In Conversation With Karen Nyame KG

“I’d still be married to the art even if no one was watching,” announces Karen Nyame KG, British-Ghaninan artist, as she celebrates her resilience and ability to pivot seamlessly in the current climate of the music industry. Nicknamed “the Goddess Of Rhythm,” Karen Nyame KG appears at the forefront of African polyrhythms fused with the evolving sound of South London’s club music scene.

Dropping her new 3-track EP ‘Red,‘ Karen Nyame KG confirms her immaculate handling of sensual yet up-tempo soundscapes. Referring to the project as ‘the ultimate nighttime soundtrack,’ ‘Red’ is bold, unique, and colored outside lines.

Practising what she preaches, Karen Nyame KG applies the golden rule of ‘merging worlds’ with artists she works with on her own record label ‘Rhythm In The City,’ which acts as building blocks of showcasing the full spectrum of the Afro-Electronic music scene.

For Noctis readers, Karen Nyame KG unpacks the archaic system and the still lacking representation of margnialised groups in the music industry’s current state. Her commitment to uplift and inspire other creatives lies within her leading by example. Karen Nyame KG’s discography is rich in emotion, raw talent, and musical brilliance.

To start us off, would you be happy to share some of your current favourite songs?

Currently in my rotation; Cleo Sol – ‘Self’, Victoria Monet’s – ‘Alright’, Jada Kingdom – ‘Long Term’, Masego – ‘Say You Want Me’, Ragz Originale – ‘pay ur bills’ – couple recent and old favourites here

Congratulations on the release of your new 3-track EP ‘Red.’ What inspired the overall seductive mood of the project?

Thank you so much! While conceptualising ideas for the EP, one of my many aims was to make this body of work the ultimate ‘nighttime’ soundtrack. If my late-night thoughts/diary entries were turned into songs, this is what they would sound like. Something raw and sensual enough for people to immerse themselves in, but uptempo enough to move to.

Is there a significance behind the colour Red that resonated with you?

Red is such a bold passionate colour, it’s alluring, dangerous – I thought this would be a strong enough colour to define, yet compliment the full energy of the project.

How would you describe the sound of ‘Red’ in your words?

Sonically Red is its own universe lol, ‘P.L.L’ and ‘Nightryde’ I would describe to be rhythmically abrasive, and seductive – there’s intensity! ‘Wet’ is a little more sweet and softer on the ears.

You also launched your own label label ‘Rhythm In The City,’ could you name an artist /artists you recently discovered and you might want to sign in the future?

I have a few talented folks on my radar, ones that I want to coin that Rhythm In The City signature for. Watch this space 🙂

What would be the advice/coaching you offer via your label if you decide to sign other artists in the future?

We don’t do boxes over here! The label is the genre. Rhythm In The City is all about showcasing the full spectrum of Afro-Electronic music, we merge worlds. Expect to hear remnants of R&B, Alté, Afrobeat, Club, House, Gqom and Amapiano in the catalogue. I want to work with multi-dimensional artists who aren’t afraid of colouring outside of the lines musically.

You’ve been on the scene for over a decade. Could you make some comparisons of the state of the music industry when you started versus now?

Can’t deny the fact that the music industry will continue to operate within a very archaic system that still won’t favour marginalized groups, however, I can say that there are more progressive / community-focused platforms and/or movements now than ever, that are beginning to challenge that. I feel that I have even more resources and information at my fingertips than I did when I attempted to enter the music industry years ago.

Reflecting back at the artist you were when you began your journey, what are you the most proud of?

Truthfully I’ve surprised myself, I am a cat with 9 lives – proud of my resilience, my staying power, my ability to pivot seamlessly – this industry isn’t for the faint of heart and can be incredibly exhausting at times. I’d still be married to the art even if no one was watching – I admire my unwavering passion.

How was your sold-out debut headline club show at Peckham Audio?

It was electric, just as I intended! I can’t wait to develop my one-woman show and take that on the road!

Could you share anything that you have planned for next year?

Publishing/producing for other artists as well myself, really forefronting my signature sound and building catalogue. More label and brand development for Rhythm In The City, cross-collective collaborations etc expanding territorially is one of my many aims. On the DJ front, as mentioned above I will be working on building my headline show and increasing demand for that across the board, planning more KG-curated line-ups also. Another goal is to re-establish my position as a broadcaster/tastemaker in the radio realm – my voice needs to be heard in all facets 🙂

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Photographer: Condry Calvin Mlilo

Words: Karolina kramplova