Pat Thomas, a native of Agona, in the Ashanti Region was born to a father who was a music teacher and a mother who was a band leader.

Pat Thomas, who is also known as “The Golden Voice,” was born Nana Kwabena Amu Mensah.

However, the iconic highlife musician came up with the stage name “Pat Thomas” when he was asked his name in Takoradi.

Pat has always been in love with music from an early age, and he learned a lot about band organisation and music writing from his uncle Onyina who played with Nat King Cole, Miriam Makeba, Ray Charles, and Ella Fitzgerald.

During his stay with his uncle, he learned how to play the guitar and drums. In the early 70’s he came to Accra to join a band known as the Blue Monks under the leadership of Ebo Taylor.

This was the resident band of Tip Toe Nite Club. It was during one of his shows that one caucasian lady who was in attendance fell in love with his voice and signed him up to go to Ivory Coast to form a group called The Satellites.

He later came to Ghana to form the Sweat Beans Band which became the band of choice during the KutuAcheampong Era.

Pat was crowned Mr. Golden Voice of Africa in 1978 and at the same time won the ECRAC award of the year. In 1991 he also won the Album of the Year with his “Sika Ye Mogya” song.

Pat moved to Europe and played in almost every city in Europe with his band the Anabos.

Pat moved to London, then to Canada where he lived for ten years. Pat is now residing in Ghana and can proudly boast of 15 albums to his credit.

His musical jeans have rubbed off onto his children and his daughter, Nana Yaa is one of the best female vocalists in Ghanaian music.

Music: Chance and Necessity

Pat Thomas’ story begins in the 1950s, shortly before the country’s independence in 1957 – the first African independence. This historical event does not seem to have affected him much.

Indeed, the singer defines his childhood above all as a period of learning, far from political struggles. “During my school years, I wanted to learn music as it is supposed to be,” he says with a broad smile. “So, I had to travel.

I joined my uncle, King Onyina, a musician in Kumasi”. How did he know at such a young age that he wanted to be a musician? Pat himself has trouble explaining it. “Everything told me I had to be a musician,” he says. Even though his mother would have preferred that he continue his studies, she could not dissuade him.

She was the leader of a choir, while his father was a music teacher. “I have their blood inside me,” he says with an evocative look: he has the music gene inside him.

He lived with his uncle for about 4 years during which he learned drums, percussion, and guitar, although he knows that his best asset is his voice.

His daily life is peaceful: he rehearses, plays alone, learns, and secretly listens to his relative’s CDs.

Despite the age limit, he slips into nightclubs and bonds with a highlife band called the Broadway Dance Club. “Until one day my uncle was going on tour and I asked to join him because I used to be bored when he left me.

He accepted and took me with him”. One day, the tour stops in Takoradi, Western region, and 19-year-old Pat realizes that the Broadway band is living in this city. Another coincidence – one of many in the singer’s life – his uncle’s tour bus is parked right in front of his friends’ hotel.

He wants to see them and arrives in the middle of one of their rehearsals, disrupted by a slight problem: “Their singer was a Ewe guy, he couldn’t speak Twi! He couldn’t sing one of their songs.

So they stopped playing and the group leader came to talk to me. He knew that I was from Kumasi and that I would be able to sing the lyrics of the song. They gave me a microphone. My brother… I opened my voice, I sang the song loudly, and then everyone just looked at each other”.

Although the band is completely astonished by his talent, their manager refuses to let him replace the current singer but suggests that he stay with him until he can find an opportunity to adapt to this promising voice.

He started his musical career in the 1960s where he collaborated with Ebo Taylor.

In 1974, he formed the band “Sweet Beans” and with them, he recorded his first album, False Lover. He recorded his second album “Pat Thomas Introduces Marijata” with the band Marijata.

After the coup in Ghana in 1979, he relocated to Berlin and later settled in Canada. He is now touring worldwide with his Kwashibu Area Band.

In June 2015 they released the album Pat Thomas and Kwashibu Area Band to mark 50 years of his musical career. Thomas is known as “The Golden Voice of Africa”.

Pat Thomas
Pat Thomas

2015 – Pat Thomas &Kwashibu Area Band – Pat Thomas &Kwashibu Area Band (CD / 12″) K7 Music

2016 – Pat Thomas – Coming Home (CD) K7 Music

2019 – Pat Thomas &Kwashibu area band – Obiaa! (CD / 12″) K7 Music

2019 – Pat Thomas &KwashibuArea Band – Yamona (Dam Swindle remix) (CD) K7 Music

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