My name is Ryan Ofei and I am a singer/songwriter from Ottawa, Ontario. I was raised by my amazing Ghanaian parents, and they ensured that we attended church multiple times every week.
This is where I fell in love with music. Music allowed me to enter into a vulnerable and transparent place. I’ve been singing in church since I was 6 years old and I share my journey of life and faith through my new EP – Celebrate.
Coming off a live recording in Accra, I began working with my team on a studio project. We started with a writing camp in Ottawa. A couple of my friends came together for a weekend and the last song we wrote was dubbed “Celebrate.”
It was actually called “Joy” at the time but the title changed as the song evolved. From Ottawa we went to Toronto and held a production camp with Jordon Manswell, Clayton Connell, Kevin Kofo, Jamal Europe, Bryan Allen, and Aaron Manswell.
The songs came together relatively quickly over the span of 3 days. I knew we had struck gold when the first song we produced worked perfectly with the last song I’d written just a few weeks earlier, “Celebrate.”
The thing I’ve grown to love and understand about collaboration is that it takes creativity to a place beyond your imagination. Our small ideas and thoughts can become a masterpiece when we bring them together. A couple months later, I was in London hosting a listening party for my live EP.
I had a feeling that one more song was needed to complete the studio EP. I asked a couple friends to come to Platoon Studios to work on an afrobeats track. Limoblaze, Becca Folkes, Happi, Niiella & Gaetan pulled up.
We honestly had a blast creating and connecting for a couple hours. By the end of that session, we had the single “Daily”. Heading into summer, I knew this was the right vibe and the perfect addition to the project.
The entire EP paints the image of God as a father. Although He is often known as the big man upstairs, I depict Him as someone close, near, and caring. The song “Abba” was inspired by my dad giving me a haircut the day before I started the 5th grade.
His talents left me bald and embarrassed. I cried for what felt like 24 hours. Looking back on it, I realize that my perspective was actually wrong. He was new to Canada just like me and was trying to do the best He could. Years later, we can both laugh about it.
The story behind “Celebrate” takes place on my 18th birthday. I was on my way back from a party in Montreal with my four closest friends. We almost died in a car accident on the winter roads driving against a sliding 18-wheeler truck. That was a pivotal moment for me, because I had strayed away from who I was and who my parents had raised me to be. It hit me.
What if that was the last day of my life? How would I be remembered and what would I have done? I made two decisions that changed my life forever. The first was to pursue music as a career and the second was to dedicate my life in service and honor to God.
The Celebrate EP embodies freedom, identity, hope, and acceptance. I walked through these thoughts and stages in the creation of the music. I take a different musical approach to share the message of faith. This EP is fun, introspective, honest, and cohesive.
Listen to my new EP Celebrate below and stream it everywhere else here.