segment finds us at The Spot Studios
in Lakewood Colorado, where we sat down to interview Ghanaian-born musical artist Mawule
, whose first EP “Reflections,” dropped this year. He’s currently working on new songs and plans to release an album soon.
Raised in Colorado, Mawule melded influences from his African roots, church background (his father is a Presbyterian minister and mother sang in the church for as long as he can remember), with that of popular artists who intrigue him.
“I think my music is a mixture between R&B, hip hop and a little bit of general pop,” he imparted. “And I think a lot of that just stems from some of the artists I listen to like John Legend, Maxwell, Lupe fiasco, Alicia Keys, Melanie Fiona. So a lot of the artists I listen to, I try to like replicate what they do, I try to sound very similar but very distinct from their music.”
Having spent his early years in Ghana, Africa, and later Colorado, United States, Mawule is considered a Third Culture Kid or TCK – someone who lives their formative years outside their parents’ passport country. Ghana’s “Hip Life” genre of music is the country’s most popular, and, in addition to American Pop and Rhythm and Blues, sometimes affects the musical sound Mawule creates. These items help the young songwriter and producer shape his musical identity as he tries to branch out and make his own sound.
Just as strong an influence, however is his family’s religious background. Growing up, Mawule sang in church and considers it his foundation. “I think a lot of that just comes from being raised in the church all my life. My dad’s a Presbyterian Minister, my mom loves to sing in the choir, pretty much all her life – still does to this day, so just being raised in that setting, and being at church listening to gospel music. That’s where I think a lot of my roots came from and how I picked up a good ear for music, rhythm.”
Mawule, pronounced Mah Ooh Ley, is a name given by his father and means, “only god knows.”
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