Mawule – The Man Behind The Name
Editor: Tony Ho
Each of us is given a name at birth. When parents or family members bestow a name upon a baby, they welcome the child into the world with many hopes and aspirations. My birth name, Ebenezer, means “Rock of Hope” and it is a name that I have embraced as a source of inspiration and continues to give deeper meaning to my life.
When I was a child, a village oracle told my mom (Rejoice) a prophecy that her child would “do something great for this world”. I don’t quite remember the age when Mama Rejoice shared this prophecy with me, but I do remember smiling and just saying, “wow”. I guess none of this was registering with me at the time but a later conversation changed my outlook regarding my life. Mama Rejoice shared that my family had nearly nothing when I was born, and that she almost lost her life as she gave birth to me. She mentioned that life with me was a struggle, but their faith in God and continued support from our family members helped my parents persevere. Although this story was emotionally difficult for me to hear, it strengthened my bond with my parents, and has helped me simplify the complexities of life, while appreciating its beauty.
As a 10-year-old, I was very contemplative, and often thought about the prophecy and my purpose in life. The one thing that helped me overcome various life obstacles was my conviction that I was chosen for greatness.
My upbringing in Ghana would especially play a significant role after I immigrated to the United States. I found myself in a foreign culture where I struggled to assimilate to American values of individualism and the American Dream’s emphasis on materialism. As a Third Culture Kid (TCK), I saw the world through a different set of lenses, which often made it difficult for me to connect with my American peers. However, it helped inform and affirm many decisions that would later help shape my identity into the person I am today.
With this transition, I spent a lot of time at home, taking care of my siblings since both of my parents were dual-income earners. At this point, I turned to music as an outlet for explaining my life story. Lyrical compositions were my first step to developing my musical talent. At the age of thirteen, I wrote songs about love, life, relationships, happiness, feeling wanted, and many other topics. All the songs I wrote were based on my experiences as a thirteen-year-old.
I lacked confidence in my voice so I never saw the potential for a career in music, but I knew I loved to sing and compose lyrics. Eventually, I got to a point where I was finally comfortable sharing my music with other people. I turned my attention to writing and singing about things I wanted to change in this world. I wrote songs about ending poverty, crafted messages to heal people who experienced hurt in relationships, as well as lyrics that empower people to find and recognize the beauty of life within its challenges. When I started this journey 11 years ago, I never imagined that so much self-fulfillment could come from writing and performing music. I soon came to see music as my calling and something I was chosen to do.
Thus, I reached out to my father, who is one of the wisest individuals I know. After a conversation with my dad about my quest for connecting my identity and Ghanaian culture, my dad presented a few names to me. Of those many names, Mawule, which means “Only God Knows” in the Ewe dialect of Ghana, resonated with me. Although I have many ambitions and goals to achieve, only God knows the direction of my path. For this reason, I took on the name Mawule and fully embraced it.
I strongly believe that everyone is chosen for a great purpose and it is our life’s journey to create meaning throughout our existence. We each have to live intentionally and leave a positive footprint in other people’s lives while leaving a blueprint to help others achieve their aspirations.
I strive to create music that will be meaningful to my audience. Every song that I publish will have a deep and personal message, and my fans will have opportunities to create their own meaning based on how they relate to my lyrics.
As I prepare to publish my first album as a professional musician, I will share the essence of who I am and my philosophies on various topics. Chosen will be the name of my upcoming album because I want fans to reflect on the concept of existentialism, which stresses the individual’s unique position as a self-determining agent responsible for the authenticity of his or her choices.
The album, Chosen, will include the songs “Simple”, “Get Your Name”, “A Wish”, “Anything”, “It’s Not You”, “Fall For Me”, “Live Again”, and “Chosen”.
These songs will present messages of empowerment, inspiration, happiness, and will hopefully provide my fans with an enjoyable listening experience as they derive their own meaning and connection to each song.