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Highlife

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I was hoping to win Highlife Artiste, Collaboration of the Year at 2022 VGMA – Kuami Eugene

Musician, Kuami Eugene, has revealed he was expecting to win the Highlife Artiste of the Year and Collaboration of the Year awards at the 2022 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.

Speaking on Daybreak Hitz on Hitz FM, on Monday, the ‘Show Body’ hitmaker said that for Collaboration of the Year, he had been featured on so many songs which were hits in the year under review.

Kuami Eugene told the host, Sammy Forson, that he was expecting at least one of the songs to win the Collaboration of the Year.

“It wasn’t even my songs. These were songs that I was featured on. Look at the songs that I was featured on, from Yeeko to Biibi Besi to Abodie, and none of those songs had an award. But then again it’s VGMA and we have limited power when it comes to VGMA.” 

For the Highlife Artiste of the Year category, the Lynx Entertainment signee explained that in the year under review he had embarked on a journey of championing Highlife.

Among other things, he released his EP Afro Highlife and also celebrated some Highlife legends including AB Crentsil.

“I have been championing Highlife for some time now, but whoever took it also deserves it because they have also been working as well,” Kuami Eugene said.

At the 2022 VGMA, D-Black’s ‘Enjoyment Minister’ featuring Stonebwoy and Quamina MP won the Collaboration of the Year Awards.

Some four songs Kuami Eugene was featured on were selected in that category as well.

They include, ‘Abodie’ by Captain Planet, ‘Yeeko’ by Okyeame Kwame, Sika Aba Fie Remix by Kwaku Darlington and Biibi Besi by Kwami Yogot.

Also, Akwaboah won the Highlife Artiste of the Year award beating competition from Cina Soul, Kuami Eugene, Fameye, Kofi Kinaata and Bisa Kdei.

Meanwhile, despite not taking home an award on May 7, when the event was held, Kuami Eugene says he was not disappointed.

“I have never been disappointed. It’s like somebody saying ‘I want to loan you money’ and they wake up and say ‘I don’t think I can loan you my money anymore.’ Somebody’s award, if he says I will give it to someone else, I can’t fault that person,” the musician explained.

Entertainment Music News

I’m not disappointed – Kuami Eugene on losing out at VGMA23

Popular Ghanaian highlife singer and songwriter, Eugene Marfo, popularly known as Kuami Eugene says he is not perturbed about not winning any awards at the recently-held VGMAs.

Speaking to Sammy Forson on Daybreak Hitz, the “Show Body” singer likened the awards to someone granting a loan to an individual in which the person could decide to do it or not, thus, he has no problem if no award went his way.

“Not at all. I have never been disappointed in not winning an award. But it is a plaque at the end of the day and it is like someone borrowing your money and the person wakes up one morning and he is like I don’t think I can loan out the money to you again. It is somebody’s award so if he says I will give it to someone else, I can’t force that person,” he said.

The Lynx Entertainment signee accrued four nominations to his name and won none at the event.

Although he had no worries about not winning, he made it known that he had his eyes set on the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year’ category, and the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year.’

According to him, on the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year,’ even if he missed out on an award for his project, a project he featured should have won an award.

With regards to the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year,’ he said he championed Highlife very well under the year in review and as a result, he should have been credited for that.

“Collaboration of the Year because even if it wasn’t my song it should be songs that I was featured on. I mean from Yeeko to Biibi Besi and Abodie and none of them had an award. But then it is VGMA. We have limited power when it comes to VGMA. All we can do is to do the music and give it to them.

“Yeah, Highlife Artiste of the Year, I had my Highlife Concert which was packed and I celebrated AB Crenstil. I mean I have been championing Highlife for some time now. But then again, whoever took it deserves it because he has been working as well,” he noted.

Kuami Eugene was on the show to promote his new single titled “Take Away,” which was released last week Friday.

Entertainment Music News

I’m not disappointed – Kuami Eugene on losing out at VGMA23

Popular Ghanaian highlife singer and songwriter, Eugene Marfo, popularly known as Kuami Eugene says he is not perturbed about not winning any awards at the recently-held VGMAs.

Speaking to Sammy Forson on Daybreak Hitz, the “Show Body” singer likened the awards to someone granting a loan to an individual in which the person could decide to do it or not, thus, he has no problem if no award went his way.

“Not at all. I have never been disappointed in not winning an award. But it is a plaque at the end of the day and it is like someone borrowing your money and the person wakes up one morning and he is like I don’t think I can loan out the money to you again. It is somebody’s award so if he says I will give it to someone else, I can’t force that person,” he said.

The Lynx Entertainment signee accrued four nominations to his name and won none at the event.

Although he had no worries about not winning, he made it known that he had his eyes set on the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year’ category, and the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year.’

According to him, on the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year,’ even if he missed out on an award for his project, a project he featured should have won an award.

With regards to the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year,’ he said he championed Highlife very well under the year in review and as a result, he should have been credited for that.

“Collaboration of the Year because even if it wasn’t my song it should be songs that I was featured on. I mean from Yeeko to Biibi Besi and Abodie and none of them had an award. But then it is VGMA. We have limited power when it comes to VGMA. All we can do is to do the music and give it to them.

“Yeah, Highlife Artiste of the Year, I had my Highlife Concert which was packed and I celebrated AB Crenstil. I mean I have been championing Highlife for some time now. But then again, whoever took it deserves it because he has been working as well,” he noted.

Kuami Eugene was on the show to promote his new single titled “Take Away,” which was released last week Friday.

Entertainment Music News

I’m not disappointed – Kuami Eugene on losing out at VGMA23

Popular Ghanaian highlife singer and songwriter, Eugene Marfo, popularly known as Kuami Eugene says he is not perturbed about not winning any awards at the recently-held VGMAs.

Speaking to Sammy Forson on Daybreak Hitz, the “Show Body” singer likened the awards to someone granting a loan to an individual in which the person could decide to do it or not, thus, he has no problem if no award went his way.

“Not at all. I have never been disappointed in not winning an award. But it is a plaque at the end of the day and it is like someone borrowing your money and the person wakes up one morning and he is like I don’t think I can loan out the money to you again. It is somebody’s award so if he says I will give it to someone else, I can’t force that person,” he said.

The Lynx Entertainment signee accrued four nominations to his name and won none at the event.

Although he had no worries about not winning, he made it known that he had his eyes set on the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year’ category, and the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year.’

According to him, on the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year,’ even if he missed out on an award for his project, a project he featured should have won an award.

With regards to the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year,’ he said he championed Highlife very well under the year in review and as a result, he should have been credited for that.

“Collaboration of the Year because even if it wasn’t my song it should be songs that I was featured on. I mean from Yeeko to Biibi Besi and Abodie and none of them had an award. But then it is VGMA. We have limited power when it comes to VGMA. All we can do is to do the music and give it to them.

“Yeah, Highlife Artiste of the Year, I had my Highlife Concert which was packed and I celebrated AB Crenstil. I mean I have been championing Highlife for some time now. But then again, whoever took it deserves it because he has been working as well,” he noted.

Kuami Eugene was on the show to promote his new single titled “Take Away,” which was released last week Friday.

Entertainment Music News

I’m not disappointed – Kuami Eugene on losing out at VGMA23

Popular Ghanaian highlife singer and songwriter, Eugene Marfo, popularly known as Kuami Eugene says he is not perturbed about not winning any awards at the recently-held VGMAs.

Speaking to Sammy Forson on Daybreak Hitz, the “Show Body” singer likened the awards to someone granting a loan to an individual in which the person could decide to do it or not, thus, he has no problem if no award went his way.

“Not at all. I have never been disappointed in not winning an award. But it is a plaque at the end of the day and it is like someone borrowing your money and the person wakes up one morning and he is like I don’t think I can loan out the money to you again. It is somebody’s award so if he says I will give it to someone else, I can’t force that person,” he said.

The Lynx Entertainment signee accrued four nominations to his name and won none at the event.

Although he had no worries about not winning, he made it known that he had his eyes set on the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year’ category, and the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year.’

According to him, on the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year,’ even if he missed out on an award for his project, a project he featured should have won an award.

With regards to the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year,’ he said he championed Highlife very well under the year in review and as a result, he should have been credited for that.

“Collaboration of the Year because even if it wasn’t my song it should be songs that I was featured on. I mean from Yeeko to Biibi Besi and Abodie and none of them had an award. But then it is VGMA. We have limited power when it comes to VGMA. All we can do is to do the music and give it to them.

“Yeah, Highlife Artiste of the Year, I had my Highlife Concert which was packed and I celebrated AB Crenstil. I mean I have been championing Highlife for some time now. But then again, whoever took it deserves it because he has been working as well,” he noted.

Kuami Eugene was on the show to promote his new single titled “Take Away,” which was released last week Friday.

Entertainment Music News

I’m not disappointed – Kuami Eugene on losing out at VGMA23

Popular Ghanaian highlife singer and songwriter, Eugene Marfo, popularly known as Kuami Eugene says he is not perturbed about not winning any awards at the recently-held VGMAs.

Speaking to Sammy Forson on Daybreak Hitz, the “Show Body” singer likened the awards to someone granting a loan to an individual in which the person could decide to do it or not, thus, he has no problem if no award went his way.

“Not at all. I have never been disappointed in not winning an award. But it is a plaque at the end of the day and it is like someone borrowing your money and the person wakes up one morning and he is like I don’t think I can loan out the money to you again. It is somebody’s award so if he says I will give it to someone else, I can’t force that person,” he said.

The Lynx Entertainment signee accrued four nominations to his name and won none at the event.

Although he had no worries about not winning, he made it known that he had his eyes set on the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year’ category, and the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year.’

According to him, on the ‘Best Collaboration of the Year,’ even if he missed out on an award for his project, a project he featured should have won an award.

With regards to the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year,’ he said he championed Highlife very well under the year in review and as a result, he should have been credited for that.

“Collaboration of the Year because even if it wasn’t my song it should be songs that I was featured on. I mean from Yeeko to Biibi Besi and Abodie and none of them had an award. But then it is VGMA. We have limited power when it comes to VGMA. All we can do is to do the music and give it to them.

“Yeah, Highlife Artiste of the Year, I had my Highlife Concert which was packed and I celebrated AB Crenstil. I mean I have been championing Highlife for some time now. But then again, whoever took it deserves it because he has been working as well,” he noted.

Kuami Eugene was on the show to promote his new single titled “Take Away,” which was released last week Friday.

Entertainment Music News

Our industry will not survive for long if there is no system to discover and maintain new talents – Isaac Quarcoo

Ghana has for a very long time been one of the toughest countries in the forefront of entertainment in Africa.

It’s not a hidden fact that most of the Afro beat we so much hail in the world today, have deep roots within our highlife genre which stands out as one of the oldest music genre’s on the continent.

Discussions over the last 2 years around discovery of new artists and maintaining them to keep the country’s entertainment in shape has intensified.

Ghanaian song writer, Isaac Quarcoo has lent his voice to the ongoing discussions.

According to the song writer and CEO of Techpreneurs Union of Ghana, “Gone are the days when we were the icing on the cake, when our artists tour the globe and other African countries with songs in our local dialect. The last batch of these world rockers were Obrafour’s, the Tiny’s and the Samini’s.

“Now, don’t get me wrong, Sarkodie , Stonebwoy, Kofi Kinaata , Shattawale and the other big shots currently are also very old in the industry and are doing marvelous. My problem is which batch again takes over from this group and how safe are the keys that are being handed over.”

“Remember, this our lack of future-thought took the entertainment wave to Nigeria. Many of our top guys became very selfish and wanted to be alone at the top but are nowhere to be found unfortunately today and very few people remember their contributions to the industry. I am not too old but I have learnt a great lesson that, the more teach, the more you know therefore how prepared are the mindsets of our musicians to face a fast expanding Nigerian and African music industry?”

He concluded that, “I know people like Richie Mensah have returned to use their experience to build the industry and must be commended for that effort, his record label is really doing well but there must be a plan, some crazy master plan to takeover strategically.

“And when it gets there we have to really apply wisdom because other countries are watching our every move. It’s also very keen that every industry player is brought on this agenda, if that can be achieved, I believe it will only be a matter of time.”

Music News

New Music: Kuami Eugene, Wendy Shay release new singles, Lojay features Chris Brown

Musicians are treating their fans to new music ahead of the weekend.

Some artistes; including Kuami Eugene, Wendy Shay, Kwaku DMC and Pure Akan all released new songs this week.

On Friday, March 20, Kuami Eugene released ‘Take Away’ warning guys with no money to beware because there are people ready and willing to snatch their women.

Wendy Shay released Survivor also on Friday. The singer talks about surviving a heartbreak.

On Wednesday, trap artiste, Kwaku DMC, released a new album titled Road To The Jungle.

Musician, Pure Akan released a new single. Wo Kae is the artiste’s first single for the year.

Singer Gyakie was featured in a song by NBA star Serge Ibaka. The song was produced by famous American musician Diplo. In 2021, the basketball player embarked on the ART project.

The project aims to launch initiatives in favour of Africa with artistes from the continent, the Caribbean, and the Americas. When it was established, he released some songs featuring some African artistes.

Chop Daily recruited Highlife artiste, Bisa Kdei and UK-based artiste, He3B, to release the afrobeat single titled “Ohemaa”.

On the international front, Nigerian singer Lojay, popularly known for the hit song Monalisa, released a remix.

The Monalisa remix features multiple award-winning R&B singer Chris Brown.

Nigerian artiste, Omah Lay, also released a new song titled Woman.

Entertainment Music News

Ofori Amponsah is the definition of real God-giving talent – King Promise

Renowned Ghanaian Afrobeats singer and songwriter, King Promise has described Veteran Highlife Artist Ofori Amponsah’s song singing ability as a natural God-given one.

He made this known in an interview with Andy Dosty on Daybreak Hitz while sharing the experiences he had with him when they both worked on a project, Love & Happiness.

According to him, he was blown away by how the ‘Alewa’ singer sang flawlessly on beats, which led to them working on four different songs in one night, something he described as amazing and a God-given one.

“Ofori Amponsah is a definition of a real blessed God-given talent because he did not force it. He starts flowing as soon as Killbeatz starts playing the beat so I also followed through and we ended up making four songs in one night,” he noted.

He went on to state that he has always looked up to Ofori Amponsah whiles coming up as an artist as the “Damebi” singer indirectly mentored him from afar.

He also disclosed that he made Ofori Amponsah aware of his love for him when they got in touch for the first time in Kumasi.

“I am a big fan of Ofori Amponsah even Killbeatz knows this. He taught me what I do now. I used to listen to him whiles growing up. I met him in Kumasi and I told him how I have always admired him and he also said he has been looking for me so we came to Accra and we bagged all those songs in one night”, he said.

King Promise was on Daybreak Hitz to promote his new song titled ‘Ginger’.

Entertainment Music News

Ofori Amponsah is the definition of real God-giving talent – King Promise

Renowned Ghanaian Afrobeats singer and songwriter, King Promise has described Veteran Highlife Artist Ofori Amponsah’s song singing ability as a natural God-given one.

He made this known in an interview with Andy Dosty on Daybreak Hitz while sharing the experiences he had with him when they both worked on a project, Love & Happiness.

According to him, he was blown away by how the ‘Alewa’ singer sang flawlessly on beats, which led to them working on four different songs in one night, something he described as amazing and a God-given one.

“Ofori Amponsah is a definition of a real blessed God-given talent because he did not force it. He starts flowing as soon as Killbeatz starts playing the beat so I also followed through and we ended up making four songs in one night,” he noted.

He went on to state that he has always looked up to Ofori Amponsah whiles coming up as an artist as the “Damebi” singer indirectly mentored him from afar.

He also disclosed that he made Ofori Amponsah aware of his love for him when they got in touch for the first time in Kumasi.

“I am a big fan of Ofori Amponsah even Killbeatz knows this. He taught me what I do now. I used to listen to him whiles growing up. I met him in Kumasi and I told him how I have always admired him and he also said he has been looking for me so we came to Accra and we bagged all those songs in one night”, he said.

King Promise was on Daybreak Hitz to promote his new song titled ‘Ginger’.

Music News

Kuami Eugene’s lookalike imitates his VGMA look

The lookalike of Highlife artiste, Kuami Eugene, has taken his imitation of the artiste to another level.

The young man who went viral for his striking resemblance to the artiste was seen with the same hairstyle and outfit concept, ‘Rags to Riches’ that Kuami Eugene graced the VGMA red carpets with.

One side of his outfit was designed with a faded yellow sponge that went beyond his waist line while the other looked like a normal jacket.

Highlife artiste, Kuami Eugene, on Saturday, May 7, showed up on the red carpet of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards with his most daring outfit yet.

He was seen in a suit with one side of his head braided and the other combed out. His outfit also had two sides to it, one with a luxury suit and the other with a normal suit.

The outfit which he explained was a concept, had social media users calling on his label mate KiDi to lend his stylist to Kuami Eugene.

But, explaining his outfit, Kuami Eugene said it is a concept he was working on for his upcoming album, Rags to Riches.

Music News

Top Picks: Explore KiDi’s hidden gems

Today, we are not reviewing a conventional album. I was inspired to write this and unofficially call them an album after a friend was shocked when I shared some of them with him.

Also, KiDi is the 2022 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards Artiste of the Year, so what better time to bring this to you. So here goes nothing:

Ghanaians love the Afrobeats/Afropop music KiDi makes – it’s great – we all love it.

But there is a section of Ghanaians who in addition to all the poppy tunes like to take things slow. They’d love music to waltz to slow, cool, RnB like music and they get their fix from US/UK/Canadian music industries.

Those two are great places to find such tunes since they boast of artistes like Celine Dion, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Mario, Justin Bieber, Mary J Blige, Usher, Neyo, The Weekend and the list goes on.

However, the Ghanaian music industry also can boast of such music only that those ones (and sometimes the artistes who sang them) are not as popular.

KiDi is one of such. I call his RnB inspired music hidden gems in his albums and EP. 

Every time he releases a collection of songs, Ghanaians select their favourite Afropop/Afrobeats “jam” to give those their attention. However, because there is an effort to push Ghanaian music, this RnB inspired jams from KiDi can be ‘exploited’ too.

In 2021, in the Golden Boy documentary, KiDi talked about his growth in the industry and for the first time, he answered a question I have been looking forward to for an answer, since he became the “Thunder” crooner. The question – where did the RNB music lover go? Where is that music? 

Don’t get me wrong, like many people, I love his Afropop stuff but I equally loved the earlier music he made. 

Yes, it may be an RnB inspired work but his diction (exploring the use of pidgin and Ghanaian related terms) and production make his slowed versions of songs rich and enjoyable without sounding like a copy or an imitation of known RnB artistes who may inspire him.

Before ‘Odo’ became a hit I got my KiDi music fix from these songs including his mash-up of One Dance, Anointing and No Kissing Baby. He turned upbeat Afrobeats songs into one of the best-slowed songs you’d ever listen to and it never gets old.

So yeah, I was curious at the time as to why those were no longer a staple in the new KiDi music catalogue.

KiDi explained in the documentary that he was adamant about making RnB music when he started out as a new artiste. However, his label advised him to make a switch or incorporate other local genres, especially highlife and Afrobeat into his music.

He revealed that Lynx Entertainment boss Richie explained that Ghanaians do not openly embrace RnB like they do other genres of music.

I completely understood. The RnB-like music does not cater to the mainstream Ghanaian and if he needed to succeed as an artiste, it was in his best interest to make something for the mainstream and it worked and people couldn’t be happier.

Also, no award scheme rewards RnB in this country – and why should they? It’s not originally ours and we haven’t claimed it like we have Reggae, Dancehall and Hip-hop.

As a music enthusiast, who snoops around a lot, I realised after his first album that he hasn’t completely thrown away his love for RnB. There are songs on Sugar, Blue EP and Golden Boy that veered off the Afrobeats route to a more RnB sound.

My theory after ‘Sugar’ was that, he wanted to feed his ‘day one’ fans who love his RnB stuff, but also cater to the side of him that still loves that genre of music.

Why else would we have acoustic/slowed versions of his biggest afrobeat songs like ‘Enjoyment’, ‘Say You Love Me’, ‘So Fine’ and ‘Ping Pong’ – again all my theories.

KiDi may have not thought through that at all. Maybe he’s just making all kinds of music. But what’s life without a little conspiracy theory, right? Right!

Check out these songs:

E Be Like Say

This is one of KiDi’s early songs and it was released under his label Lynx Entertainment. It was the song he sang during his time at the MTN hitmaker show. The artistes were expected to sing their own songs (I’m not sure whether it was at the finale) and it won him a lot of accolades. It may not be the best song he’s written, but it surely is a good one.

Drunk

In the YouTube video, Drunk, is described as KiDi’s first original song. It was produced by Kay So. After many listen, I am tempted to believe that the song was inspired by The Weekend’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ – Maybe, maybe not!

It’s a great song from a then amateur singer/songwriter, give it a chance, especially if you are an RnB fan.

Bleed

All I have to say is I recommend this song to all the heartbroken – leave all your pain and anguish on this song. Make this your new heartbreak anthem, it’s worth it.

One Dance Medley

This is not a KiDi song but it deserves the honourable mention. In 2016, the Afrobeat uprising finally got to the world. There were great songs that enjoyed massive airplay, especially with how great they were.

KiDi on his Ground Up session turned three of those songs – namely; One Dance, No Kissing Baby and Anointing – into one of the best medleys you’d ever hear.

Letter to Afia 

In 2020, I advocated for this song to be nominated in the Highlife Song of the Year category. Click play and you’ll find out why. It may not be RnB but it’s here because it’s a jam, sue me!

Jokes aside, Letter to Afia remains one of the best Highlife songs he has ever written.

For Better or Worse

There was a storytelling theme in KiDi’s debut album ‘Sugar’ which was explored in the musical ‘Sugar’ — a film released alongside the album. 

This is one of my favourite songs on the album and the opening remark is one heartfelt word.

Say You Love Me Remix ft Cina Soul

You know Say You Love Me, but do you know the remix? KiDi enlisted Cina Soul – his ‘girlfriend’ given to him by social media – for this one. It is a slow version of the original and a beautiful duet.

End In Tears

Where are the players??? This one is yours. This is the song spelling out all the requirements you expect from a love interest. All the job was done for you by KiDi, all that is left is to play it for the intended.

One Man ft Adina

This was a hit, you must have heard of it. 

Freaky Lord

This tune is a good representation of Afrobeats meets RnB in my opinion. It is mostly Afrobeat and a gem. It was part of the Blue EP which won Album of the Year at the 2021 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.

While you are at it listen to Next Time I See You also on the Blue EP.

Woman

This is not a KiDi song but one he was featured on. American Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Stokley enlisted KiDi for this one. 

Send Me Nudes

This song is on this list not because it is RnB influenced, but because it’s just a great song and I believe it should not be buried by Ghanaians. Good news though, it is one of the most listened to KiDi songs on Spotify.

Dangerous

This song has Rnb influences. Speaking about this song in his album, KiDi revealed that this song was inspired by Micheal Jackson. He wrote it using titles of popular Micheal Jackson songs like Dirty Diana, Smooth Criminal, Black or White, Bille Jean, Liberian Girl, Bad and Dangerous (1991 album), which of course is the title of the song.

Cyclone

This song easily has the ability to charm everyone. This is what ‘E Be Like Say’ could be but wasn’t. Obviously, it is because he has grown as an artiste and a person which in turn has an effect on the music he makes. 

C’est fini!!!

Certainly, this is not to say that KiDi’s popular hits are any less good. In fact, this peace only seeks to appeal to Ghanaian music enthusiasts to be open-minded about music. Not every artiste is open to changing their style or making ‘dance’ music.

There are some artistes who truly have catalogues that are worth giving attention to, even though they do not fall within the ‘normal’ Ghanaian song category.

Music News

Meet Prince Mbarga, the man who created ‘Sweet Mother’, one of the greatest African songs of all time

“When I dey hungry my mother go run up and down, she dey find me something when I go chop oh! Sweet Mother a-aah / Sweet Mother oh-e-oh!”

The above is an excerpt of the 1976 all-time hit “Sweet Mother” dedicated to all mothers and their love and care for their children.

Prince Nico Mbarga wrote this amazing piece inspired by the love and sacrifices of his mother, who toiled day and night to take care of him and his siblings after their father died.

Before “Sweet Mother” was finally released in December 1976 by Rogers All-Stars, a recording company in Nigeria’s Onitsha, the song was shunned by many recording companies in Nigeria.

Some producers even thought it was childish. Today, the song, with its West African highlife beat, pidgin lyrics, and Congolese style guitar, is one of Africa’s greatest and most popular songs, sang at birthday parties, weddings, funerals, and even Mother’s Day church services, to celebrate motherhood. The song is also one of the world’s biggest-selling singles in music history.

Prince Nico Mbarga - Public domain image
Prince Nico Mbarga – Public domain image

The son of a Cameroonian father and a Nigerian mother, Mbarga was born in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, Nigeria, on April 8, 1950. He grew up in Ikom, Nigeria, listening to highlife music on his father’s radio.

His father, who sawed timber, made sure Mbarga was educated. At the same time, he taught him how to play the xylophone, having also learned to play the instrument from his family growing up.

Mbarga later built his own xylophone from dried-out plantain skins and scooped bar. And not too long after his father died, leaving him, his mom and his siblings behind, Mbarga decided to pursue music.

During the Biafran War in 1967, he left Ikom for Mamfe, Cameroon, where he worked as a “band boy” for a Congolese group, helping to carry instruments for concerts at hotels in surrounding towns.

In the process, Mbarga fell in love with Congolese rumba and learned to play the conga, the drums, the bass and the “finger-picking style” of Congolese electric guitar, according to Narratively.com.

He got married and after the Biafran War, he came back to Nigeria in 1970 with his wife Lucy and they settled in the trading town of Onitsha.

“We loved the place,” Lucy recalled. “From there, God blessed him.”

Mbarga formed his group, Rocafil Jazz, in Onitsha and they signed a contract to play every Sunday at Onitsha’s Plaza Hotel. There, he met other music stars, and by 1973, he had recorded his first hit “I No Go Marry My Papa,” after being picked up by EMI. The song didn’t do badly in sales.

Mbarga went on to produce other songs while studying law but EMI soon parted ways with him after he failed to produce other commercial hits.

Then came “Sweet Mother” produced in 1976 by Onitsha-based Rogers All Stars. Mbarga and his band started touring Nigeria and everywhere they went, people demanded “Sweet Mother”.

“It was like a national anthem,” band member Jean Duclair recounted. Mbarga and the band also toured across West Africa — Cameroon, Ghana, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso — and then to Kenya, with people gathered in their numbers at concerts screaming Mbarga’s name. They also played at scores of venues in London.

But by 1983, Mbarga’s band had fallen apart owing to a misunderstanding about money and contracts. Even though the band reformed, it was never like before. Meanwhile, Mbarga moved back to Ikom, where he built the Sweet Mother Hotel which he managed. He also performed there and got married to his second wife, Esame.

Mbarga was hoping to come back strongly into the music scene with his band when he passed away in a tragic motorcycle accident on June 23, 1997, in Calabar. He left behind one of Africa’s greatest songs “Sweet Mother”, which helped lead his band to Africa’s Music Hall of Fame.

Years after his death, he is still highly revered in Nigeria and beyond. In December 2004, listeners of the BBC voted “Sweet Mother” as Africa’s Favorite Song.

“It’s not just about the lyrics,” Joseph Warungu of BBC said of the song at the time. “There is something about the singing guitar that gets you. Again, it is the guitar in this song that drives you mad.”

Music News

Ghanaian music is finding a global spot now – Okyeame Kwame

Highlife musician Okyeame Kwame says Ghanaian music is gradually gaining real recognition on the international stage.

He said the type of songs being produced in the country have full vocal dexterity, amazing melodies and great productions, elements that put local musicians at par with their international colleagues.

In an interview with KMJ on Prime Morning, Monday, he observed that “the originality of young people finding their voices now, plus the right use of social media is the plug that will take Ghanaian music high.”

“I think Ghanaian music is finding a sweet spot. The type of music that KiDi, Kuami Eugene, Camidoh and all these young people are making is amazing music.

“There’s no way that type of songs we are creating, coupled with the fact that social media has made every place an even playing ground, [won’t get to the global stage],” he said.

The entrepreneur, however, encouraged his colleagues to include more cultural and traditional elements in their music to create that distinction needed for wider recognition worldwide.

“We have to be focused; the media must be focused on promoting Ghanaian music; the musicians must be focused on selecting traditional and cultural elements and our managers must be focused on getting the modern new knowledge of how these plugs are done.”

Release of a new song

Okyeame Kwame revealed he will be releasing a new single in the month of May 2022.

The song, which will be titled ‘To Be A Woman’, was expected to be released on Sunday, May 8.

However, “I realised that the conversation about VGMA should go on for a while so that I can have the media attention after the VGMA conversation has settled.”

He won the ‘Highlife Song of the Year’ at the 23rd edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) with his song ‘Yeeko’, which featured Kuami Eugene.

Music News

KiDi crowned 2022 VGMA Artiste of the Year

And the 2022 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards’ Artiste of the Year goes to…KiDi.

The musician, who failed to claim the ultimate spot in 2021 after his famous ‘I’ll be back’ phrase, returned to win his first-ever Artiste of the Year Award.

He beat stiff competition from Black Sherif, King Promise, Kuami Eugene, Sarkodie and Joe Mettle to emerge winner.

KiDi also swept away some of the biggest awards on the night especially with his hit song ‘Touch It’.

They include Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year (Touch It), Vodafone Most Popular Song (Touch It), Album of the Year (The Golden Boy) and the Afrobeats Artiste of the Year.

Accepting his award on the night, KiDi said “delay is not denial, Glory be to God. I want to thank MTN hitmaker for introducing me to Ghana. To the media, my fans, my friends, to my big boy Zane, to my mother, Ghana thank you so much.”

Although Black Sherif did not grab the ultimate award on the night, he took home the Best New Artiste award and the Hip-hop Song of the Year award as well.

Joe Mettle also took home the Gospel Artiste of the Year award. Meanwhile, Kofi Kinaata won the Highlife Song of the Year award with Thy Grace.

Music News

KiDi crowned 2022 VGMA Artiste of the Year

And the 2022 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards’ Artiste of the Year goes to…KiDi.

The musician, who failed to claim the ultimate spot in 2021 after his famous ‘I’ll be back’ phrase, returned to win his first-ever Artiste of the Year Award.

He beat stiff competition from Black Sherif, King Promise, Kuami Eugene, Sarkodie and Joe Mettle to emerge winner.

KiDi also swept away some of the biggest awards on the night especially with his hit song ‘Touch It’.

They include Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year (Touch It), Vodafone Most Popular Song (Touch It), Album of the Year (The Golden Boy) and the Afrobeats Artiste of the Year.

Accepting his award on the night, KiDi said “delay is not denial, Glory be to God. I want to thank MTN hitmaker for introducing me to Ghana. To the media, my fans, my friends, to my big boy Zane, to my mother, Ghana thank you so much.”

Although Black Sherif did not grab the ultimate award on the night, he took home the Best New Artiste award and the Hip-hop Song of the Year award as well.

Joe Mettle also took home the Gospel Artiste of the Year award. Meanwhile, Kofi Kinaata won the Highlife Song of the Year award with Thy Grace.

Music News

KiDi crowned 2022 VGMA Artiste of the Year

And the 2022 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards’ Artiste of the Year goes to KiDi.

The musician, after failing to win the award in 2021 after his famous ‘I’ll be back’ phrase, returned to win his first-ever Artiste of the Year Award.

He beat stiff competition from Black Sherif, King Promise, Kuami Eugene, Sarkodie and Joe Mettle to emerge winner.

KiDi also swept away some of the biggest awards on the night especially with his hit song ‘Touch It’.

They include Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year (Touch It), Vodafone Most Popular Song (Touch It), Album of the Year (The Golden Boy) and the Afrobeats Artiste of the Year.

Accepting his award on the night, KiDi said “delay is not denial, Glory be to God. I want to thank MTN hitmaker for introducing me to Ghana. To the media, my fans, my friends, to my big boy Zane, to my mother, Ghana thank you so much.”

Although Black Sherif did not grab the ultimate award on the night, he took home the Best New Artiste award and the Hip-hop Song of the Year award as well.

Joe Mettle also took home the Gospel Artiste of the Year award. Meanwhile, Kofi Kinaata won the Highlife Song of the Year award with Thy Grace.

Music News

Fameye wins Songwriter of the Year at VGMA23

Musician, Fameye born Peter Famiyeh Bozah has for the first time won the Songwriter of the Year award at the 23rd Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) ceremony.

He won the award with his song ‘Praise’.

Fameye beat competition from the four-time winner, Kofi Kinaata, Diana Hamilton, Akwaboah, Minister O.J and Abiana.

His victory in this category is topical since he broke the dominance of High life musician Kofi Kinaata who has won the category four times.

On the first night of the award scheme which was dubbed Industry, 13 awards were presented to deserving winners.

The prestigious awards scheme is expected to climax on Saturday where the Artiste of the Year, Best Collaboration, Best Highlife Song, Album of the Year, and Gospel Song of the Year, among other top accolades, would be announced.

Below are some award-winners from day one:

Traditional Artiste of the Year (Non-voting Category) – Nii Tettey Tetteh

Instrumentalist of the Year – Joshua Moszi

Male Vocal Performance of the Year – Amazing God by Kwaisey Pee

Female Vocal Performance of the Year – Where You Are by Niella

Songwriter of the Year – Praise by Fameye

Best Video of the Year – Nyinya by Bosom PYung

Producer of the Year – MOGBeatz

African Artiste of the Year – WizKid

Lifetime Achievement Award – Agya Koo Nimoh

Unsung Artiste of the Year – Gambo

Music for Good – Greedy Men by Stonebwoy

Music News

VGMA23: Check out the full list of winners

The 23rd edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards came off on Friday and Saturday at the Grand Arena in Accra.

The first night of the event saw Fameye, MOG Beatz, Wizkid, Kweisey Pee, Stonebwoy and MOG Beatz take home awards.

See the full list of winners below (this list is being updated):

Artiste Of The Year

  • King Promise
  • Kuami Eugene
  • Sarkodie
  • Black Sherif
  • KiDi
  • Joe Mettle

Best Hiplife Song

  • Yeeko – Okyeame Kwame ft Kuami Eugene ––––––––––––––– Winner
  • No Fugazy – Sarkodie
  • BiiBi Bese – Kwame Yogot ft Kuami Eugene
  • Accra – Medikal
  • Abodie – Captain Planet ft Kuami Eugene
  • Kom – Fancy Gadam
  • Zinabu –  DopeNation ft Dancegod Lloyd, Afrobeat, DWP Academy
  • S3k3 – Mr Drew

Video of The Year

  • Mon Bebe – KiDi
  • Mood – Mr Drew
  • Odeshie – Epixode
  • Bad Girls Luv Money Remix – Amaarae
  • Slow Down – King Promise
  • Rollies And Cigar – Sarkodie
  • Nyinya – Bosom P Yung
  • Let It Go – Kweku Smoke
  • Fine Girl – Mona 4 Reall

Best HipLife/HipHop Artiste

  • Sarkodie
  • Okyeame Kwame
  • Black Sherif
  • D Black
  • Amerado
  • Medikal

Best Afrobeats Song

  • Celebrate – Kwesi Arthur
  • Dollar On You – Kuami Eugene
  • E Choke Sefa ft Mr Drew
  • Coming Home – Mzvee ft Tiwa Savage
  • Sugarcane – Camidoh ft Phantom
  • Mon Bebe – KiDi
  • Je M’apelle – Darko Vibes ft Davido

Best Afropop Song

  • Wendy Shay ft Shay Gang – Heat
  • Gyakie ft Omah Lay – Forever Remix
  • Mr Drew – Mood
  • King Promise – Slow Down
  • D Black ft Quamina MP, Stonebwoy – Enjoyment Minister
  • Amaarae ft Moliy, Kali Uchis – Bad Girls Luv Money Remix
  • Fameye – Praise

Afrobeats/Afropop Artiste

  • Sefa
  • KiDi
  • King Promise
  • Mr. Drew
  • Wendy Shay
  • Gyakie
  • Camidoh
  • Darkovibes

Best Gospel Song

  • Joyce Blessing – Oluwa Is Involved
  • Joe Mettle – Ye Obua Mi
  • Ohemaa Mercy ft MOG Music -Ote Me Mu ––––––––––––––– Winner
  • Diana Hamilton – Awurade Ye
  • Celestine Donkor – Only You
  • Bethel Revival ft Joe Mettle – Enyo
  • Akesse Brempong ft MOG Music – Yaweh
  • Empress Gifty – Eye Woaa
  • Scott Evans – Mapek3
  • Obaapa Christy – The Glory

Best HighLife Song

  • Kofi Kinaata – The Grace PT1
  • Ak Songstress – Jonathan
  • Akwaboah ft Cina Soul – Obiaa
  • Bisa KDei – Yard
  • Kuami Eugene – Te Na Fie
  • Cina Soul – Feelings

Best HighLife Artiste

  • Cina Soul
  • Akwaboah
  • Bisa Kdei
  • Fameye
  • Kuami Eugene
  • Kofi Kinaata

Album Of The Year

  • Sarkodie – No Pressure
  • KiDi – The Golden Boy
  • Joe Mettle – Experience
  • Akwaboah – Lighthouse
  • D Black – Loyalty
  • Kuami Eugene – The Afro Highlife

Songwriter Of The Year

  • Minister OJ – Deburu
  • Fameye – Praise –––––––––––––– Winner
  • Abiana – Bo Nooni
  • Kofi Kinaata – The Grace PT 1
  • Akwaboah – Obiaa
  • Diana Hamilton – Awurade Ye

Best Hiphop Song of the Year

  • Abotre – Amerado ft Black Sherif
  • Winning – Kwesi Arthur ft Vic Mensa
  • Second Sermon – Black Sherif ––––––––––––––– Winner
  • Coachella – Sarkodie ft Kwesi Arthur
  • Sika Aba Fie Remix – Kweku Darlington ft Kuami Eugene and Kweku Flick
  • Sore Remix – Yaw Tog ft Stormzy and Kwesi Arthur

Best Reggae/Dancehall Song

  • 1Gad – Stonebwoy
  • Touch It- KiDi
  • Picture – Samini ft Efya
  • Greedy Men – Stonebwoy
  • New Gen – Larrusi
  • Odeshie – Epixode

Male Vocal Performance

  • Akwaboah Ntro – Naa
  • Black Sherif – Golddigger
  • Joe Mettle – Ye Obuami
  • KiDi – Bad Things
  • King Promise – Slow Down
  • Kweisey Pee – Amazing God ––––––––––––––– Winner
  • Luigi McLean – Mala

Female Vocal Performance

  • Celestine Donkor – Only You
  • Abiana – MY House
  • Esther Goodwill – Faithful God
  • Niiella – Where You Are ————————— Winner
  • Efe Grace – Overflow
  • Cina Soul – OMG

Best African Artiste

  • Wizkid ——————————— Winner
  • Fireboy DML
  • Ckay
  • Tems
  • Focalistic
  • Joeboy

Collaboration of the year

  • Captain Planet ft Kuami Eugene – Abodie
  • Okyeame Kwame ft Kuami Eugene – Yeeko
  • D Black ft Stonebwoy, Quamina MP – Enjoyment Minister
  • Sefa ft Mr Drew – E Choke
  • Kweku Darlington ft Kuami Eugene, Fameye, Yaw Tog, Kweku Flick – Sika Aba Fie Remix
  • Sarkodie ft Kwesi Arthur – Choachella
  • Kwame Yogot ft Kuami Eugne – Biibi Besi
  • Ohemaa Mercy ft MOG Music – Ote Mimu

International Collaboration of the year

  • Coming Home – Mzvee ft Tiwa Savage
  • Sore Remix – Yaw Tog ft Kwesi Arthur, Stormzy
  • Sad Girls Love Money- Amaarae ft Moliy, Kali Uchis
  • Je M’appelle – DarkoVibes ft Davido
  • Second Sermon Remix – Black Sherif ft Burna Boy
  • Spiritual- KiDi ft Kuami Eugene, Patoranking
  • Non-Living Thing- Sarkodie ft Oxlade

Vodafone Most Popular Song 

  • King Promise – Slow Down
  • Ohemaa Mercy ft MoG Music – Ote Me Mu
  • Okyeame Kwame ft Kuami Eugene – Yeeko
  • Gyakie ft Omah Lay – Forever Remix
  • Darkovibes ft Davido – Je M’appelle
  • KiDi – Touch It
  • Black Sherif – Second Sermon (2nd)
  • Kuami Eugene – Dollar On You
  • Joe Mettle – Ye Obuame
  • Fameye – Praise
  • Sefa – EChoke
  • Mr. Drew – Mood

Best New Artiste

  • Sefa
  • Black Sherif
  • Scott Evans
  • Mona 4 Reall
  • Kweku Darlington
  • Kwame Yogot

Best Rap Performance

  • Lyrical Joe – 5Th August. 5
  • Strongman – Last Verse
  • Obibini – Wudini
  • Teephlow – WonteAse3
  • Sarkodie – Rollies And Cigars
  • Amerado – The Throne

Best Reggae / Dancehall Artiste

  • Samini
  • Larruso
  • Epixode
  • Stonebwoy

Record Of The Year

  • Akwaboah – Ntro Naa
  • Wutah Afriyie – Country Hot
  • Fameye – Praise
  • Minister OJ – Meduru
  • Amaarae ft Moliy, Kali Uchis – Sad Girls Luv Money
  • Okyeame Kwame ft Adina – Love Locked Down

Best Traditional Artiste of the Year – Nii Tettey Tetteh

Lifetime Achievement of the Year – Agya Koo Nimoh

Music for Good – Stonebwoy

Producer of the year – MOG

Music News

Fameye wins Songwriter of the Year at VGMA23

Musician, Fameye born Peter Famiyeh Bozah has for the first time won the Songwriter of the Year award at the 23rd Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) ceremony.

He won the award with his song ‘Praise’.

Fameye beat competition from the four-time winner, Kofi Kinaata, Diana Hamilton, Akwaboah, Minister O.J and Abiana.

His victory in this category is topical since he broke the dominance of High life musician Kofi Kinaata who has won the category four times.

On the first night of the award scheme which was dubbed Industry, 13 awards were presented to deserving winners.

The prestigious awards scheme is expected to climax on Saturday where the Artiste of the Year, Best Collaboration, Best Highlife Song, Album of the Year, and Gospel Song of the Year, among other top accolades, would be announced.

Below are some award-winners from day one:

Traditional Artiste of the Year (Non-voting Category) – Nii Tettey Tetteh

Instrumentalist of the Year – Joshua Moszi

Male Vocal Performance of the Year – Amazing God by Kwaisey Pee

Female Vocal Performance of the Year – Where You Are by Niella

Songwriter of the Year – Praise by Fameye

Best Video of the Year – Nyinya by Bosom PYung

Producer of the Year – MOGBeatz

African Artiste of the Year – WizKid

Lifetime Achievement Award – Agya Koo Nimoh

Unsung Artiste of the Year – Gambo

Music for Good – Greedy Men by Stonebwoy