Home / Pop of Culture  / Bridging Cultures Through Acoustic Harmony: Keyah

Bridging Cultures Through Acoustic Harmony: Keyah

Keyah has always been deeply connected to music. Influenced by the legendary sounds of Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade, Keyah’s musical journey began at a young age. Surprisingly, none of Keyah’s immediate family members shared their musical passion, leading many to believe it was just a passing phase.


Keyah’s journey into music began professionally in 2015. “Keyah means ‘in good health.’” The singer continued, “Which was a great suit as I was facing health challenges back to back after reality show I was a part of as a contestant.”


Initially, Keyah used YouTube to build confidence in front of the camera, but over the years, as she began to make music seriously, platforms like Spotify have become vital for sharing music preferences. Keyah identifies as a guitarist, even though she also plays the piano and drums. Letting us into her creative process, Keyah says “Most times it is the melody before the lyrics are put in place, these melodies might be accompanied by the guitar, without the guitar (me humming a melody from my creative mental strings), and sometimes I play around on my guitar until I get a chord progression I find fascinating enough to create on.” 


Her talents across various instruments seeps into her music making process. Lending her songs a personal edge. “Most times I co-produce my songs because I get to write the lyrics and compose the melodies from the scratch. The process for me has always been beautiful and fun regardless of having writer’s block. It could be triggered from books I read,tv programmes and personal experiences.” 


Idunnu is a folksy song about thankfulness for life. The guitar strums progressions dips into Nigerian roots and American country music. Crossing over a Beautiful Nubia with Lumineers. Idunnu song is mellow, and breezy. It oozes positivity on replays with Keyah’s rich vocal texture. It is a song that makes you happy to be alive.


Surrender on the hand takes a more conventional Afrobeats approach to its arrangement. Here there is Banku drop in the percussions with guitar rhythm and strums adding colour and depth to the music. Keyah’s soothing voice then provides icing to this cake as she sings about the wonders of new found love. Surrender is a contemporary blend between afrobeats and pop music and it exceptionally showcases Keyah’s warm soulful vocals.


“My type of music, acoustically oriented, is easier to communicate in the UK even if it tends to have Afrocentric vibes.” Keyah continues, “I am a songwriter that is quite versatile, I can write to suit any situation or circumstance, touching any genre or fusion of genres and this helps.”


Her last released song, “Bless My Hustle” is a tungba, afrobeats song with highlife-centric guitars, choral call and response chorus. Keyah is hopeful, and positive on this song as she sings heaps of prayers for herself and listeners. The song runs just a little above two minutes as amapiano log drums join the instrumental for the outro. “Bless My Hustle” is an easy-going, saturday afternoon party tune that adds variety to Keyah’s discography and the overall UK music scene.


Since she made the music to fully pursue music professionally, Keyah has faced many of the roadblocks that independent artists encounter on the road to stardom. Issues around how streaming has seemed to devalue music with Spotify paying fractions of a cent per music stream. Artistes have had to seek out a more community centered approach with their fans.


Keyah acknowledges these hurdles and focuses on the silver lining in how social media has seemed to level the playing field as well. “I find that quite social and interesting how we let others know our emotional state without saying much, some individuals might pick on this and be able to relate, using this as a form of therapy for themselves.” Keyah said.


In live performances, Keyah aims to evoke the same satisfaction one feels after a meaningful therapy session or spending time with a close friend. Keyah wants to be known as a songwriter whose essence enhances any project, transcending the boundaries of genre and expectation.



Read more reviews and pieces about culture and art on The Blotted. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @onetinyblot



Oyedele is passionate about culture and arts. Engage on instagram and twitter, @omoalokan

  • Ladjah May 25, 2024

    Keyah songs are very refreshing, I have been following her since the reality show she contested in. She’s a breath of fresh air.