Apr 21, 2011
Amazing highlife from Ghana: F. Kenya
“F. Kenya was born in the Ghanaian town of Asima in the Eastern Nzema District. Trained as a goldsmith, he started singing in the mid 60′s with the Ahamanos band and later joined Kaikaiku’s No. 1 band before going out his own in the late 70′s. He was one of the first popular singers to sing in his native Nzema language and the energy in his vocals and performances made him very popular in Ghana and neighboring Ivory Coast. F. Kenya moved to the Ivory Coast in the early 80′s and did a number of LP’s including the great LP’s Powerhouse Vol 1 and Vol 2. A few F. Kenya tracks have appeared in the Gun and Guitar compilations Vol 1 and 2 put out by John Booker, but nothing else has been available in the West. The song Ngaluka Ngaluka is from a 1977 Essiebon release of the same name. His nephew is the famous Cote de Voire musician Meiway.
The music of F. Kenya is (in my humble opinion) some of the most stunning Ghanaian highlife ever recorded, music with a unique sound characterized by deep Akan harmonies, sweet organs, and heartbreakingly beautiful vocals. The Power House, released on Essiebons in 1975, is Francis Kenya's first full length record. Like Kenya's other work, these songs are beautifully arranged, with rich musical textures that feature an interplay between interlocking guitar parts and organ lines. In addition, these songs are unique in that they are sung in Nzema (Kenya's own language) rather than the dominant Asante Twi (generally the language of highlife). The Nzema are an Akan ethnic group found on both sides of the Southern Ghana/Côte d'Ivoire border. As in the context of other African countries, boundaries imposed by European colonizers frequently divided ethnically similar groups across arbitrary national borders.
I really have to say THANX Mr. Osibisaba for this amazing album!!!
01. Medze La Beva Me Zo 3:42
02. Mmanya Bie Mmamma 3:04
03. Omo Hole Yeamma 3:49
04. Me Mia 3:50
05. Nyamenle Aze A 3:27
06. Dadi Kyi 3:58
07. Ewielee 3:40
08. Ahunyani Amma Mmando Be 3:51
09. Abusua Mo 3:08
10. Enwea Ye Enloboe 2:50
11. Me Nee Wo Luale La Enye 4:00
12. Ewule Kui 3:50