Ghanaian highlife dynamo, and chairman of Ghana Music Right Organisation (GHAMRO), Rex Owusu Marfo affectionately called Rex Omar has called for the redefinition of highlife music.
According to him, everyone has his or her own understanding and interpretation of what constituted highlife music. He said because the evolution had gone through a lot of challenges, the name itself, was given by foreigners.
Speaking to The Spectator, Rex Omar said, the genre originated from Ghana and was received, adopted and championed by other African countries.
In that regard, he said, it would be prudent to link highlife to existing traditional rhythms to make it look more Ghanaian.
He added that he had always advocated for clarity as to what characterised highlife music, saying the genre must be linked to existing traditional rhythms in the country.
“Anyone knows Borborbor is from the Volta Region. You cannot go to Takoradi and show what Osodey is. You cannot go to the Ashanti Region and show anyone what Adoa, Kete or sikyi is. Everyone knows where Kpanlogo originated,” he said.
According to the Abiba hit maker, when highlife was redefined to be linked to such local rhythms, wherever it was mentioned, it could easily be traced to Ghana, adding that currently, on the global stage, highlife was associated with Nigerians more.
“We have to hold the traditional music in high esteem, building a new brand will not be the best, but we should redefine it to make it look more Ghanaian,” he said.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme