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Pan-African rising star, Dede Speaks takes us on a journey of feelings that explores identity

By Ekow Barnes

Dede Speaks born Edna Odae is a Ghanaian female recording artist, musician, and poet with firm roots in spoken words and poetry, Dede’s sound is marked out as a peculiar blend of afrobeats, hip-hop, and blues marinated with her soul touching poetic lyrics.

Growing up under the influence of her Ghanaian heritage and upbringing in the United States, she found an early interest in music around the tender age of 13. She recounts her musical journey starting within the church as a singer in the children's choir till it developed into a strong desire to pursue music as an artist.

Dede over the years has dabbled in creative writing and poetry which accounts for the unique poetic feel dominant in her music. She has opened for artists such as Kojo Antwi, Amakeye Dede and has also accumulated writing credits contributing to tracks such as Fire released by DJ Akuaa in 2018.

Image by FiF Wilson

Dede throughout her works brings an extraordinary and outré blend of cultures and stories to the world of music. She defines her sound as inspiration from the diaspora mixed with diverse influences and labels it as a genre of Afro-fusion.

“I draw from hip hop influences to West African culture to create something that would make people feel.” she narrates.

With her first EP entitled “Tribal Marks,” launched in November of 2020, Dede takes her audience on a journey of feelings that explores the theme of identity. A person's tribe speaks to their culture, morals, and values. Amongst tribes, especially on the African continent, tribal markings are used as a sign of identification as well as a symbol of belongingness. And just as the Tribal Marks are used to identify members of a particular tribe or culture, this EP symbolizes her journey towards identifying her sound and style as an artist.

Image: Supplied

“I drew on my experiences with my tribe and the people closest to me to create an EP that sheds light on who I am, what I want, how I feel at this moment, and who I am becoming.” She shares her new composition of stories and sounds aimed towards discussing her current journey.

The Tribal Marks EP explores topics such as identity, insecurity, rejection and artistically captures the lived realities associated with these topics. With these very familiar topics that everyone struggles with brought to light through a unique fusion of afro and hip-hop sounds, the many people who listen to the EP have no choice but to quickly bond and relate with it, making Dede’s vision of making her audience feel a reality.

"The pandemic gave me time, initially I didn’t have time, but now I have time to make music. The next step for me is consistency, I want to be consistent with making music so I can develop a solid fan base. ‘’

The pandemic has given me time. The time I didn’t have at first. I now have time to create and become dedicated to my music. The next step for me is consistency. I want to put out music consistently and develop a solid fan base. I am still experimenting with various sounds and genres so expect different sounds from me this year.

For Dede Speaks, music is a form of self-expression and a tool to navigate all that she encounters in life.

Image: Supplied

For a lot of creatives, the craft starts as a personal experiment in discovering themselves. I can’t wait for you to hear Dede channel that self-acceptance into the rest of her music, familiarize yourself with Dede now.

WATCH: Dede Speaks - Billie jean ft Bryan The Mensah

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