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Dada Hafco Musician says DJs and event organisers are killing highlife music

His assertion is based on the fact that event organisers do not engage the services of highlife musicians

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Musician, Dada Hafco play

Musician, Dada Hafco


A former member of defunct Mframa music group, Dada Hafco, is convinced that disc jockeys (DJs) and event organisers are not helping the highlife music genre.

His assertion is based on the fact that event organisers do not engage the services of highlife musicians because these musicians perform with live band and this comes with a cost compared to musicians from other genres who will appear on stage and mime.

On how DJs are killing the genre, Dada Hafco said radio presenters and DJs draw their playlist according to BPMs [beat Per Minute] leaving out some good songs which do not fall within a certain tempo.

“Highlife songs are not supposed to run on BPM’s. I don’t do music looking at the speed at which it goes, whether 120 or 110. The music comes forth to me as an inspiration, so whether reggae or mid-tempo or fast tempo, all I do is to deliver good content and I am good to go. DJs are always after BPM running from 120 or 119 and because most highlife tunes do not have them, they resort to other genres, ignoring highlife,” flexgh.com quotes him to have said.

Dada Hafco believes Ghana music will perform creditably well if the necessary attention is given it. He has stressed on the need for radio stations to give local songs rotation than foreign songs.

“If we could scrap that and give a lot of attention to Ghanaian stuff, we will definitely go on sale outside. If hip life started like this and Sarkodie is filling the Apollo’s then, highlife can do same too. To go international is broad but we must first start from here. We need to champion ourselves and if we do, outsiders will give attention to us.

“The recent generation has come to accept that, it is only in highlife you will get good content, lyrics and groove with proper instrumentation all put together. A lot of musicians like me, Okyeame Kwame, Sarkodie, Keche and the likes are following the trend of highlife and gradually the genre is bouncing back and with time everyone will descend to it.

“Highlife is Ghana. I was born into it but did hip life and after realizing that is what will put us on the map like it did with Nana Ampadu, E.T Mensah, Rex Omar and others, with the help of enough pushing, we can get out there,”
he added.


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A number of musicians have added their voice to the call for a legislation which will compel radio presenters and DJs to play 90% local songs. This, they believe will help promote local songs and artistes instead of foreign products.

However, highlife musician, Rex Omar, opines it should not take a legislation to compel radio stations to play more local songs but common sense.

He shares the view that playing local songs is just like purchasing made in Ghana goods which goes a long way to help grow the economy.

“This is just common sense, just like someone saying buy made in Ghana goods. Music is also a product… If you play foreign songs on radio stations and you are to pay royalties, it means you are paying for foreign songs. It’s a matter of you looking inward to develop your economy. The more Ghanaian music is played, the more the money remains in Ghana; the more you will entrench your culture,” Rex Omar told host, Abrantepa on Radio Univers’ mid-morning show, Brunch2Lunch in May 2016.

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