Apr 8, 2014

Kiki Gyan ‎– 24 Hours In A Disco 1978-82

 

Soundway Records present ’24 Hours in A Disco 1978 – 82’, 7 cuts of relentless disco grooves from the sublimely gifted Kiki Gyan. Hailed as Africa’s answer to Stevie Wonder, Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist Kiki Gyan was a musical wunderkind who by 1975 had risen from the lowly status of high school dropout to being ranked eighth in a poll of the greatest keyboardists in the world (occupying the rarefied air of the top ten with heavyweights like Steve Winwood, Billy Preston, and Stevie Wonder) as well as becoming an in-demand session player in the top recording studios of London – all before his twenty-first birthday.
Out on his own, he produced a series of highly ambitious disco records aimed at positioning him as an international star, but weighed down by the excesses of the era, Gyan saw his meteoric rise matched by an equally swift fall back into obscurity.
Loved dearly by his contemporaries and sorely missed since his death in 2005 the story of the life of Kofi Kwarko ‘Kiki’ Gyan is one often told with warning by his friends to the new generation of aspiring Ghanaian popstars.
Soundway Records now collects the best of Gyan’s work as a frontman and solo artist, featuring an array of electrifying disco grooves that still sound contemporary (and in some cases futuristic) decades after their initial release.
- See more at: http://www.soundwayrecords.com/release/va---kiki-gyan/kiki-gyan---24-hours-in-a-disco-1978---82-sndw047#sthash.ZOLSMqtI.dpuf

Soundway Records present ’24 Hours in A Disco 1978 – 82’, 7 cuts of relentless disco grooves from the sublimely gifted Kiki Gyan. Hailed as Africa’s answer to Stevie Wonder, Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist Kiki Gyan was a musical wunderkind who by 1975 had risen from the lowly status of high school dropout to being ranked eighth in a poll of the greatest keyboardists in the world (occupying the rarefied air of the top ten with heavyweights like Steve Winwood, Billy Preston, and Stevie Wonder) as well as becoming an in-demand session player in the top recording studios of London – all before his twenty-first birthday.

Out on his own, he produced a series of highly ambitious disco records aimed at positioning him as an international star, but weighed down by the excesses of the era, Gyan saw his meteoric rise matched by an equally swift fall back into obscurity.

Loved dearly by his contemporaries and sorely missed since his death in 2005 the story of the life of Kofi Kwarko ‘Kiki’ Gyan is one often told with warning by his friends to the new generation of aspiring Ghanaian popstars.

Soundway Records now collects the best of Gyan’s work as a frontman and solo artist, featuring an array of electrifying disco grooves that still sound contemporary (and in some cases futuristic) decades after their initial release.

soundwayrecords.com 


Kiki Gyan - Disco Dancer von Melynga

Kiki Gyan (real name Kofi Kwarko Gyan) was a Ghanaian superstar who was celebrated as “Africa’s answer to Stevie Wonder”. Starting with piano at age five, he took music very seriously, to the point where it had caused him to quit school when he was twelve and join a huge band (in size and stature) only a few years later called Osibisa.

He was a very energetic and talented keyboardist (eventually ranked 8th best in the world), but since most of his band mates were decades older, they made him do most of the “roadie” work as well. This tired him out until he found a source of energy in New York: cocaine.

Upon realization that he wasn’t making anywhere close to as much money as “the white guys” on his label and was even uncredited for some of his music, Kiki left the band in 1977 by teaming up with two musicians and bailing on a live show/recording in London. Shortly afterwards, he started a successful solo career making as much as 8,000 pounds per weekend in the studio and eventually got together with Kofi Ayivor in 1979 to record the European hit-single “24 Hours In A Disco“. According to Ayivor, Kiki claimed he had to go back to Ghana to take care of his sick mother, but took the record to Nigeria instead and released a Kiki-only vocal version (which appears on this compilation) and kept all the money for himself.

While maintaining his advantageous position in an especially prosperous time for Nigeria, he got engaged to Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti (Fela Kuti‘s daughter) in 1979 but left her four years later amidst a physically and financially damaging drug addiction. His condition was so severe, it left him begging in the streets of Ghana while trying desperately to warn up-and-coming musicians of the dangers of cocaine. Seeing as Kiki became unable to practice what he preached, a long-time friend and musician, Hugh Masekela decided to help by sending him to a six-week rehab clinic in South Africa. Unfortunately, this recovery was only temporary as he could never abstain from his temptations. Kiki was found dead on a church toilet on the eve of his birthday in 2004, due to several drug-related health problems (including AIDS).

24 Hours In A Disco is compilation by Soundway Records featuring Kiki’s best work both as a solo artist and frontman of his various musical outfits. There are a lot of really amazing tracks here, but “Disco Train” is personally the most exciting and addictive track I have discovered in a long while. It’s as deep, smooth and funky as one can get with a bass line that sounds like Earth, Wind & Fire at the top of their game (especially considering how the vibe is more American than anything else)! DJs should really file this one in the “last song of the night” category as party-goers are likely to hum this boogie anthem all the way home. Even the track itself goes on for far too long like a lingering melody that refuses to change! All this being said, “Keep On Dancing” is another recent favorite discovery of mine, almost beating “Disco Train” in preference with it’s crazy-catchy, brightly enthusiastic horn section and stereotypical (yet always welcomed) party-themed lyrics. Final words: Kiki Gyan was clearly a legend who left us too soon, but gave the world some amazing music that will most likely survive many generations and this compilation is a testament to his greatness.  

musicismysanctuary.com



Kiki Gyan had his first education at the Chapel Hill Preparatory School in Takoradi and later went to the Tarkwah Secondary School. Kiki?s parents were by then playing the keyboard and some other musical instruments. 

During those days, children had no encouragement from their parents to take up music as a profession because it was looked down upon rather they wanted their children to be doctors, pilots, accountants, etc. Kiki however found himself deeply involved in the music profession because of the love he had for it. 

He loved playing some musical instruments especially the keyboard since he enjoyed it. Kiki dropped out of secondary school when he was in form three and came to Accra to play music. Here in Accra, he had the chance of joining interesting bands like the Avengers, Blue Monks, Boom Talents and the Pargadija Band.

The Pargadija Band had the chance of travelling to England and that was where Kiki met the Osibisa band. When it was time for the band to return to Ghana, Kiki was the only member to show up at the Kotoka International Airport. The remaining members had vanished in search for greener pastures. The story became news all over the media houses in Ghana.
    
In 1972, Osibisa visited Ghana for the first time. Kiki paid them regular visits in the hotel they were lodging. One day, a member of Osibisa, Mac Tontoh, the junior brother of Teddy, the founder of the Osibisa called Kiki and told him that he was too good to be in Ghana with his talent. 

After Osibisa left for England, Kiki went to the Republic of Benin which was by then called Dahomey. There he played with a group called Santiagos for two months and he managed to make some money to fly to England. 

When he got there, the Osibisa band was on a tour in the United States so he didn?t get the opportunity to meet Osibisa. However, Mac Tontoh?s younger brother allowed him to stay in his house till they came back. Luckily for him, Osibisa?s keyboard player, Robert Bailey from Trinidad (Western East) left the group. Mac Tontoh therefore decided to conduct an audition for a new keyboard player. 

During the audition, Mac Tontoh realized that Kiki was so good that he could play all their songs so he became their new keyboard player.  Because he was so good and could play better than the other guys in the group, the other members started complaining that he was too young to be with them but Mac Tontoh knowing his ability insisted that he should be allowed to play. 

Two weeks later they had to go for a tour in the States which was one of Kiki?s terrible tours he will never forget. He said he went through difficulties. As the only young guy in the group, he carried the group?s luggage everywhere that he became exhausted and fell sick. He however forced himself to play during the tour. 

The Queen of England invited the band to the Buckingham Palace to play. The Queen was so much impressed that she even didn?t know what to do to herself. There was an All African get together in Nigeria called FESTAC in 1977 and it was here Kiki met stars like Marvin Gay, Peter Tosh, Steve Wonder, the group known as Third World and many more. 

Kiki was married to Fela?s first daughter, Yeni Anikulapo but they later divorced due to pressures from a Ghanaian woman to whom he later got married to. He had his only daughter with her who is currently in a university in the States now.

He was rated the 8th keyboardist in the whole world.  Apart from Russia and South Africa, Osibisa travelled throughout the whole world. Osibisa is a group made up of Ghanaians, Nigerians and West Indies and has made a mark on planet earth. They have also reached heights that no other group has been able to make till now. ?We could sing to a crowd of about 200,000  people and you would see some going naked, others going crazy and some even die? Kiki said.  
   
Kiki during stated his reason for withdrawing from the group. He said as a keyboard player, he used to write most of the songs but because he was so young, Teddy would rather take the credit and this did not go very well with him since he felt cheated. 

One day they left for a live concert at the Royal Festival Hall in UK. The songs they sang over there were going to be recorded as an album which was meant to be a hit. It was there that he (Kiki) requested for an amount of hundred pounds which was a big money in those times but the leaders were unable to provide that for him so he decided to leave the group. 

There were some other Ghanaians who felt cheated but could not voice their opinions so when Kiki took his decision, they went along with him. Some of these people are the late Jake Soboa, a Nigerian and Kofi Aryivor. Kiki left for the States and then to Nigeria where he made it big and recorded his solo albums ?24hrs? and ?Rose Mary? which became hits in Nigeria.  According to Kiki, he came out during President Shagari of Nigeria?s reign. At that time, the living condition was very good. 

He later went back to the States where he associated himself with some bad gangs who introduced him to drug addiction and that was the beginning of his crisis and downfall. In fact he started using the money he had in purchasing hard drugs such as cocaine, heroine, etc. 

Kiki said his wife then asked for divorce since he had taken the drugs to be his new wife and neither catered for her nor had any feeling for her. He says he now realises the effects the absence of his wife is having on him.
 
Kiki spent almost all the money he had on drugs so he decided to come to Ghana for his money from some people who owed him but nobody was willing to pay. He had to use the little money he had on him for drugs and that has been his end till now. He is now at the International Health Care Center at Roman Ridge where he is being catered for by his producer financially.
   
Kiki?s advice to the youth is that ?Stay away from drugs and focus on whatever you are doing and also have faith in the good Lord.
  
His last words were ?To my only daughter Vanessa Gyan who is 21 years old and currently schooling at one of the universities in the States, I am sorry about whatever I did. I believe God?s time is the best and don?t forget that blood is thicker than water and to my Dad, Kwasi Gyan and Mum, Awoh Myers who are still alive today, I am sorry for disappointing you all? Kiki lamented.

Soundway Records present ’24 Hours in A Disco 1978 – 82’, 7 cuts of relentless disco grooves from the sublimely gifted Kiki Gyan. Hailed as Africa’s answer to Stevie Wonder, Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist Kiki Gyan was a musical wunderkind who by 1975 had risen from the lowly status of high school dropout to being ranked eighth in a poll of the greatest keyboardists in the world (occupying the rarefied air of the top ten with heavyweights like Steve Winwood, Billy Preston, and Stevie Wonder) as well as becoming an in-demand session player in the top recording studios of London – all before his twenty-first birthday.
Out on his own, he produced a series of highly ambitious disco records aimed at positioning him as an international star, but weighed down by the excesses of the era, Gyan saw his meteoric rise matched by an equally swift fall back into obscurity.
Loved dearly by his contemporaries and sorely missed since his death in 2005 the story of the life of Kofi Kwarko ‘Kiki’ Gyan is one often told with warning by his friends to the new generation of aspiring Ghanaian popstars.
Soundway Records now collects the best of Gyan’s work as a frontman and solo artist, featuring an array of electrifying disco grooves that still sound contemporary (and in some cases futuristic) decades after their initial release.
- See more at: http://www.soundwayrecords.com/release/va---kiki-gyan/kiki-gyan---24-hours-in-a-disco-1978---82-sndw047#sthash.ZOLSMqtI.dpuf
Soundway Records present ’24 Hours in A Disco 1978 – 82’, 7 cuts of relentless disco grooves from the sublimely gifted Kiki Gyan. Hailed as Africa’s answer to Stevie Wonder, Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist Kiki Gyan was a musical wunderkind who by 1975 had risen from the lowly status of high school dropout to being ranked eighth in a poll of the greatest keyboardists in the world (occupying the rarefied air of the top ten with heavyweights like Steve Winwood, Billy Preston, and Stevie Wonder) as well as becoming an in-demand session player in the top recording studios of London – all before his twenty-first birthday.
Out on his own, he produced a series of highly ambitious disco records aimed at positioning him as an international star, but weighed down by the excesses of the era, Gyan saw his meteoric rise matched by an equally swift fall back into obscurity.
Loved dearly by his contemporaries and sorely missed since his death in 2005 the story of the life of Kofi Kwarko ‘Kiki’ Gyan is one often told with warning by his friends to the new generation of aspiring Ghanaian popstars.
Soundway Records now collects the best of Gyan’s work as a frontman and solo artist, featuring an array of electrifying disco grooves that still sound contemporary (and in some cases futuristic) decades after their initial release.
- See more at: http://www.soundwayrecords.com/release/va---kiki-gyan/kiki-gyan---24-hours-in-a-disco-1978---82-sndw047#sthash.ZOLSMqtI.dpuf
Soundway Records present ’24 Hours in A Disco 1978 – 82’, 7 cuts of relentless disco grooves from the sublimely gifted Kiki Gyan. Hailed as Africa’s answer to Stevie Wonder, Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist Kiki Gyan was a musical wunderkind who by 1975 had risen from the lowly status of high school dropout to being ranked eighth in a poll of the greatest keyboardists in the world (occupying the rarefied air of the top ten with heavyweights like Steve Winwood, Billy Preston, and Stevie Wonder) as well as becoming an in-demand session player in the top recording studios of London – all before his twenty-first birthday.
Out on his own, he produced a series of highly ambitious disco records aimed at positioning him as an international star, but weighed down by the excesses of the era, Gyan saw his meteoric rise matched by an equally swift fall back into obscurity.
Loved dearly by his contemporaries and sorely missed since his death in 2005 the story of the life of Kofi Kwarko ‘Kiki’ Gyan is one often told with warning by his friends to the new generation of aspiring Ghanaian popstars.
Soundway Records now collects the best of Gyan’s work as a frontman and solo artist, featuring an array of electrifying disco grooves that still sound contemporary (and in some cases futuristic) decades after their initial release.
- See more at: http://www.soundwayrecords.com/release/va---kiki-gyan/kiki-gyan---24-hours-in-a-disco-1978---82-sndw047#sthash.ZOLSMqtI.dpuf
ghanaweb.com


 

Tracklist

1. Disco Dancer – Kiki Gyan
2. 24 Hours In A Disco – Kiki Gyan
3. Keep On Dancing – Kiki Gyan
4. Disco Train – K G Band
5. Pretty Pretty Girls – The Twins
6. Sexy Dancer – Kiki Gyan
7. 4Loving You – K G Band
1. Disco Dancer – Kiki Gyan
2. 24 Hours In A Disco – Kiki Gyan
3. Keep On Dancing – Kiki Gyan
4. Disco Train – K G Band
5. Pretty Pretty Girls – The Twins
6. Sexy Dancer – Kiki Gyan
7. 4Loving You – K G Band - See more at: http://www.soundwayrecords.com/release/va---kiki-gyan/kiki-gyan---24-hours-in-a-disco-1978---82-sndw047#sthash.ZOLSMqtI.dpuf

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