Alex Mensah otherwise known as Lucky Mensah is a seasoned highlife musician, one who does not get enough credit for his contributions to the development of Ghanaian music.
At a time when all directions of Ghanaian music seem to be gearing only towards hiplife, Lucky Mensah is one of the few musicians who has stuck to highlife music over the past 17 years.
This silky smooth alto singer hails from Gomoa Dominase near Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana. Lucky started singing at a tender age of eleven years with the Massacass Gospel Singers of the Christo Asafo church.
He intimated that what inspired him to further his god-given talent was a group way back in 1981 known as the 'Calvary Singers' who used to sing in his church. He always went to church purposely to listen to them sing and that motivated him to take his singing to the next level.
Blessed with a multi-octave vocal range and a dynamic stage presence, Lucky Mensah has nine albums to his credit which includes "Nsawa Bo" (1993), "Glory To The Lord" (1994), "Wope A Hwe" (1995), "Agooji Baby" (2001), "Brofre Nie" (2002), "Aduu Sumo Akwadu" (2004), "Old School" (2005), "Bottom of My Heart" (2006), and "I Miss You" (2008).
In 1993, Lucky Mensah came out with his debut album "Nsawa Bo", to rave reviews but disappointing sales. Undeterred by this turn of events, he followed this up the next year by collaborating with Matthew Kwaku, to release a gospel album titled "Glory To The Lord. Lucky did release yet another highlife album, "Wope A Hwe", in 1995.
Like his maiden release, this sophomore CD did not do fare any better on the music scene and was compelled to take a long hiatus away from music. He blames the lackluster performance of the two earlier albums to tepid promotion and the decision of then producer Kwame Ghana Promotions to withhold release of the second album. During the long spell away from music, Lucky filled his time composing and writing for fellow musicians such as Oheneba Kissi (Ampoma) and Charles Eloh.
Lucky Mensah would finally enjoy commercial success and critical acclaim in 2001 with the release of "Agooji Baby". This breakout album had many hit tracks including the very popular 'Mene Wonni Asem' and the title track 'Agooji Baby'. Half of the songs on the 10-track album are songs that are best enjoyed on the dance floor.
This renewed interest would propel him to release a string of highly successful albums leading to his song, 'Aduu Sumo Akwadu' being judged The Best Highlife Song of the Year at the 2005 Ghana Music Awards. However, this streak of success would hit a bump when Lucky Mensah composed and performed songs for the platform of then opposition National Democratic Congress Party (NDC) during the 2008 electioneering campaign. His music sales will suffer as a result of his political affiliation with the NDC party.
To further compound matters, Lucky Mensah stated that he was not fully reimbursed for his efforts and bumped up against official party hierarchy in attempting to recoup his funds because no contractual agreement was reached for his works.
This lyrically gifted musician decided to put the ordeal behind him and has settled in the United States to re-strategize his career.
The sales of his most recent album I Miss You is doing measurably well, considering it was self-produced and financed. During my interview with Lucky Mensah, he derided the issue of Payola, the high level of piracy and certain debilitating actions of some radio presenters and disk jockeys.
He also questioned the amount of foreign music content on Ghanaian radio stations, especially Nigerian music that has taken precedence over local artistes.
He recently composed and released the song ”Osee Yie” for the Ghanaian National Football team, the Black Stars during their impressive run at the just- ended World Cup competition.
In concluding our conversation, Lucky Mensah thanked God for his immensurable blessings and his one-time producer Yaw Kwabena Boadu. From my point of view, I think this talented dude is certainly one of the best highlife musicians around and his lyrics touch on the everyday aspects of life. Keep your fingers crossed for his future projects.
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