Rawlings killed highlife music in Ghana - Gyedu-Blay

Veteran highlife singer, Gyedu-Blay, blames Rawlings for the fall of highlife music

Rawlings killed highlife music in Ghana - Gyedu-Blay
Jerry John Rawlings

Gyedu-Blay has, against the usual accolades trooping in for the late former president, said that Jerry John Rawlings is responsible for the deterioration of highlife music.

According to the highlife musician, songwriter, producer, and composer, despite Rawling's passion for music, his tenure was indirectly responsible for the fall of highlife music.

He said this while speaking with Foster Romanus on the Late Nite Celebrity Show on eTV Ghana.

Gyedu-Blay further insinuated that he does not mean to say that the late President Rawlings deliberately killed highlife music, that it was the situations or conditions during his time did.

“There was curfew and this curfew was over two years constantly. The curfew was from 6 pm to 6 am so this meant that musicians couldn’t play their music to make ends meet”.

He reminisced that the because of the restriction, most of the musicians had to travel outside to Europe, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and other countries to do their music and earn a living. By the time the curfew was lifted, according to him, there were no musicians around.


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“That was when the spinners had to come and replace the musicians so despite having that passion for music, to fulfil his aim of unifying the police, the military and the civilians because of security reasons, he had to let the curfew stay as long as over two years”, he said.

The veteran then stated that artistes nowadays do not put time into putting together the instrumentals with the rudiments of music.

“Today’s music has been a sharp sharp style of music because the younger ones just get a computer and work on fruity loops to create rhythms. Some of the rappers even go to the studio, the engineer plays different beats and then they just choose one that they like.

"Our time, it wasn’t like that. Our time, it’s not somebody who’s going to create it for you. You create it because we learnt what is called music; the rudiments of music, the cadences of music and all that. The younger ones these days don’t know about the rudiments and the cadences of it so sharp things also die out sharp sharp”, he explained.