Jul 6, 2011
Highlife classic from Ghana: Pat Thomas - False Lover (with the Sweet Beans)
Pat Thomas, a native of Agona, in the Ashanti Region was born to a father who was a music teacher and a mother who was a band leader. Pat has always been in love with music from an early age, and he learned a lot of band organization and music writing from his uncle Onyina who played with Nat King Cole, Miriam Makeba, Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald.
It was during his stay with his uncle that he learned how to play the guitar and drums. In the early 70's he came to Accra to join a band known as the Blue Monks under the leadership of Ebo Taylor. This was the resident band of Tip Toe Nite Club. It was during one of his shows that one Caucasian lady who was in attendance fell in love with his voice and signed him up to go to Ivory Coast to form a group called The Satellites. He later came to Ghana to form the Sweat Beans Band and that became the band of choice during the Kutu Acheampong Era.
Pat was crowned Mr. Golden Voice of Africa in 1978 and at the same time won the ECRAC award of the year. In 1991 he also won the Album of the year with his "Sika Ye Mogya" song.
Pat moved to Europe and played in almost every city in Europe with his band the Anabos. Pat moved to London, then to Canada where he lived for ten years. Pat is now residing in Ghana and can proudly boast of 15 albums to his credit. His musical jeans have rubbed off onto his children and his daughter, Nana Yaa is one of the best female vocalists in Ghanaian music.
Pat Thomas was once crowned the Golden Voice of Africa and it seems there has been no turning back for the highlife star.
Nana Kwabena Amoh Mensah better known as Pat Thomas in the highlife circles finished his elementary school in the late 60s. His parents Joseph Amoh and Susanne Tabuah wanted him to continue his schooling but he also wanted to follow his childhood dreams of being a musician.
Ghana Music.com: Can you please tell us where why you were madly in love with music.
Pat Thomas: I was so much in love with music that, I couldn’t continue my education, which my parents were a mad at me. Meanwhile they forgot that they were all musicians. My father was a music teacher and my mum was a singing bandleader.
After secondary school, he went to stay with his uncle by the name Uncle Onyina who was also a musician to learn more about music. “My uncle had a lot of musical equipments so I learnt how to play the guitar and drums. I listened to LPs of Nat King Cole, Miriam, Makeba, Ray Charles, and Ella Fitzgerald”, Pat Thomas said.
Ghana Music.com: Did you face any hardships in your early stages?
Pat Thomas: I faced no hardships because my Uncle who I stayed with helped me a lot. I did many voice exercises.
After living in Takoradi for five years, he later came down to Accra to join a band called ‘Blue Monks’ that was led by Ebo Taylor. They were resident band of Tiptop Nite Club. One night at the Tiptoe Nite Club, a white lady approached him that he wanted to make a band. The white woman chose Pat Thomas and the trumpeter of Blue Monks to form a band called ‘The Satellites’, which played shows in Ivory Coast.
At the time he came back to Ghana, General Kutu Acheampong wanted to form a band so he formed his own band called ‘Sweet Beans’ in 1972, which toured the whole nation for state functions under Kutu Acheampong’s reign. Sweet Beans comprised of three Rastafarians and himself. They had songs like ‘Stay there’, ‘Sweet baby’ and ‘Let’s think it over’. The band was disbanded and he left for Germany in 1977 and back in the late 80s.
Before leaving for Germany, he formed a band called ‘Anabos’, which played in big cities like Toronto, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Abuja, Frankfurt, and Berlin in 1978 and 1979 because he was trying to go international with his English songs.
In 1975, the Arts Centre crowned him ‘’Golden Voice of Africa’. He also won ECRAG album of the year in 1997 with the album “Sika Ye Mogya”. Some album titles that Pat Thomas has under his sleeves are ‘Sika Ye Mogya’, ‘Medo Waise’, ‘Yesu Se Bra’, ‘False Lover’, ‘Marijata’, and ‘Stay there’. Pat Thomas is also a member of COSGA and MUSIGA.
Ghana Music.com: What do you think of highlife fused with hip-hop, which has given birth to hiplife?
Pat Thomas: Highlife is still living. Once hiplife songs are not profane, it is a good movement. I hope to bring live band music back.
Ghana Music.com: How did you collaborate with Daddy Lumba on his current latest album?
Pat Thomas: I happened to meet Daddy Lumba at Kwahu and we played a show together. He again talked to me about having me on his album at his studio in Germany. The song is good and fine with me.
His ending words were to all to musicians to respect their elder musicians and learn hard because respect is what has placed him where he is now. He says thanks to his wife, Mama and all his fans.
Pat Thomas can be identified with songs like ‘Medo Wiase’ (1991), ‘Megyedzi So’ (1993), ‘Gye Nyame Dzi’ (1996), ‘Sika Nantee’ (1999) and ‘Anoma’ (2000) and can currently boast of 10 – 15 albums to his credit.
02. False Lover
03. It Takes Time
04. Sweet Baby
05. Set Me Free
06. Don't Beat The Time
07. Abotare Na Ntease
08. Odo San Bra
09. Mere Bre
10. Mbaa Yi
11. Wo Abe Aso
12. Eye Wo Asem Ben
... a couple of songs of this album can be downloaded at amazing likembe!