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#AtHome with PAUSE: Yaw Tog

Interview by: Gracey Mae // @_graceymae

 

Hi, Yaw Tog. Welcome to Pause Magazine. How are you?

I’m doing good. I am good.

You are literally the poster child of Asaaka and Kumerica Congratulations on all your recent success.. Sore, your debut single has been an international hit. It was the first Ghanaian Drill video to pass 1 million views on YouTube. When you see numbers like that, how does it make you feel?

It was a different vibe! Of course, this has never happened to me in my career before and when I saw it, I was very, very happy. I just hope everybody keeps supporting the movement – you feel me?

The Sore Remix dropped a couple of weeks back with Stormzy and Kwesi Arthur. How did you link up with those two superstars?

As for Stormzy, I woke up to my management telling me that Stormzy wants to jump on my song – you feel me? Kwesi Arthur’s part was my management, they hooked us up and Kwesi came and did his thing! Do you know the reason why all these things are happening? it really is my time right now and God is really doing things for me.

Halleluyah somebody! Now, let’s talk about your Instagram stories. I was doing a little bit of stalking today and I saw that you were tagged EMPIRE and EMPIRE Africa. Have you been picked up for a deal?

Yes. EMPIRE is my family. We’re in a partnership right now and they are fully involved in everything. I do everything with them.

Over the last couple of weeks, you’ve been featured on major platforms like the BBC, Ebro in the Morning and Apple Music. Where do you see yourself this time next year?

At the pinnacle! You feel me? Cos all these things that are happening, they have introduced me to what is next…It’s like introducing me to the next level. I see my career going from 1 to 5.

We’ve been speaking about the present, we just touched on the future but let’s wheel it up. Let’s go back to the very beginning. You were born Thorsten Owusu Gyimah.

Yeeeah. Wow! How…how did you know my real name?

[laughs] I can’t reveal my sources, bro. I can’t reveal my sources but tell me about the name Yaw Tog. Yaw means born on Thursday but where does Tog come from?

Yeah. Okay. Let me tell you. It’s a very, very simple thing. You just mentioned my name Thorsten Owusu Gyimah, right? So, Thorsten starts from T. Owusu starts from O, and Gyimah starts from G. So you know the vibe? That’s it. And Yaw means being born on a Thursday.

Got it! And were you actually born on a Thursday or where do we get the Yaw from?

Yeah, I was born on Thursday.

So you were born on a Thursday, born and raised in Santasi, Kumasi. What was your childhood like?

Oh, let me say, I grew up in a cool society, it was pretty normal living and stuff, and a little stubbornness too.

So you were a stubborn kid?

Not that much ha – it was like 30% stubborn.

I say when you were a kid but you’re still pretty young. You’re 17 right?

I’m young, very young.

You’re currently balancing studying and music. I was really surprised when I realised that you’re reading geography, accounting, and…

Geography, Economics, Government and CRS.

And CRS! What’s it like being in class a famous star?

Okay, it’s kind of stressful but my management has taken 80% of the job off my hands. I just do my recording then leave whatever and then go back to school, you feel me? So I’m not under too much pressure right now, maybe after school, the pressure will really be on.

You first picked up the microphone in 2018. Since Asaaka is only a year old, what were you doing back then?

2018 I was just rapping. It was doing Hip Hop, Afrobeats, using people’s beats. Then, later on, Asaaka came into the picture and we did everything together.

I love that you touched on Afrobeats because we hear a little bit of you on some Afrobeats on your brand new 7-track EP, Time. On here, you’ve given us a little bit of high life and drill. My favourite track on the project is Mood…

Thanks a lot, thanks a lot!

So why is the project called TIME?

The reason why I called it “TIME’ was it’s my time right now. It’s my time and it will be my time forever, you feel me? I’m just exposing the new me to the people. People think I rap only so I just wanted to let them know that I sing too! Yaw Tog is not just a rapper. He’s a singer too.

You can do everything. When I went onto your Spotify, your fanbase are absolutely mad! 518,000 monthly listeners. Your biggest fan base is in London. Which artists are you feeling from the UK right now?

OFB and Unknown T.

You represent the Ghana drill scene. What does Asaaka and Kumerica mean to you?

I don’t know how to put it, they mean a lot to me. It’s like gold that I need to protect. It’s something I want to protect forever. So it means a lot to me – it really really means a lot to me.

Your music is a mix of Twi, Pidgin and English. Do you plan to keep to that formula moving forward?

Well of course. We keeping it 100 and spreading love.

Now the project TIME is out. What’s the one thing you want your listeners to go away with?

I have introduced them to a new me, they should hopefully support me and what is on the tape and see how Yaw Tog rolls. It’s a new Yaw Tog giving it to the people!