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Entertainment of Wednesday, 27 March 2019


Your Highlife songs can’t cross borders – Gyedu-Blay Ambolley to young musicians

Gyedu Blay Ambolley Gyedu Blay Ambolley

Highlife music legend, Gyedu–Blay Ambolley has questioned the quality of highlife songs being churned out by the young musicians in Ghana describing them as songs that will not cross borders.

The veteran musician, who is believed to be the originator of rap in Ghana, in his assessment of the Ghanaian music industry described it, as having big problems among which is the computerized proliferation of the indigenous Highlife music.

In an interview on Kasapa Fm’s Entertainment Show with Kojo Preko Dankwa on Saturday, March 23, 2019, Ambolley without mincing words also described highlife from the young ones in recent times as the sampling of European sounds which cannot be exported beyond the borders of Ghana.

“Every country has its music. What these young ones are doing in terms of singing and speaking patois is that what we are calling highlife? There are certain instrumentations that accompany highlife music. This time, you don’t hear those instruments in their songs. When they do their recordings, there is no bass player; there is no drummer, because the technology has already programmed the instrumentations in their recordings. These young ones sample European sounds and call it highlife. These can’t cross borders. It can only be accepted by Ghanaians outside the country when it does cross borders but to cross borders and make income, obviously not what they are producing lately,” he said.

“A vivid example is the Casa Africa“Vis a Vis Ghana – Espana” project. You’ll notice that, the Spanish delegations were interested in those who play and perform with live bands. That is what I am talking about,” he stressed.

Born in the western region of Ghana, the singer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and the ‘Abrantie’ hitmaker, also expressed his disappointment in the leadership of the country.

He has observed how fast the nation is becoming lawless with corruption being the bane.

“Ghana now has become someway. It’s like everything has turned upside down and it’s not only music. The whole Ghana is turned upside down. The country looks like it has no leader and everyone does anything that they pleases him or her. Motorists cross red traffic lights with impudence. There is so much lawlessness and it’s not only that, it has affected everything because now, from top to down, everyone is corrupted. If it’s not because of corruption, many things will change because a corrupter can’t catch a corrupter. This has affected everything including music, our social life etc. We need to sit down as a people,” he admonished

The versatile musician Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, whose formal musical training came under the late Sammy Lartey and Ebo Taylor, is however not decisive on contesting for the Musicians Union of Ghana – MUSIGA President position as has been rumoured stating his age and other projects he is currently embarking on as reasons.