Toronto-based artist and songwriter Ekelle has hit the mark again, releasing a genre-blending track that leaves listeners feeling powerful, energized, and ready to take on the world.
Ekelle has made a name for herself over the years by performing at many large events including Afrofest, GTA Pride, Nuit Blanche, and Durham Caribbean Festival. She is also consistently releasing music that does not conform to rigid categories set within the music industry. By mixing and matching multiple genres within each release, she is able to craft a new experience for her listeners every single time. Ekelle has also coined the term ‘Hood Pop’ to represent her sound, describing it as, “Popular music with a street edge. Hood Pop combines elements of hip hop, pop, and R&B.”
This time around, Ekelle brings audiences an upbeat, pump-up anthem with “Ripe and Sweet,” focused on not letting the negativity of others diminish one’s spark. The songwriter consistently pulls from real-life experiences, keeping things fresh and relatable for her listeners, and “Ripe and Sweet” is no different. An infectious beat pulls the track along while leaving the perfect amount of room for Ekelle’s honest lyrics to tell us exactly who she is, and to be 100% unapologetic about it. Infused with messages of self-empowerment which are echoed in an extremely catchy hook, Ekelle demonstrates her care-free attitude towards any haters, guiding listeners to do the same. She recites, “Ripe and sweet they want to hate on me, cause I'm a somebody nobody can romp with we.”
We look forward to singing along to more tracks from Ekelle in the new year with her upcoming album, 'Let’s Get It.'
“Ripe and Sweet” feels like the perfect pump-up anthem to finish off the year with. What is the main message you’d like your listeners to take away from the track?
Thanks so much! ‘Ripe And Sweet’ is all about embracing your self-confidence no matter what. You know what they say, if you have haters you’re doing something right, haha! But on a serious note sometimes people can make assumptions about you and try to bring you down when you’re experiencing success. Instead of letting the gossip get to you, try and see it as a compliment, people are obviously taking notice of what you’re doing and that’s a sign to keep on killing it.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of writing “Ripe and Sweet,” and what the main inspiration behind your lyrics was?
I wanted to make something that people can dance to and relate to as well. I love that bad bitch energy has become such a thing. I love seeing female artists making music that’s uplifting but very much framed by today’s girl boss culture. I really wanted to give the listeners anthemic lyrics that would hype them up but also highlight all the ways in which they slay. It’s a hype track for the listeners just as much as it is for me, it’s important to acknowledge your hard work and how far you’ve come.
You’re known to have coined the term Hood Pop to describe your music. Can you tell us a bit more about Hood Pop and what it represents for you?
Of course! I grew up listening to a lot of different types of music. My mom did a great job of sharing all kinds of genres she loved with me, music played all over the house when I was a kid. Because of that I love so many different styles of music and didn’t want to box myself in by just doing one thing, that’s why I created Hood Pop. In making Hood Pop my genre I don’t limit myself. Hood Pop is a combination of hip hop, pop music, and R&B, it’s popular music with a street edge. It really just allows me to be me and create freely.
Reflecting on this past year, what has been your biggest takeaway from 2021 in terms of personal growth for you?
I think it’s really important to set your own bar for yourself and raise it accordingly. 2020 devastated most of us and made us really think about who and what matters in our lives. 2021 was the year to put all of that into practice on your own journey. Social media and insecurity can make us feel like so many people are crushing it while we’re not, but we will most likely never know another person’s story. Don’t concentrate on what others are doing, focus on your strengths and the resources you have available to yourself. Make success happen for you on your own terms, never someone else’s. Your hard work will pay off if you’re willing to continuously learn and grow.
What's next for you, Ekelle?
Right now I’m focusing on putting the finishing touches on my upcoming album. I’ll be dropping one in early 2022 called ‘Let’s Get It’. It’s my first album and the longest project I’ve ever done. I’ve finished all the recordings and am now in the process of planning a video and some other fun content to support the release. Looking forward to getting it out in the world!