|It all started when they won Nescafé best African revelation artist in 2004. Since then, they have picked up African revelation artist at the Kora awards and performed on the same stage with Shaggy, Missi Elliot and other global artists.
But like most vocal groups, there comes a time when parting ways becomes inevitable. The ‘Praye’ music trio has now shrunk to a duo, and ‘Praye Ho Ne ho’, otherwise known as, Eugene Baah revealed to me what he’d been up to since the group decided to observe a break in order to strategise and step up their game.
In an apologetic but confident tone, the choir master of the vocal group disclosed “every group has a vision, and apart from the fact that individuals make up the group, the group together has one vision of positively influencing people.
If at the end of the day one member of the group has a vision that is outside the original vision, then that member has to be given the opportunity to pursue the individual vision so the rest of the members can pursue the original vision. That’s what happened to us.
I wish to apologize to our fans, and to tell them that this will not change anything because majority of the members of ‘Praye’ still exist. There has only been a slight change because we used to be three and now we’re two, but in terms of our production, our delivery and performances nothing is going to change. We’re giving the same performance and the same good songs. I think the songs are now more cleaned up as compared to the Old Testament albums”.
Eugene Baah (‘Praye Ho Ne ho’), who’s married to actress Beverly Afaglo, said his fatherly role had caught up with him during the short break. One can only hope that Beverly relished this period of paternity leave as her husband, who’s choir master of the ‘Praye’ trio turned duo, has now donned his robe ready to conduct the new face of ‘Praye’.
Perhaps amused at the idea of choir master playing hubby and daddy, Eugene said in between giggles “I took a paternity leave
because my wife delivered a bouncing baby girl ending of last year. So I decided to take a leave to take care of her”. Explaining how it felt being a father and how exactly he helped his wife during his paternity leave, ‘Praye Ho Ne ho’ said “it’s been good…so far so good.
It makes you more responsible…before it was just me and my wife, but now we’re three and it makes you work harder because the population has increased. It feels good to see a photocopy of yourself smiling at you. I’m always happy when I see her smile at me. I do help when my wife is bathing her, and also do help in cooking at the kitchen. So I do quite a number of things to support as a
Explaining why ‘Praye’s leave was well deserved, he expressed that the exit of ‘Praye Tenten’ had made it necessary to retreat in order to strategise how they were going to serve the ‘Praye’ fan base even better.
“One of our guys exited so we took a leave to go re-structure ourselves and come back to actually serve our fans. They’ve always seen us to be three people and so with the exit of a member we really had to layback to re-structure in terms of writing our songs, performances and delivery to the fans. The group has been performing out of Accra and sometimes outside Ghana. We have been serving our fans who are outside the city, but now we’re back”, Eugene
When asked whether the exit of ‘Praye Tenten’ would affect the vocal group in any way, the choir master responded “Personally, I think not at all…it wouldn’t change ‘Praye’ in any way”. Eugene was confident that the new face of ‘Praye’ had a new sense of purpose “we’re looking
at a bigger ‘Praye’ in the picture. Like we always say, everybody wants to be ahead so we’re looking at a bigger picture in some years to come.
We started off by releasing some singles that the two members of ‘Praye’ had worked on. In 2012 we dropped the single ‘Kwatrikwa’ and that was just an introduction to the New Testament album. We’ve been in the industry for close to a decade now and we have to our credit about five albums. So all our fans have seen in the past is the Old Testament. We’re now presenting the New Testament. What we’re doing in the New Testament is highlighting the individual members of the new ‘Praye’…that is Choir Master (‘Praye Ho Ne ho’) and Big Jay (‘Praye Tiatia). So now you’re going to hear more of Choir Master
and Big Jay instead of ‘Praye’. The name ‘Praye’ still exists as the mother name, but we’re going to highlight the names of the members more”.
Eugene Baah (Choir Master) indicated that God had been good to the vocal group and that he was excited the year had started well for them. He said the group’s recent endorsement as ambassadors of Gotv was good news and that “it feels good…we always want to be linked to
the best so when Gotv called on our management for us to work with them, we also agreed to work with them. It feels good to be ambassadors of DStv Gotv, it’s big”. Talking about things to come this year, the Choir Master revealed that the duo would be releasing two singles in a couple of weeks.
He admitted the singles had rather controversial titles and lyrics. The music video for the singles, which is being directed by Abraham Ohene Djan (OM), was nearly complete, he said. At the mention of the production of these music videos, Choir Master (‘Praye Ho Ne ho’) paused and added “I think I would like to take this opportunity to wish Nana Ama McBrown a speedy recovery. She happens to be our partner in the Gotv ambassadorial duties, and featured in one of our videos which is coming out. So I would urge all our fans to watch out for these videos”.
Eugene Baah, who has a degree in filmmaking, said the vocal group sometimes make creative suggestions to the group’s music videos. “When we write the songs, we also have the picture in our minds so sometimes we script down the stories and how we want the stories to go in the
video. We do script them down and discuss with the director.
I don’t know about other artists, but for us as Praye we sometimes also co-direct our music videos”, he added. On what the future holds for the vocal group, he concluded that they would embark on several projects one of which is the Praye litter bin project.