Ace highlife artiste Gyedu Blay Ambolley has stated that musicians of the current generation are not doing enough as far as producing good music is concerned and thus shortchanging themselves.
According to him, musicians today are not doing enough to reap the full benefits of having a career in music because they have failed to articulate its language well.
Speaking in an interview with Myjoyonline.com during the launch of his 25th album at Alliance Francaise in Accra last Thursday, the top artiste noted that “music is a language; you have to learn to speak it well” in order to succeed.
He bemoaned the attitude of some young musicians whom he chided for not working hard enough to churn out high quality songs that will stand the test of time but relied heavily on sound engineers to make their productions appealing to the public.
Ambolley, who thrilled hundreds of audience with various songs on his new album entitled Sekonde, also commented on the launch of a new book on Ghana’s Highlife Music.
“I think it’s a giant step because history is very important. We need to write down whatever that has gone down so that the up and coming ones will be able to learn from it, read from it and improve upon it.
“It’s something that we should have been doing a long time ago but sometimes a journey starts from one step…”
Co- authored by Dr. Florrent Mazzaleni and Dr. Kwesi Owusu with contributions from musicologist Dr. Markus Coester, the book was described as a “timely tribute to the pioneering musicians who created the music and the managers, composers, and producers, not forgetting the patrons and distributors who contributed to making highlife a living symbol of Africans popular music,” says French Ambassador Frederic Clavier in a statement.
It tells the “fascinating story of highlife, Ghana’s musical soul and one of the first forms of fusion between African and Western music.”
According to Dr. Florrent Mazzaleni, who claimed this as his 22nd book, it was authored as part of his research on African music and again as part of “collective memory”.
Every generation discovers its own form of highlife music, he confessed, claiming that the Azonto beat and dance could be traced to highlife.
Dr. Kwesi Owusu, on his part, discounted claims that highlife music is more appealing to the older generation, saying that it is for people of all generations.
“We’ve been mis-educated to think other genres are foreign (because they all trace their roots to highlife).”
“Highlife is Ghana’s musical soul,” he highlighted, and added that “it is a shame you can’t learn it in school. We must make it part of our education,” Dr Owusu insisted.**
Tagged: ambolley, music, highlife, azonto, sekonde, african music, western musicalliance francaise