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World Music Matters

Ghana's Kyekyeku carries torch for near-forgotten Palmwine music

Audio 13:44
Kyekyeku in Paris, June 2016
Kyekyeku in Paris, June 2016 A Hird

While many of the younger generation of Ghanaian musicians have turned to pop or rap, the young, talented singer-songwriter and guitarist Kyekyeku is flying the flag for an older accoustic folk genre known as Palmwine music.

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Born in the early part of the twentieth century, Palmwine music was popular in both Ghana and Sierre Leone where S.E. Rogie and Koo Nimo brought it to wide audiences. Kyekyeku cut his teeth with Koo Nimo and has gone on to incorporate it into his own folk, Highlife and Afrobeat-inspired universe.

Following the release of his album Higher life on Palm Wine Kyekyeku talks to RFI about why he's drawn to the genre and why African musicians' main market has to be the African continent itself. "If we want to solve problems in Africa we have to sing to people in Africa," says the musician whose energetic enthusiasm for change will surely end up bearing fruit.

Kyekyeku has upcoming concerts in Europe and Africa. Follow him on facebook

 

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