Nana Kweku Addai, known to everyone simply as Agyaaku, is dead. The 60 plus year-old musician died yesterday morning at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
Agyaaku’s son, Kwaisey Pee, himself a very popular highlife musician, could hardly speak when Showbiz called him yesterday from his London home to seek confirmation of the news.
All he could say was,”It’s difficult for me; very difficult” A few months ago, soon after Agyaaku had returned home from England where he had been living for the past decade, he told Showbiz that despite the upsurge of hiplife and other comtemporary styles here, highlife is still highly cherished by many.
“I was recently at Abrantie Spot in Accra and though there were several hiplife guys in line to perform, people were asking for us the old guards around to come on and sing some of our old stuff,” said Agyaaku.
“I was moved and felt highlife has a future no matter which styles come up here.”
Highlife was obviously the dominant trend back in the early 1960s when Agyaaku was a shoeshine boy in Kumasi with his heart bursting with love for music and keen to attach himself to a band as a singer.
He was eventually picked up by Yamoah’s and later sang with Black Hustlers, Kantinka, Sumsum, Big Three and Agyaaku International bands before leaving for London in 2000.
He is particularly remembered for some of the pieces he did with Yamoah’s with whom he stayed for about 13 years.
The memorable Yamoah songs with him on lead vocals included Serwaa Akoto, To Wo Botom, Otan Hunu Ye Ya, Comfort and Saman Me.
“I regard P.K. Yamoah as my musical mentor. I call him my master because he opened the way in music for me. He showed me a lot of things that have helped me till now,” Agyaaku told Showbiz.
After Yamoah, the other musician Agyaaku had a long and fruitful working relationship was guitarist and singer, Smart Nkansah.
The two met with other guys from Sweet Talks and formed Black Hustlers in 1977 and later Sunsum Band.
When Sumsum broke up, Agyaaku teamed up with guitarist Eric Agyeman and drummer Thomas Frimpong to start the Big Three which recorded one album on the Despite label before disintegrating.
He later formed his own Agyaaku International Band which toured England but the singer decided to stay on there.
|< Prev||Next >|