and recording artist Maleek Berry.[27]

In December 2019, Efya announced the launch of her new clothing line called "The Native Chic".[28]

Artistry and musical influences

In an interview with Danai Mavunga of ARISE magazine, Efya described her sound as Afro soul with a hint of pop. She said her sound fluctuates depending on how she feels and who she's working with.[14] In another interview posted on Modern Ghana's website, Efya cited Kojo Antwi, Aretha Franklin and The Temptations as her key musical influences. Moreover, she stated that she was into old school jazz and highlife growing up.[12]

Humanitarian work

Efya is an official ambassador for the Awal Children of the Future Foundation (ACOTF), a non-profit organization aimed at helping victims of physical and emotional trauma, particularly orphans and street kids. The foundation was founded by Posigee, a Tema-based record producer famous for tracks such as "Sister", "Injection" and "Issues". The foundation consists of eight musical ambassadors, including Sarkodie, Ruff n Smooth and Yaw Siki. The foundation released its theme song "This is Who I Am" in 2012; it was written by Chase and produced by Posigee. The song is available for purchase on several digital platforms, including iTunes and Amazon. All of the proceeds from the digital sale of the song goes to the ACOTF Foundation.[29][30]

Notable performances

Efya performing at the 4th Annual IND!E FUSE alternative music concert

On April 9, 2011, Efya performed at the 2011 MTN Ghana Music Awards, which occurred at the Dome in Accra.[31] In October 2012, she performed at the Radio and Television Personality Awards, alongside Kojo Antwi, Asem, Ruff & Smooth, D3, No Tribe and Stonebwoy.[32] In April 2013, Efya performed at the Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya; the event was organized by Capital 98.4 FM and sponsored by Tusker Brewery.[33][34]

Efya performed at Richie Mensah's "This is Love Concert" held on February 14, 2013, at the African Regent Hotel in Accra. She performed her single "Your Body", which was released on the same day. She also performed the remix of her "Best in Me" song with Richie Mensah.[35]

On March 5, 2013, Efya performed alongside Samini, D-Black, Sherifa Gunu and R2Bees at the Hope City Launch Celebration Concert, headlined by American recording artist Chris Brown.[36] On September 22, 2013, she graced the stage at the post-African Day Parade concert held at the Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem.[37] On Saturday, November 9, 2013, Efya performed alongside P-Square, MI, Wande Coal, Burna Boy, Edem, Kwabena Kwabena, Asem and Paapa Yankson at the Glo "Slide N Bounce" concert series, which kicked off in Kumasi.[38] On December 20, 2013, Efya performed at the 2013 edition of the annual Girl Talk concert, held at the National Theatre in Accra and headlined by Becca.[39]

Discography

Studio albums and mixtapes

Filmography

Awards and nominations

Year Event Prize Recipient Result Ref
2016 Nigerian Entertainment Awards African Female Artist of the Year (Non Nigerian) Herself Won [40]
Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television & Arts Best International Female African Act Herself Nominated [41]
Glitz Style Awards 2016 Most Stylish Music Artiste of the Year Herself Won [42]
2016 African Muzik Magazine Awards Best Female West Africa Herself Won [43]
2014 African Muzik Magazine Awards Best Female West Africa Herself Nominated [44]
City People Entertainment Awards Musician of the Year (Female) Won [45]
MTV Africa Music Awards 2014 Best Female Nominated [46]
Ghana Music Awards Best Female Vocal Performance "Life" Won [47]
World Music Awards World's Best Female Artist Herself Nominated [48]
[49]
World's Best Live Act Nominated
World's Best Entertainer of the Year Nominated
World's Best Song "Best in Me" Nominated
World's Best Video Nominated
2013 4Syte TV Music Video Awards Best Female Video "Getaway" Won [50]
Best Photography Video of the Year Nominated [51]
Best Storyline Video of the Year "I'm in Love With Your Girlfriend"
(Jayso featuring Efya and Sarkodie)
Won [50]
Best Collaboration Video Nominated [51]
City People Entertainment Awards Musician of the Year (Female) Herself Nominated [52]
Ghana Music Awards Best Female Vocal Performance Won [53]
Afro Pop Song of the Year "Best in Me" Nominated [54]
Record of the Year Won [53]
2012 Ghana Music Awards Artiste of the Year Herself Nominated [55]
Best Collaboration of the Year "I'm in Love With You"
(Sarkodie featuring Efya)
Nominated
Hip hop Song of the Year Nominated
Best Female Vocal Artiste Won [56]
Record of the Year Nominated [55]
"Good Morning"
(Yaa Pono featuring Efya)
Nominated
2011 4Syte TV Music Video Awards Best Female Video "Sexy Sassy Wahala" Nominated [57]
Ghana Music Awards Best Female Vocal Performance "Little Things" Won [58]
Record of the Year Nominated [59]
Songwriter(s) of the Year (with Asem) Herself Nominated

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External links