Business of Music Rants and Bants

Only Ghanaians listen to Ghanaian music

Before all the attack comes down try to look at things from my point of view.

Unless you are Ghanaian, you wont know it’s Ghanaian Music playing

And that’s just because they’ll be speaking Twi. Think about it, there is no distinctive style of music that is ours.

Afro Beats? That’s now even more Nigerian than ours. Afro beats is in fact Nigerian in terms of origin and evolution. Ghanaians lost the opportunity to own a Genre and give our music an identity when we allowed Azonto to die. Now Azonto is called Afro beats and they get the credit for our innovation. Afro beats is now more or less an Anglo-West African style.

Hi life? Again our Nigerian brothers have added a bit of Fela and ‘Omo’ and ‘Shebi’ and made it theirs. Its easy to recognize Nigerian music because it ever so blatantly in your face Nigerian. Nigerians are not ashamed of their Nigerian-ness. They throw it to you. And you have to accept them for it; flaws and all.

Southern Africa has their own distinctive sound, as well as Francophone West Africa, but Ghana…What’s our sound?

Ghanaians  try so hard to fit in. So, we’re making everyone’s music but ours. I mean, we have Ghanaian musicians with Nigerian accents now, singing, or Rapping on Nigerian beats. We have Ghanaians on typically American trap sounds and you’re wondering if its Rich Homie Quan or Kwadwo Manu on the track. We’re even on South African sound.

I’m lowkey glad about the rise of this hi-life/azonto style that started with Bisa K-Dei. Maybe we need to bring back the old old school and merge it with something. IDK.

But if you ask me, Ghanaian music isn’t as identifiable as Nigerian Music.. Fader Magazine named Wizkid’s Ojuelegba as one of the hottest songs of 2015. And that’s the original, not the remix with Drake and Skepta. D’Banj jammed on Billboard list with Oliver Twist for a while and even had Pitbull do a remix/cover of the song. Nigeria is putting themselves out there with their style of music. Francophones also have their own style and so does Southern African…what is our style?

So what is the Ghanaian sound? What is Ghanaian music?

Benewaah is the lead curator and editor at Harmattan Rain. Her love for music is closely rivaled by her love for plantain.

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Comments (7)

  1. I disagree. There is music out there which is distinctively Ghanaian. Highlife/Hiplife is a Ghanaian invention and it will forever remain so. What I agree with you on is that ‘our noisy neighbours’ have succeeded in making soo much noise and making our music theirs which in itself isn’t a bad thing. I think all we need to do is to be prouder of our work (supportive of each other) and make enough noise about what we do and we will be fine. Nice read👍

    1. Yes. Hi life is Ghanaian, I agree. But how much hi life are you hearing now? Bisa along with artistes like R2Bees are trying hard to bring that back. But as a whole…. Hi life is lost in the system. IMO that is.