Chairman of Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), Rex Owusu Marfo popularly known as Rex Omar has accused DJ’s and radio presenters of killing highlife music.
According to him, the drivers of the airwaves are the reason for high life songs not travelling beyond the boundaries of Ghana as they are suppose to do.
The legendary highlife musician in an interview with Happy FM, expressed his displeasure on how high life songs are not promoted.
“We’ve so many radio stations in Ghana but how many DJ’s or presenters play our high life songs?. We often hear the foreign songs and by doing this they help in promoting those songs but our own highlife songs they forget about them,” Rex Omar stated.
He also refuted the idea of highlife music not being attractive internationally and that it will only survive here in Ghana. He stressed that, music goes beyond language barrier exactly as most songs have become hits in Ghana which the lyrics made no sense to the listener.
Rex Omar noted that another reason why Highlife music doesn’t enjoy much airplay is as a result of DJs and Presenters demand for payola before playing them.
“Some DJ’s and presenter expect artiste to pay them before they make their song a hit but the question is… Do this foreign artists pay them for making their songs a hit in our country?” Rex quizzed.
“As an artist at least you need to appreciate the work of the DJ or presenter but that should not always be the routine in order for our songs to be played out there.
“One DJ or presenter can decide to make our high life songs a hit if he is dedicated. He should know that the song will eventually give Ghana a plus and not only the artiste,” he concluded.
Highlife is a music genre that originated in Ghana at the turn of the 20th century and incorporated the traditional harmonic 9th, as well as melodic and the main rhythmic structures in traditional Akan music, and married them with Western instruments.
Highlife was associated with the local African aristocracy during the colonial period. By the 1930s, Highlife spread via Ghanaian workers to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Gambia among other West African countries, where the music is now very popular.
Highlife has a part to play in most of the present day Ghanaian and Nigerian music as most of their artistes fuse it with their style of music.