Rufftown Records artiste, Wendy Shay says late Ghanaian artiste, Ebony is one of the “biggest inspiration” behind her decision to pursue a music career in Ghana.
The former is often at the receiving end of stinging criticism by industry watchers for what they call her penchant for copying the craft of the 2018 Ghana Music Awards ‘Artiste of the Year’ winner.
“To be honest, I always wanted to do music but then I would say the love to do Afrobeat music in Ghana, I would say that one of the biggest inspiration was Ebony. That was the reason I wanted to work with Bullet,” explained Shay to Antoine Mensah on Drive time show, Route919 on Live 91.9 FM Monday.
“Whenever I came to Ghana, I wanted to make sure that I would inform myself more about Afrobeat so when i came to Ghana in 2017, my uncle produces ‘Bliss On the Hills’ in Kwahu so i was one of the people taking care of the artistes. I was actually mainly there because of Ebony, and actually Shatta Wale because I wanted to see them and that was when I first met Bullet.”
Shay also spoke about her album ‘Shay on You,’ collaborating with Shatta Wale on ‘Stevie Wonder’ and a lot more.
Born Priscilla Opoku Kwarteng, the self-acclaimed original 90s bag girl lived a colourful life – stoking controversy with her actions.
Her dressing and stage performances especially was a sore point for critics, and some watchers of the music industry in Ghana.
In July 2017, Nana Poku Kwarteng, Ebony’s father was forced to defend her daughter in an interview with Graphic Showbiz newspaper.
“I am supportive of anything my daughter does and anything she wears. I am not ashamed as a father, the truth is that, I choose what she wears and I bless her before she goes out to perform. Some Ghanaians are hypocrites and I am sorry but I am not one of them,” explained Mr. Kwarteng.
“I am not bothered at all. The reason is simple, I know my daughter than anyone else. What people see out there is what we want them to see and that is because she is an artiste and needs a brand that will sell. For God’s sake, she is a Dancehall artiste and she wears what will make her feel confident when performing on stage. Something that will depict the genre of music and songs she churns outs.”
He shared his thoughts on the the perception that his daughter is “bad” girl.
“My daughter is not a bad girl, she is very calm, loving and a respectful person. Whatever she does on stage ends there. She is a different person when she gets home.”
He also spoke about the relationship between himself and his “girl as I usually call her is close to my heart.”
“We are so close that I gave her the go ahead when she told me she wanted to do music. Initially I questioned her decision because, she is a very intelligent girl and was doing extremely well in school and every parent will want his or her child to get to the top of the highest academic ladder. But she insisted music was what she wanted to do. Music is where her heart is and I gave her my blessings. I couldn’t have stopped her because these children are smart.”
Her song ‘Kupe’ helped her gain mainstream attention in the Ghanaian music industry.
She made history as the first female and first artiste to posthumously win the ultimate – ‘Artiste of the Year’ at the 2018 edition of Ghana Music Awards.
Ebony was signed to Rufftown Records.
On February 8, 2018, a vehicle Ebony was travelling in had a head-on collision with a VIP bus on the Kumasi-Sunyani road on her way back to Accra from Sunyani where she visited her mother.
She was pronounced dead at the Bechem Government Hospital on the same day.
Her funeral service was held at the forecourt of the State House, followed by a burial service at the Osu cemetery on Saturday, March 24, 2018.