Ghanaian renowned musician and OAP, Okyeame Quophi has made a bold case for Ghanaian highlife and its enduring power and influence even in an era when new genres continue to pop up daily.
In a conversation on Showbiz University that delved into the essence of African music Okyeame Quophi asserts that Highlife forms the bedrock of Afrobeat, the genre that has gained global recognition in recent years.
According to the 1/2 of ersthwhile music duo, Akyeame, Ghanaian music has played a fundamental role in shaping Afrobeat and acknowledges the immense influence it has had on music across the continent.
“Ghana has always been the bane of music. We have so much and these musical timings have influenced music in West, East, North, Africa in general in so many ways including the brand new baby for Africans which is Afrobeat,” he shared “The foundation of Afrobeat is Ghanaian music.”
While other regions of the world may be known for specific genres, such as hip hop in America, reggae in Jamaica, or salsa in Mexico, Ghana’s musical identity is intricately intertwined with Highlife.
Drawing attention to the dominant genres in various African countries, Quophie highlighted that when one mentions Nigeria, the immediate response may be Juju music or Afrobeat. In South Africa, Kwaito and Amapiano take centre stage.
However, when it comes to Ghana, it is undeniably Highlife that resonates with the people. Quophie notes that Highlife maintains a strong presence on radio stations, with a significant percentage of airtime dedicated to its melodies.
“When I say Ghana, it is Highlife. Listen to your radio stations and calculate the time that everybody spends in the 24 hours,” he pointed out “Check the content on the radio. Check how many, okay, what percentage of it is highlife and what percentage is any other thing that plays.”
While he acknowledged the rise of Afrobeat and its international acclaim, Okyeame Quophi belives that Highlife remains an enduring force that captures the essence of Ghanaian music.
He further explained, “Highlife has even more influence than Afrobeat as it stands now. Afrobeat content is not enough to fill 24 hours for radio. They fall on past records. So is the old recurrent and current songs”
Showbiz University is a podcast, produced by MG Digital Media, a subsidiary of Media General which offers a fresh and insightful perspective on Ghana’s vibrant entertainment industry.
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