Highlife Giants: West African Dance Band Pioneers

Highlife Giants: West African Dance Band Pioneers

As West Africa’s oldest form of popular music, Highlife was the soundtrack of the independence era and its influence still resonates widely today. Highlife Giants is...

Author : John Collins

Genre :African literature

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As West Africa’s oldest form of popular music, Highlife was the soundtrack of the independence era and its influence still resonates widely today. 

Highlife Giants is an intimate portrait of the pioneering artistes of West Africa’s vibrant music scene from the 1920s onwards. It is packed full of inside information from interviews with stars including E.T Mensah, Kofo Ghanaba, Bobby Benson and Ignace De Souza, revealing priceless behind-the-scene moments such as Louis Armstrong giving Eddie Okonta a trumpet with a golden mouthpiece after seeing him perform. Together with an illuminating account of Highlife’s instruments, rhythms and influences, Highlife Giants comprehensively charts the development of this rich and varied popular music, which has come to influence contemporary West African music such as Afrobeat and hiplife. 

Highlife remains crucial in generating social commentary and protest, and contributing to the consolidation of a pan-African musical identity. This book will enthral readers wishing to delve into the rich musical history of West Africa.