Highlife emanated from Ghana. In the colonial era, it was the toast of most music lovers. It enjoyed massive patronage both on the airwaves and in clubs and pubs.
Highlife songs from the repertoire of musicians like King Bruce, E T Mensah, King Onyina and a lot more were simply household tunes.
When highlife first emerged in colonial Africa, it was distinctly associated with Ghana’s aristocracy and performed primarily at exclusive clubs along Ghana’s coast.
Most Ghanaians did not have the wealth or social status to enter these concert venues, so the music earned the name “highlife’.
A stool Elder of James Town Nii Ayi Klotia who saw it all speaks on the genesis of Highlife music in Accra.
Highlife gained the most popularity in Ghana after World War II, splitting into two major styles: the guitar band and the dance band.
E T Mensah and the Tempos played mainly the dance band style of highlife.
E. K. Nyame and his Akan Trio helped to popularize the guitar band, and released over 400 records during his lifetime.
Highlife at its peak spread to other West African countries like Nigeria where it gained grounds with Victor Olaiya, Sunny Ade, Rex Lawson, Ebenezer Odey, Segun Bucknor and others noted for their exploits in highlife music.
Many crusades have been launched to revive the highlife music after it backslid due to the emergence of reggae, afrobeat, hiplife, and others.
One such crusade is the formation of Highlife is Alive Funclub initiated by the state Broadcaster, GBC to rekindle interest in Highlife music.
This has brought legends and upcoming highlife artiste and lovers together to enliven and keep it original.