Walter Okyere-Donkor, better known by the stage name Erawalter, knew at a young age that music would inevitably change the trajectory of his life. The Ghana-based musician believed in the power of healing through song and remembers using it as a tool to foster change within himself and the people around him. So it was a no-brainer when he decided to make a career out of it. His passion for writing coupled with singing gave him the fortitude to do what he loves – and the rewards of his hard work and sacrifice as an up-and-coming artist in the hard-to-crack music industry are paying off. His debut solo single, It’s Only You, is steadily climbing up the lists on streaming platforms. In an exclusive interview, Bohten sat down with Erawalter to talk about the inspiration behind his work, his musical style and what to expect from the rising star who is sure to become a household name.
*The following has been edited for brevity and clarity.
1) Can you talk to us about what led you to want to pursue music as a career?
I always had a passion to write, sing and inform the world about the importance of love and friendship. As I see the world around me there seems to be a new kind of people who are full of hate and I wanted to create music that would bring people together. There is a saying that music is food for the soul and if music is a peaceful way to feed the soul and send a message to help others then that is what I want to live for.
2) Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
I’m inspired by Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and especially Michael Jackson, whose music spoke about the world around us in such a realistic way. I credit the King of Pop for paving the way for me to want to get into music. Each of the people I named has found a unique way to bring old and new together to create a vibe. Listening to their music forces me to push myself harder and challenge myself when I am in the studio.
3) Talk to us about your sound? How is your sound sonically different from the rest?
My sound is sonically different because I blend African sounds with a classical vibe that transfers seamlessly into my indie-pop style. Coming from a music industry where they don’t recognize my kind of genre, I was met with a lot of backlash from family and friends who thought my journey to success would be difficult. They couldn’t see my sound translating well in Ghana and didn’t think my target audience would ever be able to hear my music, but after releasing my debut single the feedback has been genuinely positive. I credit it to my unique sound.
4) What have been some of the biggest challenges of being a musician? What about rewards?
I would say the biggest challenges were finding money and having the right connections. In the beginning, I was starting from scratch and had to finance everything myself. As an independent artist, studio time and promotion were limited and it was really expensive, but the reward has been the final product. My first single It’s Only You is finally available on all major streaming platforms.
5) Where do you see the state of music going in Ghana in the next 10 years?
The state of music in the next ten years looks exciting because of the variety of genres and this new blending of western sounds with our traditional sounds. New artists are doing their best to push music forward to create something that has never been heard before and some of our major artists out now like Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, and Sarkodie are definitely changing the game. As for me, I consider myself to be a pop singer and I’m looking forward to seeing a pop scene emerge out of Ghana in the near future.
6) What are some exciting things you have going on right now and what can we expect in the coming months?
Right now I have my second single called Hold Me Down about to be released in the coming weeks so stay tuned for that. Soon after, I will have a new song released every month between now and the end of 2021. I have an EP coming up called Emotional World, which I’m excited about. It will be available on all streaming platforms. I have a lot to share through my music and I am happy I get to share it with the world soon. I’m thankful to all my fans who have supported me throughout my journey. I have a lot more coming on the way.
Find Erawalter on all streaming platforms and follow all the latest from him here.
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