If the British Afro-bashment / Afro-fusion scene’s explosion was a crime, Eugy would be a primary suspect. Born in Accra and raised in London, starting out as a hip-hop head, the man has been guilty of delivering a series of West-African fused monster hits on a regular basis for years. Starting out with “Dance For Me” alongside Nigerian mogul Mr Eazi in 2016, racking up over 40 million views on Youtube, he reoffended with his EP Flavourz in 2017 and 4play in 2020, between which he released “LoLo”, leading to remixes from Colombian superstar Farina and Tanzanian artist Harmonize. His latest infraction was “My Touch”, “sitting on a hard drive for years” before creating a viral dance phenomenon on social media and accumulating millions of streams across platforms. It ended up turning into a worldwide remix EP, with a lineup including global superstars such as Jamaican Busy Signal, Nigerian Falz, Dutch Chivv and Puerto Rican Cauty.
Fresh off this major success, Eugy is now getting ready for his next heist: Home Run – EP, a project which shines a spotlight on talents from his motherland of Ghana. A true homecoming experience, the EP will attempt to cover all the biggest genres of the moment in the West-African country, and develop the highly creative dialogue taking place between the continent and its Afro-diasporic population. On his recently released singles, the artist has already explored drill with “Osu Freestyle”, afrobeats with “BomBomBom” and amapiano with “I Need a Boo”. We spoke to Eugy about what more he has in store.
How does one follow up on a success like “My Touch”?
I feel like as an artist, if you chase big hits, you might put yourself in a spiral of not allowing yourself to be free creatively. So what I try to do is record all the time, almost everywhere. You have a feeling of which song is gonna be big, but you never really really know so I think the key is just to always keep working, always keep recording and just keep going. Once you have a hit as big as “My Touch”, what you have is an opportunity to apply even more pressure because you have a lot more people paying attention to it. If anything, get more creative. It’s a sign and a signal to work even harder.
I’ve had “My Touch” sitting on a hard drive for like three years! That’s how I work. I’ve got thousands of songs, I record a lot. It’s one of those songs that had been sitting there. I kinda knew it was going to do well, but I was just waiting for the right moment to drop it. It did what it was supposed to do.
Can you explain the name of the project, “Homerun”?
For the last four years I’ve been going to Ghana almost every christmas. First I went back there as a tourist, because I hadn’t been back: I was born in Ghana, moved to London and hadn’t been back for 21 years. When I first got back there, I was enjoying the nightlife, the party and stuff like that. But as the years went by, I started realizing I wanted to reconnect more and more with where I come from, what’s going on on the ground, who does what… What I also saw was how hard the artists back home have to work. In the UK and Europe, we have a nice infrastructure in place that allows us to push our music to the world a lot easier than what Ghanaians artists have to go through. I found a new respect for the artists there. I might not be the biggest artist in the world, but if I can bridge that gap and open the window for my fans to learn about some of the artists from my country and vice-versa, it would be a good move for all parties involved. Homerun: going back home, running through home and then also, in a baseball game hitting a homerun means you score a point.
Was this project specifically thought of for a Ghanaian audience ?
It is actually for the world. I say that because the songs are different types of genres… that you all find in Ghana. The song with Medikal and Jaybahd is drill, now that drill is a worldwide phenomenon. Then, a song like “BomBomBom” is a dance song that runs the club. High tempo, high energy… and then we have an amapiano song with Kuami Eugene, now that amapiano is taking over the world. And the last one is with Efya, which has a more RnB vibe. I’m paying my respect to Ghana but I did make it with the aim of the world hearing the talent coming out of Ghana.
There is also a lot of rap… why make that choice when Ghana is mostly known for Afrobeats?
I genuinely believe in my heart that if we’re not talking about the US, I personally believe Ghana has the best rappers in the world. It might be untapped and a lot of the rappers speak in the local languages but when it comes to flows and rhyming schemes and rapping abilities, Ghanaian rappers have always been top 2 or top 3 for me. When you actually go there and see how many rappers are out there, it’s mind blowing. And I actually started out rapping. It was also to pay homage to the rap culture, and for myself a touch base with what gave me my launch as a career. I have definitely enjoyed the singing, but I wanna remind you that Eugy can and will always be able to rap.
You are a UK artist getting inspired by Ghana, while in Ghana a huge drill scene is inspired by UK artists…
They love us, and they’ve been loving us from the beginning. They’ve always been supporting us, they’ve always messaged us, they’ve always reached out to us… I’m just gassed that people are taking them seriously and seeing what I’ve been telling people: Ghana has some serious, serious untapped talent. It’s unreal, it’s like finding an oil reserve. You tap one place in the ground, and the talent just goes out! And now is the time. African music is under the spotlight. They’ve always supported us even when I thought they didn’t know who Stormzy or Skepta were, and they’ve been listening to UK rap and stuff like grime from back in the days. It’s only fair that we mirror it back to them.
Do you think this dialogue between diasporic and West-African artists is something specific to your generation?
It’s weird because growing up, at family parties and stuff, they used to play Ghanaian music. We couldn’t hear any Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys… it was always gonna be Daddy Lumba! It’s just when we stepped out of the house that we learned more about what was happening in Europe and the UK. We always had this blend. I feel like diasporan kids that have African origins always had it because our parents left Africa but didn’t really leave Africa in their hearts. What’s happening now was only a matter of time. We’re the ones who’ve been able to really integrate the system, and cover the best of both worlds. I knew it was gonna happen, and I’m just happy I’m young enough to be a part of it. It’s going to get to a stage where African music is just going to be accepted worldwide.
Home Run – EP by Eugy, out on December 10.