Eileen’s music is an eclectic mélange of World Beat, Ghanian and Canadian influences, a style she calls Roots Revival. Her inspirations include Sade, Des’ree, Erykah Badu, Sarah McLachlan, and Billie Holliday, along with Ghanaian highlife singers, Kojo Antwi, and Alhaji K. Frimpong.
The roots of her talent are deep – and feminine. When England’s Queen Victoria attempted to steal the royal Golden Stool of Ashanti, while the men dithered, a woman, the courageous Queen Mother Nana Yaa Asantewaa, resisted her. Born in Accra, Ghana, Eileen Quashie is a direct descendant of the Ashanti royal family. The courageous Asantewaa spirit is alive and well, responding to the struggles and pains of our own desperate times. Eileen discovered her passion for music as a toddler through Ghana’s talking drums, famous Ananse stories and folklore. The melodies of traditional work songs and ancient lullabies affected her so deeply that she remembers no time before music, or before storytelling. “My soul is music,” she says. Today, Eileen sings the music of her heart.
The passing of her youngest sister in 2001 and her father in 2006 galvanized Eileen’s determination to share her message through music. ”Amy was born in Canada and she also was a singer and a poet. My father was my connection to the heart and soul of Africa. With their ascensions, I became more fearless, more determined, and more compassionate. Creating my own music and poetry is my way of healing from those heart-wrenching experiences. I never had the opportunity to work with my sister while she was alive but singing her songs, I feel as though I now work with her and my Dad in spirit.”