'C.K Mann Is Back To Revive Highlife Music'
When veteran musician C.K Mann stormed the music industry over four decades ago, little did he know he could assume iconic status with his Maverick Productions.
It becomes little wonder, therefore, when his own peers revere him by his uniquely beautiful songs, love melodies, dirges and life stories; bringing a lot of encouragement, determination, admiration and enchainment to listeners.
C.K's fame in Ghana's music industry is common to the ordinary Ghanaian. However, his latest album entitled 'Wope Nyeho' produced by West Gold Music Studio, is a presentation of great lyrical content.
Though all the tracks on the album are not so different from the usual highlife composition of his type of music, the general orchestration, instrumentation and lyrical delivery are quite interesting.
The lyrics of the songs, which are inspiring, are arranged with sensational rhythms, with a fusion of good drum beats, bass and guitar rhythms felt in the background, making the album a unique one.
C.K, who is still conscious of his cultural background, has maintained his Ghanaian identity in all his productions by singing in Twi.
His Ghanaian identity is vividly portrayed in the lyrics of all his songs, and at age 74, C.K Mann has a strong sense of humour.
A member of C.K Mann's production team, Wilson Arthur, told BEATWAVES last Friday in a chat that C.K's much awaited album was ready and that his fans should get ready for another inspiring creative work very soon, adding that the aim of coming out with the album is to help revive the Ghana highlife music.
C.K Mann is back on the music not only with new album compilation but 'he is back to revive Ghanaian highlife music'.
C.K's contribution to the Ghanaian music industry would undoubtedly add to the rich repertoire of musical works that the country already has.
C.K. Mann made his name as a virtuous guitar player in Ghana when he played with Moses Kweku Oppong in the Kakaikus Guitar Band in the early 60s.
He then became the leader of the band Ocean's Strings until 1966. In 1968, he enjoyed a hit with the single 'Edina Benya'.
Funky Highlife is a fusion of highlife and soul. The best-known, killer track 'Asafo Beesuon' is a multi-layered funk medley and is over 13 minutes long.
In the late 90s hip-hop producers started hearing about Afrobeat through the sounds of Fela Kuti. Then Steinski, one of the most influential producers in hip-hop, sampled C.K's Asafo Beesoun and suddenly all the hip-hop collectors wanted it. The original LP is a hard-to-find and sought-after collector's item.
C.K. Mann was known for blending African authentic music with European influences. He was inspired by Latin American music and created a style all of his own. He became the king of highlife in Ghana in 1971, when he released the record 'Nimpa Rebre', with vocals from Pat Thomas and Kofi Yankson.
Apart from music C.K has established the C.K Mann Child Foundation where he helps needy children in school, and a number of children within Sekondi-Takoradi have benefited from the foundation.
By George Clifford Owusu