Written by: Nana Kojo Mula

Spark interviews Safo Newman
Spark interviews Safo Newman

2024 took off on a very fast and surprising note. In previous years, the year often started slowly with people hangover from the numerous parties they attended throughout the December period. Every institution goes on what many describe as “recovery” Just like these institutions, the music industry which was the bedrock of the December festivties often goes through this “recovery mode’ too. Hence, the lack of a chunk of new music in the early days. This is most likely also attributed to the overflow of music from December which takes a few months into the new year to phase out. 

However, things took a turn in the early days of January 2024 when we woke up one day to a video of a relatively new artiste trending across social media platform X (Twitter). The video was a song from Ghanaian artist Safo Newman who had been putting out music and covers for a few years now.  The video quickly became a hot topic with varied opinions about what the song was about and the imagery in the video. However, the song got a bigger push when Sarkodie posted not the song but the video as well reacting to the song as well. The song would garner a huge reception and eventually shoot up Safo’s reach. With barely a month under his newfound fame, Safo has been the topic of discussion for various reasons among entertainment enthusiasts on social media, traditional media, and industry.

In a conversation with Spark Magazine, Safo opens up about his life, career, and future aspirations. 

Spark: Hello Safo, It is great to have you here for this conversation. For those who do not know you, who is Safo Newman?

SN: A Ghanaian-bred musician whose focus is on singing about love and motivation as a means of contributing meaningfully to the universe.

Spark: Has music always been a part of your life? What has your relationship with music been like throughout your life? Which people did you grow up listening to how did their music shape you as a person and the music you make?

SN: I wasn’t actively listening to music growing up. However, I was exposed to baroque music during my tertiary education which I believe greatly influenced the way I compose pieces.

Spark: So you have gone to school, graduated, you probably divided into the cooperate world for a while. But at what point in time did you decide to give music your full attention?

SN: After my national service, I took music seriously and started writing every day.

Spark: January 2024, we wake up one day and your video is everywhere. One of the people I know who has been pushing your music is Yaw BOADU-Ayeboafoh (NYB)’. Where were you when you first heard that your music was trending and how did you feel about it? 

SN: I was at the studio cooking another meal. I felt like one of the weights on my way to making myself useful with my talent has been rolled over to the side. And oh, NYB is kind and hardworking. 

Spark:  Two people have given you a great deal of mileage. One is Sarkodie and the other is Code Micky. How instrumental do you think these two people have been in getting your name out there? 

SN: Very instrumental. Landlord & Code Micky,  turned the volume very high for the piece to reach a lot of people who can relate but didn’t have access to it. A million blessings to them.

Spark: Let us talk about your song Akokoa. From the creator’s mouth, what is the story behind the song and how easy or difficult was it making the song?

SN: Simply put, Akokoa is about a child who is being maltreated by the one he/she has moved to stay with. It’s a commonplace phenomenon so the picture was already clear. However, putting it into a beautiful write-up required extra brainpower.

Spark: While listening to your songs, I realized you have been making music for a while now. What were you doing then and what do you think you did differently with Akokoa that got you where you are right now?

SN: I’ve been doing the same thing, to be honest. Just that you become better and better while doing it till everybody appreciates your work.

Spark: One thing I found interesting about you is your beat selection. How do you select which production to jump on? What is your creative process like? 

SN: It’s about finding a producer who makes an effort to understand what you do over time and can create beats that suit your style. This trait is natural to the beatmaker of Akokoa: Smoothbeatz Gh.

Spark: Your videos and music have gotten mixed reviews. Some people genuinely love what they hear and some feel it is all hype. What do you have to tell people who doubt your talent and what you have to offer?

SN: You can’t please all ears. I will only encourage people to listen to everything I have released, not what is currently popular. It is highly possible, they will get some melodies or lyrics they will find interesting.

Spark: Being the first breakout artist for 2024 and getting all this attention, do you feel any sense of pressure? Because with all this praise and attention comes heavy expectations. 

SN: You will lose yourself if you aim to appeal to the expectations of the masses. I believe in taking time to naturally evolve. I wouldn’t have released Akokoa to be featured in this prestigious magazine had I given in to pressure and expectations.

Spark: What do you have to tell people who are reading this, people who have been supporting you, and those who are expectant of you? 

SN: It’s all about healing the world through music. You will not regret it if you choose to be part of this journey. Thanks for reading, thanks for supporting, thanks for expecting

Listen to Safo Newman’s viral song Akokoa on Spotify

About the Writer

Nana Kojo Mula is a Creative Art Enthusiast who loves to document Ghanaian Creative stories through his writing. Follow him on Twitter @nanakojomula