A new book from Ghana, scheduled to be launched in Accra on July 1, has currently captured the top spot on the Amazon chart in the International Music books new release category. Titled Highlife Time 3, the 632-page work has beaten books such as Leipzig After Bach, Don’t Stop the Carnival Black British Music and Renegotiating French Identity: Musical Culture and Creativity in France since last week, making it one of the longest a Ghanaian book has topped the global book charts on Amazon.
Highlife Time 3 traces the origins of highlife music and its adventures across the West African Coast, profiling pioneer musicians such as E.K. Nyame, Kobina Okai and E.T. Mensah. It includes information on palm wine music, adaha brass bands, concert party guitar bands and dance bands, right up to off-shoots such as Afro-rock, Afrobeat, burger highlife, gospel highlife, hiplife and contemporary highlife.
Published by DAkpabli & Associates in collaboration with Dr. Wereko-Brobby’s Anansesem Publications, Highlife 3 also discusses the present. Ebony (Priscilla Opoku Kwarteng) who passed on a couple of months ago, is featured as are Shatta Wale, Okyeame Kwame and Hewale Sounds. The book includes chapters on the traditional background or roots of highlife, the entrance of women into the Ghanaian highlife profession and the biographies of Nigerian, Togolese and Ghanaian highlife musicians, composers and producers.
The author, Prof. John Collins, is a retired lecturer of the Music department at the University of Ghana. He naturalised as a Ghanaian in 2008. Since 1969, Prof. John Collins has been active in the Ghanaian/West African music scene as a guitarist, bandleader, music union activist, journalist, writer and archivist.
In a review of the book ahead of its release, Ivor Agyeman-Duah, biographer and development activist, said “with the transition from the Gold Coast to Ghana in 1957, pride and the creative arts, more particularly music, became the framework of so much Pan- African thought especially in Anglophone Ghana and Nigeria. The same attended the compositions of Francophone music from Benin to Senegal and the small island nations across the Indian Ocean. One of the elements of colonialism’s overcome was, for sure, the musicality of its outlook.’’
According to Nana Awere Damoah, co-founder of DAkpabli & Associates, publishers of the book, Highlife Time 3 is a great addition to the written history about music of Ghanaian origin. “We count ourselves fortunate and blessed to be a part of this very important project. Prof. John Collins is an authority on Ghanaian music and this book proves that,” Damoah added.
The new book is available in both e-book and paperback formats on Amazon, iBooks, Booknook.store (operating out of Ghana and selling paperbacks) and other online platforms globally.
Highlife Time 3 will be launched on July 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm at +233 Club House.