Meet The Ghanaian Queen Of Afrobeats-Nina Ricchie
By Freedom Eche- afroentrepreneurs.com- Last updated June 2019
Afrobeats has taken leaps and bounds in recent years and it's most successful artists now perform all over the world. Often times though, the more salient aspects of success fame and wealth mask the difficult roads that many artists have had to traverse in order to make it.
Nina Ricchie is a Canadian born singer song writer with Ghanaian roots who has returned to her parents native country in order to further her music career in afrobeats.
Nina grew up in a predominantly West African area of north west Toronto called Jane and Finch where she fondly remembers music parties at her house hosted by her father. “My father used to have parties at the house, with good old Uncle Pat Thomas, a Ghanaian artiste, performing for people when he came down to party with us” So from an early age she was exposed to music and dance and developed a passion for them.
Nina recalls how challenging it was at the time, being a racial minority there and also having to adapt to two different cultures when she was growing up, but music became her escape so that by the age of 8 she was already playing the piano. At age ten she formed a girl group called LYN and began singing at shows and even tried out for selection on Sony's music label which didn't work out. A year later Nina was singing at church services.
Asked why she made the move to Ghana despite her Canadian nationality, Nina cites the lack of an afrobeats market in Canada, a country where Folk, Alternative, Rock, Pop, Country, Rap and Blues are the dominant music genres so of course, the move to the part of the world where afrobeats originates from seems like an obvious move.
Despite the other musical influences that Nina experienced growing up, she says that her music style is firmly rooted in afrobeats and that in each record she releases she tries to surprise her listeners with different sounds and styles.
However, Nina is aware that the afrobeats market is currently dominated by Nigerians who have been in the game longer, is a country that has a much larger population and is one that has produced major household names like Davido, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, D'Banj and many more.
But she is optimistic about the future of Ghanaian afrobeats “Just like a baby needs a lot of attention and nurturing. Ghana has a lot of talents, which are yet to be discovered. I believe with time Ghana will be a force to reckon with. Already with names like Dblack, Sarkodie, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy, who already have done a lot in putting Ghana on the map. It has a lot of potential and just needs people who are ready to sacrifice and invest in it to make it successful.”
Other challenges in Nina's life include being a single mom, making sure that she eats well, maintaining her fitness- “I love working out a lot, workout about four times a week, drink lots of water, pray, write music and mind my own business.” and keeping her focus on her dreams and goals.
Some of those dreams include being asked to perform at the BET awards in future and being named one of Africa's biggest artists.
I asked if she could tell me what the secrets are to great song writing and what are the things an artist can draw inspiration from?
"Honestly, it's about having a relationship to what you write, putting yourself in that person's shoes (if it's fictional or non fictional) Making sense of course and putting emotion in writing.
Artists could draw inspiration from life. I think we live in a world where there's something going on in our lives or someone else's that we also sometimes experience through social media. For me, I'm inspired by the world on a daily basis and e.g. love, experience, energy and emotion"