Highlife is Ghana’s most important modern home grown dance-music that has its roots in traditional music infused with outside influences coming from Europe and the Americas. Although the word ‘highlife’ was not coined until the 1920s, its origins can be traced back to the regimental brass bands, elite-dance orchestras and maritime guitar and accordion groups of the late 19th and very early 20th centuries. Highlife is, therefore, one of Africa’s earliest popular music genres.
The book traces the origins of highlife music to the present – and include information on palmwine music, adaha brass bands, concert party guitar bands and dance bands, right up to off-shoots such as Afro-rock, Afrobeat, burger highlife, gospel highlife, hiphop highlife (i.e. hiplife) and contemporary highlife.
The book also includes chapters on the traditional background or roots of highlife, the entrance of women into the Ghanaian highlife profession and the biographies of numerous Ghanaian (and some Nigerian) highlife musicians, composers and producers. It also touches on the way highlife played a role in Ghana’s independence struggle and the country’s quest for a national – and indeed Pan-African – identity.
The book also provides information on music styles that are related to highlife, or can be treated as cousins of highlife, such as the maringa of Sierra Leone, the early guitar styles of Liberia, the juju music of Nigeria the makossa of the Cameroon/ It also touches on the popular music of Ghana’s Francophone neighbours.
There is also a section on the Black Diasporic input into highlife, through to the impact of African American and Caribbean popular music styles like calypsos, jazz, soul, reggae, disco, hiphop and rap and dancehall. that have been integrated into the highlife fold. Thus, highlife has not only influenced other African countries but is also an important cultural bridge uniting the peoples of Africa and its Diaspora.₵130.00₵130.00Quick View
God is Able track list:
- Lala Hee [New Song] ft. Isaac Boadu(Abi Small)
- Ma Jie Oyi [I’ll Praise you]
- God Is Able ft. Curtis Quarcoo, Luigi Maclean
- Franco Jam ft. Musell Mensah
- Glorious in Majesty ft. Esther Godwyll
- No Rock like Our God
- Ma Jie Oyi (Live)
- None Like You
- Lala Hee Instrumental
Tracks in this album:
3. Mensi den Intro Ft Charlotte Acquah
4. Mobo Wo Dzin Ft Uncle Ato
5. Ka Kyere Jesus
6. Yesu Nyame ba Ft Eugene Zuta / George Sekyi
7. Jesus M’agyenkwa Ft Esther Godwyll
8. Hymn Medley Ft Uncle Ato
9. Kristofo Ft Eugene Degadzor
10. The Name Jesus Ft Dulcie Yates / Felicia Crentsil
11. Jesus Jesus Ft David Crentsil / Charles Pettingle
12. Hosanna (Studio)₵10.00₵10.00Quick View
Tracks in this album:
- Malorwo (I’ll love you)
- Fix It (Featuring Calvis Hammond & Pastor Eliot Lamptey)
- Yesu Akpe
- Ensuro (Fear Not)
- Agbadza Gospel Medley
- Mawu ana
- Wodekako (Only You)
- Selah (The Lord’s Prayer)
- Ewe Hymn Medley
- Mawugbagbe/Halleluyah (Featuring Joe Mettle)
- Mawu Akpenawo (Featuring Eugene Zuta)
- Ava fia Kristo/Yehowa
- Ewe Praise Medley (Featuring Joe Mettle)
Ace writes music and plays several instruments but calls himself “just a sporadic songwriter and music hobbyist.” He is an Associate of the pioneering, contemporary gospel music group, Joyful Way Inc. and served as its Director of Music & Productions for several years, having a hand in every album produced by the group since 1991.
Flavours of 50: My Yadah is his first music album.₵20.00Quick View
Six Strings and a Note is a compelling and relevant portrait of the artistic life of Daniel Kwabena Boa Amponsah, known around the world by his stage name, Koo Nimo. Written with a curiosity, simplicity, and a keen memory for detail, the book takes us on a journey through Koo Nimo’s work as an artist, and also as a man with a deep affection for his culture.
From the quiet Ghanaian village where he grew up, to the popular concert halls, leading international universities and renowned institutions, Koo Nimo’s life is nearly a century of extraordinary subplots to a story of hope, determination, and a boundless love for guitar music.
Celebrated in his native Ghana for his infusion of traditional motifs into mainstream music, and his influence on the Addadam music styles and palm-wine guitar, Koo Nimo unveiled Asante culture to audiences all over the world.
A fine blend of a vivid recollection of a memoir and an authenticity woven into a biography to give the reader a richer encounter with Koo Nimo’s life lessons, challenges, and successes through his life and work.
A father, a poet, a folk musician, a teacher, and a philosopher, Koo Nimo would say, “I did not set out to become another [Andres] Segovia. All I have is my culture, my story and my song, and I have to do my best for the sake of a generation who will be listening and learning long after I am gone.”
A must-read for all international music enthusiasts.₵80.00Quick View
African churches have inherited a rich tradition of hymnody from the West, but for too long the musical heritage of Asia and even of Africa itself has been neglected. Ghana Praise is a first step towards correcting this situation.
It contains 144 tunes by Ghanaian composers: 4 songs from Northern Ghana and 28 spirituals from Ghana’s Pentecostal churches. For the first time, the wealth of music by present and past generations of Ghanaian musicians is available in print for all to use; the geographical and denominational barriers which have discouraged the spread of hymn tunes in the past are breaking down.
In addition, Ghana Praise brings you 19 tunes from the rest of Africa and 33 from other parts of the world.
Ghana Praise is accompanied by a words book, Asempa Hymns, which contains words to fit the new tunes, as well as a selection of the most well-known Western hymns.₵20.00Quick View
What was it about Bob Marley that made him so popular in a world dominated by rock’n’roll? How is that he has not only remained the single most successful reggae artist ever, but has also become a shining beacon of radicalism and peace to generation after generation of fans across the globe?
On May 11, 1981, a little after 11.30 in the morning, Bob Marley died. The man who introduced reggae to a worldwide audience, in his own lifetime he had already become a hero figure in the classic mythological sense. From immensely humble beginnings and with talent and religious belief his only weapons, the Jamaican recording artist applied himself with unstinting perseverance to spreading his prophetic musical message.
And he had achieved it: only a year earlier, Bob Marley and The Wailers’ tour of Europe had seen them perform to the largest audiences a musical act had up to that point experienced. Record sales of Marley’s albums before his death were spectacular; in the years since his death they have become phenomenal, as each new generation discovers afresh the remarkable power of his music.
Chris Salewicz, who had a sequence of adventures with Bob Marley in Jamaica in 1979, offers us a comprehensive and detailed account of Bob Marley’s life and the world in which he grew up and came to dominate. Never-before-heard interviews with dozens of people who knew Marley are woven through a narrative that brings to life not only the Rastafari religion and the musical scene in Jamaica, but also the spirit of the man himself.₵84.00₵84.00Quick View
Tracks in this album:
2. Worthy One
3. Judah Dzata (Lion of Judah)
4. Audience of One (God is Here)
5. Shiwoonɔyeli Nyɔŋmo (Fɛɛ Mli)
7. Kosie Ansa
9. Mindaoshi (My Jubilee Song)
Also includes Image cards of all the lyrics.₵20.00₵20.00Quick View
‘Highlife is the only music in this country that has stood and will continue to stand the test of time.’ – Victor Olaiya
As West Africa’s oldest form of popular music, highlife was the soundtrack of the independence era. Its influence still resonates today.
Highlife Giants is an intimate portrait of the pioneering artistes of West Africa’s music scene from the 1920s onwards. It contains interviews with stars such as E.T Mensah, Kofi Ghanaba, King Bruce, Bobby Benson, Victor Uwaifo, and Ignace De Souza revealing priceless behind-the-scenes moments such as Louis Armstrong giving Eddie Okonta a trumpet with a golden mouthpiece after seeing him perform. Highlife Giants charts the development of this rich and varied popular form which is hugely influential on contemporary West African music from Afrobeat to hiplife.
Blending European and African-American styles with traditional African patterns, highlife music contributed to the development of post-independence national identity in both Ghana and Nigeria. As such, highlife remains crucial in generating social commentary, protest and contributing to the formation of a pan-African musical identity.
For those who lived through the era, Highlife Giants will be a compendium that invokes treasured memories. For their children and grandchildren, this book will inspire an interest in the rich musical history of West Africa.₵60.00Quick View