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Entertainment of Saturday, 25 September 2021


’Know the nitty-gritty of music’ - Gyedu-Blay Ambolley tasks musicians

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley Gyedu-Blay Ambolley

“You need to know the nitty gritty of music,’’ these are the words of legendary Ghanaian Highlife musician, songwriter, producer and composer, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley.

He has been at the heart of music since the 70’s and said he has been advising the up-and-coming artists who do music to realize that knowing the rudiments of the art and craft of musician is very important to the longevity of their musical careers.

“Music is a serious language, it must be taken seriously, you need to understand’’, he pointed out.

Ambolley stated that seeking knowledge in music should be key and critical to the craft. He made the point during, “Time with Ambolley’’, on the GTV Breakfast Show on September 24 ,2021.

He was grateful to Ghana’s First President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah whom he said gave him a scholarship to go and study music in the United States of America.

“Osagyefo was everything, when it came to leadership, he showed us the way, everything we have, scholarship, education, etc’’, the legendary musician expressed.

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley is the first musician from Ghana and the world to formally incorporate rap forms into local highlife rhythms, in-fact he created the musical genre Simigwa.

He believes in the totality that Ghana must hold only to its signature Highlife.

Ambolley who would be featuring as part of artists lined up for the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GBC’s ‘’Highlife is Alive Program’’, said Ghana’s Highlife Genre is a heritage that culturally, must be handed down, simply it is a tradition that, “must continue’’, he said.

“Every Country has its own music, ours is Highlife, and we need to uphold it’’, Ambolley emphasized.

The man who has credit for incorporating Rap into Highlife was asked about his views on young Ghanaian musicians, and he said, he sees them as his branches.

‘’I see them as branches of me, I am the tree, they are branches’’, according to Ambolley.

He definitely wants the up-and-coming musicians to make sure Ghana’s Highlife remains forever, besides they must also seek more knowledge of it.

“I admire the young guys, but they need to be informed’’, Ambolley noted.

History has it that Gyedu-Blay Ambolley was rather unknown outside of West Africa until Soundway Records included his seminal Simigwa-Do which Ambolley released in 1973, on their first anthology, Ghana Soundz.

Among the Ambolley song that would get you dancing are; Frafranta · Simigwa · Adwoa · Cut Your Coat · Cause I Love You · Walking Down the Street · Highlife.

Besides, having received many awards and recognition in Ghana, in June of 2015 Gyedu-Blay Ambolley received a citation in the USA from the City Council of Philadelphia, which was read by Council woman; Honourable Jannie Blackwell and Hon. Stanley J. Staughter in recognition of his contributions to Ghanaian music in the USA.