Kuami Eugene, a talented Ghanaian highlife singer and composer, has stated that, contrary to popular belief, excellent music does not have to be in English.
He claims that many people enjoy great music, especially African music, without fully comprehending the lyrics.
“There are a lot of African songs we don’t understand but still jam to,” Kuami Eugene said on Y107.9FM’s Myd Morning Show with Rev. Erskine. “I believe music transcends all boundaries; therefore, you must perform excellent music, and once it sounds good, people will flock to it.”
He believes that the artist’s ability to break into new markets will be hampered by the language barrier.
“If you’re able to break through that barrier, then you can do the O2 arena and other places because those coming to watch you want to sing along, and if they don’t understand anything about the music it’s quite difficult,” he explained.
He used Nigerians as an example since they sing nearly exclusively in English, a factor he saw as a benefit for the country’s music business.
“The fact that they use a lot of pidgin in their music and because it’s English, people understand what’s being said. So, when it’s played somewhere, it doesn’t have to be explained because they can understand everything being said in the song,” he said.
The award-winning musician said that it’s not wrong to take pride in one’s roots and culture, and that it’s also not terrible if our music gets out there and people can relate to it.
“It’s good but if you really want to get on the international market you have to do something they’ll understand and that means adding a little of what they can relate to,” he discussed.
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