Highlife singer, Bless, has expressed worry about the rate some artistes were projecting other genres that did not depict the culture of the country.
According to him, entertainment was a major art that should project the values and culture of the nation to the outside world, but unfortunately, “the story is a direct opposite of what we are witnessing in our musical landscape today.”
Bless, therefore, suggested the need for artistes to be circumspect in the sort of music they put out there, saying, “Your musical talents must portray a good image of Ghana to the outside world.”
According to him, although fans and music lovers deserved variety, but that should not call for artistes to abandon the major art that their musical forefathers left them with.
Search the Brain Entertainment signee, Bless, described as unfortunate, the way the citizenry downplay their own cultural values and customs, replacing them with the erroneous impression that anything foreign was accepted.
The ‘chocho mucho’ hit maker observed that highlife was the revered genre that involved rich, witty lyrical content, and also underscored the need for the current highlife singers to use the traditional rhythms to make it more Ghanaian.
He noted that recent highlife artistes have changed the rhythm and have made it more of Rhythm and Blues (R&B) with much afro beats, which he said, should be condemned.
The 30-year-old award winning sensational singer told Times Weekend (TW) in Accra on Tuesday, that he was poised to redefine highlife music and preserve it as a wholly national brand and heritage.
…come with me
TW: Welcome to TW, Bless!
Bless: The pleasure is always mine.
TW: Before we delve into your career, tell us more about yourself?
Bless: My real name is Bless Kwabena Boateng, ‘a Fante boy’ and who grew up in Mankessim in the Central Region. I began my early education at the Edumadze District Assembly (DA) School and continued to Mankessim Technical School where I did visual art.
TW: At what time did you become a professional musician?
Bless: That was in 2010; it was in that year that I released my debut 13-track album title: “Medanda” under Mark Okuraku Mantey’s Slip Entertainment Records label.
TW: Let us talk about ‘Chocho mucho’, how is the track faring on the market?
Bless: The track is really doing well and I must say I am feeding on the track. The track alone had made me to benefit from a lot of show contracts.
TW: Wow, that’s wonderful! Good to hear that. As the song is really trending, why didn’t you send it for nomination?
Bless: Hmm, I did, but I was told my song came out before the year under review. That is why I didn’t get the opportunity to be nominated. I felt bad as an up-coming artiste like me to reach this height, it was just right and fair for Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) to recognise my effort and contribution to the musical industry.
TW: Better things are ahead, when did you actually release the ‘Chocho mucho’ track?
Bless: I released it a little over two years ago, to be specific, in May 2017.
TW: Really, I actually heard the song last year, was it that you didn’t put much premium in the promotion of the track?
Bless: I did put much premium on the promotion of the track. Actually, Accra was the last place I promoted my art. My management realised that some particular regions barely patronise highlife tracks, so we started the promotion in areas that people understood and relate well to highlife music.
TW: Do you write your own songs or?
Bless: Yes! I write all my songs.
TW: Great! If I listen to the lyrics of ‘Chocho mucho’ I could deduce that it has something to do with your experience!
Bless: Hahahaha (laughter) it wasn’t my experience, I actually experienced that after the track, (smiled), I said to myself, so something that I was warning people against actually happened to me?
TW: How do you get your inspiration to write your songs?
Bless: I decide on the topic idea to write and craft the words to suit the topic, I also get inspired when I am walking all alone on roads, the horn of cars give me rhythm.
TW: What makes your song different from other highlife artistes?
Bless: The way that I craft my song, you know, most of these artistes use limited lyrics. I believe highlife tracks should have in-depth words that could aid listeners to understand and see the vivid picture being painted.
TW: Is there anything new cooking?
Bless: Yes, I am releasing a new track christened “Moonlight” actually in August, just a few weeks away, so everyone should watch out, the song is coming out alongside its video, all to be released on the same day.
TW: Great, what message does the song contain?
Bless: The song is a ballad; it talks about how people show less appreciation to a loved one who sacrifices to make them a happy person. Once the person is out of your life, that is when you realise the person had actually lightened your world. It advises men to respect women because they are light that sparkles during the night, just like the moon.
TW: Wow, gradually you are turning into ladies man?
Bless: ‘yeah’ women deserve the best.
TW: How do you want to be remembered?
Bless: I want people to see that as a musician, my brand have contributed immensely to retain the highlife genre, and I want to be remembered as a legendary highlife singer who has imparted positively to the industry and society at large.
TW: Now that Black Stars are through to the next round of the African Cup of Nations (AfCON), what do you have to say to them?
Bless: Actually, I am not a football fan, but I support them fully and urge fellow Ghanaians to lend them the same support to enable our ‘Boys’ to bring back home the trophy which went away 37 years ago. God bless our home land Ghana!
TW: Am grateful, have a good day.
Bless: You too.
BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE