Ghanaian highlife singer Kyekyeku has released his debut album online.
Initially released in Accra in August 2015, the album was self-produced and titled Higher Life on Palmwine. Now the album in its entirety can be listened for free on Soundcloud or purchased on platforms including iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
Described by CNN Africa as a “wizard with a guitar” and by Forbes Afrique as “the little prince of Palmwine”, Kyekyeku is one of the respected Ghanaian artists of his generation. His music has led listeners to the rediscovery of traditional folk music from Ghana.
Higher Life on Palmwine is a 10-track album featuring traditional folk music including ‘Friday Night’ with Koo Nimo. On the record, Kyekyeku tenderly touches on modern Ghana. One of the album’s last track is a live performance recorded at Accra’s famous +233 Jazz Bar & Grill, one of the live venues that has backed the palmwine music man from the start of his career.
Speaking about the countries he has visited, Kyekyeku has said that, "Nigeria is a bit of me and 'Ghana 2.0' because in truth I was born there and I visited to play at Felabrations for the last two years. It always reminds me of how good or bad Ghana can get, but also of my first scenes of life" and "South Africa is lovely. Cape Town is the most beautiful place geographically that I have been so far in Africa".
According to an official statement from the the artist’s management, Kyekyeku has drawn inspiration from his mentor, Koo Nimo. His music has been “enriched” “from the numerous musical encounters he had by collaborating with artists such as Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Blick Bassy, Wanlov the Kubolor, Thais Morell, Peter White etc and influences from legends like Fela Kuti, Ebo Taylor, Djavan, Gilberto Gil and Oliver Mtukudzi among others.”
Kyekyeku was recently invited to MASA, the main African music market in Ivory Coast. There he represented Ghana, and brought the palmwine sound to listeners across the continent.
On 22 October, Kyekyekyu will be performing at the Alliance Française, Accra—where he will invite Highlife legends and younger ground-breaking Ghanaian musicians to share.
Listen to Higher Life on Palmwine here.