Highlife music in Ghana has recently taken a new shift, with the new generation artistes giving us a pop feel to the sound. While some have argued that the recents sounds we have are not necessarily highlife music, we cannot dispute the fact that music is dynamic and should be embraced in all the different forms the art presents itself. Like the popular Akan adage goes, ‘mmrɛ dane a dane bi”; when times change, change along.
However, we cannot forget our powerful ‘sankofa’ which teaches us to learn from our past. As such, as the originators of highlife music, Ghana cannot enjoy the genre without acknowledging and appreciating the pioneers of the genre. Today, we present to you 12 highlife classics from the 90s, which you should totally jam to. These songs will give you chills if you know them, and if you don’t, you totally should cop them. Do update your playlists fellaz!
1. Sika Ye Mogya – Pat Thomas
This song highlights the essence and power of money in our daily lives. It is off the Sika Ye Mogya album released in 1991 under Fire Records
2. Mensee Da – Pat Thomas
Also off the Sika Ye Mogya album, Misee Da is a motivational song, like the title suggests, “i will never go waste”.
3. Dadie Anoma – Kojo Antwi
This soothing love song by the Maestro is a message to a lover abroad about how much they’re missed. The message is to be delivered to the lover through ‘Dadie Anoma’ – metal bird, a metaphor for airplane. Dadie Anoma is a single off Afrafra album released in 1998 by Freedom Family Records.
4. Pour Some Sugar – Kojo Antwi
Another love tune off the Afrafra album, Pour Some Sugar you’d definitely want to sing to your lover 😉
5. Iron Boy – Amakye Dede
Released by Tollie Records in 1998 off the Iron Boy album, Iron Boy is a rather sorrowful love song; a tale of missing a lover for years, and finally showing up at the airport to welcome them only to realize they’re not the one. Sad! 🙁
6. Odo Da Baabi – Amakye Dede
Also off the Iron Boy album, Odo Da Baabi as the title suggests, describes a separation situation of lovers. Check it out
7. All For You – E.T. Mensah
For lovers who’re willing to go the extra mile for your partners, this song is for you. It was released in 1998 by Retroafric, as a single off the All For You album.
8. Nke Bo Baa Ya – E. T. Mensah
Just like All For You, Nke Bo Baa Ya which translates to ‘I’ll go with you is another lovers rock. It is also off the All For You album.
9. Simi Rapp – Gyedu-Blay Ambolley
This song is more of a rap tune, with comic expressions and random stories. Simi Rap was released in 1996 off the Son of Ghana album by Simigwa Records. Enjoy it and laugh all you can.
10. Onam Daade – Gyedu-Blay Ambolley
Also off the Son of Ghana album, Onam Daade is another comic tale of a bare-foot man. You’ll love it!
11. Me Ye Obaa – Akosua Agyapong
This is one of the songs that facilitated Akosua Agyepong’s popularity. Me Ye Obaa was released in 1990 off her debut album, Frema. Akosua in the song boasts of her perfect womanhood, as a blessing from God. For all our African women, this song will boost your confidence!
12. Frema – Akosua Agyapong
The intro on this song is one to die for. Definitely one of Akosua Agyapong’s breakthrough songs, Frema is also off her debut Frema album. Enjoy this one!
We hope you enjoyed these oldies but goodies. Share your thoughts in the comments section!