Nana Kay Agyekum, known by the stage name GoldKay, is a Ghanaian-born UK-based Afrobeat musician.
A semi finalist of Britain’s Got Talent 2013 Season 7, he has featured on a number of UK TV shows. He is signed to UK-based music label Gbevu Music Group and remains one of the most talented Ghanaians in the UK.
During the festive season, he was in Ghana to, among other activities, connect with players in Ghana’s music industry.
He spoke with NEWS-ONE‘s Francis Addo about his career, Britain’s Got Talent 2013 Season 7 and working in Ghana.
He expressed interest in working with Shatta Wale. He believes that Shatta Wale understands the industry and really knows what Ghanaians want.
Below is the full interview:
Can you tell us more about yourself?
I am a singer and songwriter born in Ghana but raised in the UK. Before officially becoming an Afrobeats artiste, I was already into singing game and was featured on various TV programmes such as Celebrity Come Dine With Me featuring Gina Yashere, Comedians Christmas Edition, Britain’s Got Talent 2013 Series 7, A League Of Its Own, as well as performing as a backing vocalist for various artistes such as Dappy (NDubz), Jaz Ellington (The Voice), Crazy Cousins and many more.
Although coming from a rough background, I have managed to complete a degree in Business Management (UK) and a Masters in International Business Practices (USA). However, music has always been my way of expressing myself freely. Singing has given me the privilege to perform in front of various audiences across the UK, Europe, USA, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Ghana.
How did you get into music?
I used to be a DJ with a group called Virtual Soundz under the alias SweetBoy J and produced beats when I was in school/college. Then I started emceeing and singing at events and overtime I decided to look into becoming an artiste after being advised to look into it by a lady called Marsha Morrison.
I was playing around at a church camp meeting on the mic whilst the band were preparing for an afternoon programme – she heard me singing from her chalet and immediately came out to ask if I had ever sang publically –to cut a long story short, she entered me into my first singing competition where I came second in the whole competition. Since then, it encouraged me to pursue music seriously.
What inspired you into music?
I am a product of a music loving family, of which 80 percent are either singers or musicians in some capacity.
How long have you been in the industry?
Music in general, I would say five years. However as a soloist, I would say two years.
How has the journey been?
It has been a very interesting journey. Everything comes with its own ups and downs but through that I have learnt a lot about myself. It is most definitely a character building experience.
How was your experience on Britain’s Got Talent?
I would say that BGT was my introduction to the industry. It was a very humbling experience and really showed me what showbiz was about. It really showed me what kind of sacrifice it would take to be heard in the industry, the fact that building relationships in this industry is important and also it causes you to research a bit more to see what the people want and how to deliver it.
Simon Cowell is a great mentor and made me understand that it’s not just about the music but it’s about how you package yourself and sell yourself to the general public, it made me investigate a lot more about my appeal and just cater to what works for me as it will come natural to deliver. It also taught me that the person I can be is myself. It is a lot more effort to be someone else. So I can only be GoldKay.
What’s your biggest moment in music so far and why?
Performing in Ghana in front of over a thousand home audience at Mr Eazi’s Detty Rave at La Palm Beach Hotel in Accra. I say this is my biggest moment irrespective of TV, etc, because it was in Ghana and in front of my own people.
The number of people and the love I was shown was enough to give me media coverage. I love my Ghana fans.
What are your pains and gains of life as a musician?
The pains, I would say, is the support you get – in the beginning if nobody knows who you are, it’s difficult to execute. Building a profile is a long winding process. It takes a lot of time to get your craft to where you want to do – but then there’s also the offstage side of things involving perception, etc. However, all of these once worked out and exercised turns in gains as its character building for when I blow.
Why music and not any other profession?
Music is my passion although I have finance qualifications up to the master’s level. I believe that turning your passion into your profession makes it easier to work and you enjoy it more because that’s where your heart is.
What else do you do aside music?
I am a gym fanatic. When I am not on stage or in the studio, I find myself in the gym. I also song-write and compose music.
What are some of your songs and what impact do you expect to have on those who listen to your work?
The songs that I have released myself are ‘Celebrate’, ‘Fire’ and ‘Give It To Dem’. The expectation I have regarding impact to the fans is to feel my vibe and be inspired. So far, all I have released is to encourage women and for them to realise that I do value them as women and they are worth so much more than some of them think.
What’s up in Ghana? Any project here?
Myself, team Gbevu Music Group (GMG) is planning to do ‘A Night with GoldKay’ in Ghana to let the Ghanaian people get to know me better and on a personal level. I do believe that a personal touch with your fans is very important.
Why did it take you a long time to come to Ghana?
I have been coming to Ghana every year since 2011 but it was never about music then. When I became a soloist, it only made sense to embrace my culture more and I believe that there’s no better place to learn more than to go home (Ghana).
Any favourite artiste you want to work with in Ghana?
Shatta Wale. I believe he understands the industry and really knows what Ghanaians want.
How is it like pushing your career out there in the UK?
It has been an interesting ride. I am enjoying the journey and excited about the fact that it is picking up progressively and people are seeing that activeness and have remained engaged since. I am booked in one capacity or another due to being an active artiste in the UK.
Which part of Ghana are you from and schools attended?
I am Nana Kay Agyekum. My parents are from Kumasi (Kumawu, Bodmasi and Effiduasi) but I was born in Dzorwulu, Accra. I had my primary, secondary, college and university education in London and my masters in New York, USA.
Gym, singing, socialising, entertaining and, watching and playing football.