Prof John Collins

Musicologist and lecturer at the University of Ghana, Prof John Collins, is happy that young musicians are paying attention to the Highlife music genre.

Speaking to Joy Prime’s IB in an interview at the VGMA National Music Summit, which took place at the Accra International Conference Centre’s Grand Arena, Monday, he said it is the mother of all genres in Ghana and the way forward for music in the country.

According to Prof John Collins, Highlife is Ghana’s heritage; hence, musicians will gain more from it if they paid attention to it.

The Musicologist mentioned that many musicians today produce Highlife songs, but they label it under different genres of music.

Prof John Collins noted that most of the musicians in the western world have run out of musical rhythms; hence the African rhythm and melody are the new gold.

His comment comes in the wake of Shatta Wale’s reignited conversation about the need for Ghana to push one genre of music to the world.

While delivering a ‘state of the Industry’ address on Wednesday, June 2, the ‘Freedom’ singer said he finds the lack of a unique genre in Ghana a major setback for the music industry.

He said that, “I was in business meetings with different foreign stakeholders, and investors in the US and one question they all seemed to ask was, ‘what kind of music do Ghanaians do?”

Shatta Wale later recommended that Ghanaian artistes should focus more on producing Highlife Music.

However, Entertainment journalist, Arnold Asamoah Baidoo disagreed with the Dancehall artiste’s assertion that not marketing one genre to the world was a setback for the country.

He said that that the fact that artistes like Shatta Wale have grown their brands, earned money, and gained many opportunities while making music in Ghana indicates that the industry’s setback is not the absence of a unique genre.

“Not having one genre is not our setback. Do you know what our set backs are? Lack of publishing, lack of distribution, lack of labels, poor royalty system, piracy, funding, these are our setbacks,” he said