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Media has killed highlife music – Ambolley

Media has killed highlife music - AmbolleyVeteran highlife musician, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, has accused the media of killing highlife music in Ghana.

According to him, the media, particularly radio stations, have neglected Ghana’s indigenous highlife music to play more dancehall.

“Radio stations have been part and parcel of our music not being played that much. Because for some few years now, most of the radio stations have been pumping every time, dancehall,” he told Naa Ashorkor on Showbiz A-Z on Joy FM on Saturday.

Indigenous highlife music became identified with Ghanaians in the 20th century onwards.

This locally brewed music at a stage was referred to as ‘Palm Wine’ music because of its prevalence within the palm wine sipping folks in Gold Coast, now Ghana, as a form of recreation.

Burger highlife was also regarded as a distinctive form of highlife believed to have been created by Ghanaian immigrants to Germany.

Highlife in any form has been greatly associated with the Ghanaian culture and an invention of the West African country.

The dominance of the genre of music has taken a nosedive in recent times compared to the 1970s.

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley in an interview on Showbiz A-Z, tried offering an explanation for the decline.

According to him, long curfews following the 1981 coup staged by Former President J.J Rawlings, had a huge toll on the indigenous music.

However, considering the current trend contributing to the fall of highlife music, the veteran musician mentioned the proliferation of radio stations and their love for dancehall music which obviously does not originate from Ghana as a key factor.

“That also has helped in killing what we call highlife, that is our heritage,” he stressed.

The veteran musician stressed that dancehall music does not originate from Ghana and it will be erroneous to project that genre of music to the rest of the world as ours.

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley called for the passage of a law that will ensure that 80% of music played by the media is locally produced with priority being given to highlife music.


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