Keche: The rise and rise of the studio rats

Keche (Left: Andrew Right: Joshua)

From lurking the crannies of the musical studio room to gracing the opulence of the Sapphire Ghana edifice, Keche has fully epitomised the cliché “grass to grace.”

Keche is a Ghanaian Hiplife/Afropop group made up of two artists; Andrew Cudjoe (singer) and Joshua Ampah (rapper).

The group has racked up sold-out shows around the sub-Saharan enclave and the world at large.

On June 5 2020, the award duo appeared on the KSM show and serenaded the viewers with a live band medley of old and new hits.

The intriguing interview saw the duo open up on a number of secrets about their marriages and career longevity that has spanned over 16 years and still counting.

“I have been taken for the past 7 years and Andrew was my best man although Andrew ditched me and didn’t make me his best man, Andrew is learning a lot from me all the same, it has been beautiful being married,” Joshua said.

He went ahead to advise the youth to be ready and have a purpose before entering into marriage. “You should be a man to be married,” he stated.

Mutual respect and trust for each other’s value was cited by Joshua as a cornerstone to the foundation of their longevity.

“I can’t do this alone”, Joshua said. “Without Andrew, I can never breakthrough. Keche doesn’t belong to me, neither does it belong to Andrew. It belongs to the fans out there. Keche is like a company that has employed Joshua and Andrew.”

The singer (Andrew) added that though “sometimes we do fight; we argue.”

He said that it was important to not let their arguments affect the overall mission of the group.

“The people who are watching you don’t care about whatever you feel or are going through. They are there to be entertained.”

The group also recounted various tales during their era of abject penury, times when they were tagged as “up and coming” and hence were extremely limited on funds to propagate their musical career.

The now accomplished group hilariously recounted some extreme measures they took just to rack up enough funds to afford a studio session.

On the show, the music duo also stated that coming up as Ghanaian artiste, “the rough part of their journey made up about of 98% of their story, especially when you’re coming from a family that doesn’t support what you do.

Joshua said that their families assumed that music as a career was a path for “vagabonds.”

He said that to support their career they used to make GHC20 approximately $4.00, back then, after offloading the entire content of a 40 feet container.

“It hasn’t been an easy journey for us” Joshua added.

The duo also claimed to have taken the vocals of the stars who used to come to Kaywa’s studio as inspiration while growing up as musicians.

“Daasebre featured us on his songs and we were excited as growing artiste” the duo added. Kaywa never mentions us to other people because of how good he knew we were and he wanted to handle and manage us all by himself. Being under Kaywa for long, we learnt so many things, and many people didn’t know we knew how it was being done.”

Joshua stated that they were later discovered by Kay Gee (now a doctor in USA). “Kay Gee gave us $700 to shoot our first music video. Wills shot our first music video.”

He also gave viewers a slice of his sense of humour by giving an account of his first air travel.

“I felt we were to pay for everything so I rejected all the meals being served on the flight, he said with a charming smile on his face.”

The group also confirmed that they were part of a grand virtual show dubbed COVID-19 hope for Africa concert, organized by DSTV as part of Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally the duo chorused, “We are prayerful artistes, we use to pray at the Padmore Park in Tema, fasting and praying and we have never stopped praying ever since we started. We never woke up one day to become the KECHE you see today” said the Same Girl hit makers.

They ended the interview by saying “Never insult greatness and success otherwise it will never come to you, success and greatness needs to be respected”.

Over a sublime career, the group can boast of hits such as; Diabetes, Sokode, Slow Motion, Odo, Same girl, Today etc.

Presently signed to Gem Media, the group is scheduled to release two projects in the immediate months to come: an EP, and a full album that will see them have a titillating musical interface with various stars across the African continent.