Ghanaian Dancehall Artistes Doing Highlife — Bessa Simons

Acting President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Bessa Simons, says there is no real dancehall musician in the country.

The veteran record producer said acclaimed dancehall musicians in the country are doing highlife music and not the Jamaica genre.

“My friend you are singing highlife, you grew up in Ghana. I have worked with the Whites and knows how they play their music. I have also worked with Jamaicans, I even worked with pioneers of reggae music, I know how they play music, ours too, when you fuse dancehall and others. All what they sing let me tell them they’re singing highlife,” he said on TV XYZ’s Legends show on Sunday, August 23.

“When they are singing highlife, they say it is dancehall, how?” Uncle Bessa wondered.

Asked if Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale who are regarded as dancehall superstars in the country doesn’t qualify to be called as such, per his criteria, he answered in the affirmative.

“It is just a title. No, they’re not singing dancehall. I don’t mind the title you put on yourself, fine. You’d say you’re a dancehall artist, fine. But I plead with you what you’re singing is highlife ,” he said.

The former member of Osibisa group outlined factors he believes has contributed to musicians shying away from the highlife music.

“It could be highlife isn’t profitable or they don’t know where to take highlife because in our music world, there are other markets. Music there are vast markets. You get the point?”

“As we speak, Wiyaala is on different market. She’s doing music. Her music is Ghanaian, it’s Highlife music. Kyekyeku and Ambolley are doing Highlife but different market. I’m doing Highlife different market. I’m in the world music and I’m regarded as a Highlife artist.”

Bessa Simons is a forty year industry veteran who has played with all the big names in Ghana. He was a member of the Osibisa group during his stay in London and still works with the group on shows, coordinating the musical performances during Teddy Osei’s 80th birthday celebrations.

Uncle Bessa is also a celebrated producer having worked with leading musicians like the Tagoe Sisters, Pat Thomas, Papa Yankson among others.

He is currently the Acting President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and a member of the Ghamro Board of Directors.

By: Bernard Ralph Adams/Mypowerfmonline.com /Ghana

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