Having spent a majority of his prime years producing endless collaborations with the likes of Mr Eazi, Team Salut and Juls, Eugy’s solo return in his most recent smash, ‘Lolo’, gives us hope that he is here to stay.
Although Eugy identifies as an Afrobeats artist, he brings much more to the table as an artist who grew up surrounded by a collection of instrumentalists and Gospel sounds. It was, in fact, his very upbringing and family that inspired his pursuit towards music, a dream that he held from the age of thirteen. Eugy continuously pays homage to his home country as he embraces both his Ghanaian roots and London upbringing in his signature sound that also incorporates references from Hip Hop and R&B. We sat down with Eugy to learn more about his authentic sounds, reflect on his previous successes and unwrap his special love for Chelsea FC.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background – When you started music and how you started?
I was born in Ghana, moved to London when I was like six years-old. I have two brothers and two sisters. My dad is a pastor, I grew up in church and played the piano, drums, guitar. Everyone in my family sings, everyone plays an instrument so it’s something that everyone in the household has always been doing. From about the age of twelve, thirteen, I knew that’s what I wanted to do so that’s when I started pushing it onto my dad like ‘Yo, this is what I want to do.’ He was like, ‘No, education.’ We had loads of run-ins but in the end we compromised. He was like ‘if you finished everything and get to university and complete it, you have my support.’ I did just that and Eugy Official was born. It’s been a long road but we’re getting there.
When would you say things started picking up in your music career?
I’d say it was when I did ‘Body’ with Mr Eazi. That was in 2015 and what actually happened at the time is that I was doing loads of Instagram freestyle videos and Davido found my page. He came and was like ‘I like what you’re doing’ and he wanted to help me, so we did a song and that made everyone aware of who I was. I would say that period of meeting Davido and working with Mr Eazi on ‘Body’ was when everyone was like ‘this guy is here to stay’.
How did your globally recognised collaboration with Mr Eazi ‘Dance For Me’ come about?
That was with Juls; He introduced us in 2015 when we recorded ‘Body’. We hadn’t met each other at this point. He was in Ghana and I was here. We spoke over Whatsapp so, I sent him my verses and he did his then we decided we wanted to shoot a video. The first time I actually met him what when we shot the video for that. When he came to London for the first time, we linked up and I looked after him then literally, from loads of partying and stuff, Dance for me came about.
Alongside your collaboration with Mr Eazi, what other names have you collaborated with? – Any favourite or standout collaborations?
I have a few; The one with Geko, Maleek Berry and Mr Eazi ‘Right Here’, then we’ve got ‘Bad’ with Juls, Not3s and myself and then we’ve got my collaboration with Ajebutter22 but I think the one I like the most is probably Bad. We all went wicked on that one.
As an artist of Ghanaian origin, do you try and incorporate this into your music and what you represent as a part of the Afrobeats community?
Since the beginning, since I started Afrobeats, I’d always try to put loads of Twi words. In my songs, you’ll hear words that some people may not understand but I always wat to put a little word in so that when my Ghanaian listeners hear it, they’re like ‘He hasn’t forgotten, he’s still representing.’ Sometimes, I even put broken English in some of the songs that I do so I think that’s the main thing that I do. I mean I was born there so as much as I think I can try and run away from being Ghanaian, I can’t. It’s important for us to do that and not forget where we come from especially with the music that we’re doing.
Moving away from your collaborations, which single tracks represent you the best?
Hold tight, I think is a bit smooth cause I can rap and sing but Hold tight I think is the vibe that I want everyone to see me as. It’s bubbly, it’s up, it’s not too complex or simple. I think it’s just the right balance. At the end of the day, most of my music is for the ladies anyway; that’s what I do.
Would you say your sound remains predominantly within the Afrobeats? ‘Complicated’ is a track that presents a different sound so how would you describe your versatility? What sounds do you work to bring together?
R&B, Pop, Hip Hop, Afrobeats obviously and Grime. Grime is actually what I started with; I’m actually a better Grime MC than I am a singer, but the world doesn’t know that yet. I think it’s a blend of everyone because of the areas I grew up in and the people I’ve been surrounded by. I haven’t always just been around just singers or just rappers, I’ve just been around live musicians, so I think it’s a just a concoction of just everything put together and that’s what I am. I grew up in Kilburn, I was there until I was twelve, thirteen, then moved to Hempstead then back to London again. Even going abroad to like Paris, Amsterdam and spending months there, I’ve picked up a bit of everything.
Personally, I’d say 2017, your big-breakthrough, was a fairly successful year for you. How would you summarise the year?
It was life changing because it’s one thing to say you want to do thing and this is where you want to reach and have a hit single but then to actually have one that allows you to be on radio all the time and get booked abroad. I think 2017 was a special year for me and that’s what made me realise that it could work if I really wanted it to work and I put my effort and work into it, it was going to happen.
With ‘LoLo’, I’m guessing you aim to revive this energy. But, what plans have you got for the year?
Not sitting still. I think 2018 was a recoup year where I went back into hiding to try and find my own sound because at the time we were still on the hype of ‘Dance For Me’. When you get a song that goes viral, it’s very hard to top that straight away. People are always thinking that you’re going to come with something bigger and badder but if it doesn’t happen, then it kind of fizzles down. I had to go back to the drawing board, find myself and come back. But ‘LoLo’, I’m very confident about.
Moving into your other love, football. You’re a big Chelsea fan, how did your love for the West London club come about?
When I first moved to the UK, the first football team I saw on TV was Chelsea who were playing Athletico Madrid in a Euro cup. And because I just liked the colour blue, I chose them and literally ran with them for the rest of my life.
So, when was the moment that you really fell in love with Chelsea?
When we got Drogba, it was nice to have an African man in the team that was also so good that even the English people saw he was good as well and he made us Africans proud. It was when Drogba came over and Michael Essien because he’s Ghanaian.
Who was your first football hero?
Even though he doesn’t play for Chelsea, I would say Ronaldinho. If it’s from Chelsea, it would be Drogba.
What is your favourite ever Chelsea game?
When we beat Arsenal, I think it was 2-1, when Essien scored that pinger from outside the box, and he curled and hit the post. Mad.
What about your favourite Chelsea goal of all-time?
Could be that Essien one. There was one where Chelsea were playing Portsmouth and Drogba whacked one in from outside the box. Drogba has actually hit quite a few but probably that one against Portsmouth takes it.
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