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Epixode’s toast to Highlife music 

In an industry where globalisation has influenced the sound of African music, Highlife remains the only genre that truly projects Ghanaian culture.

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This traditional genre has been the backbone of Ghanaian music for decades, and its influence can still be felt in contemporary music. 

However, the need for young artistes to blend Highlife with other genres has become increasingly important to appeal to a wider audience.

For Epixode, Highlife is more than just a genre - it's a part of his identity. The Ghanaian musician has made it his mission to promote Highlife and showcase its beauty to the world.

In a recent interview with the Daily Graphic, Epixode highlighted the importance of blending Highlife with other genres, citing his own experience as a demonstration of the benefits of this approach.

“Highlife is a beautiful genre, but it can be limiting if you don't experiment and push boundaries," Epixode said. "By blending it with other genres, you can create something unique and exciting that appeals to a broader audience,” he said.

Epixode, who announced his presence in the music space almost a decade ago as a Dancehall artiste, is very happy he made the switch because embracing his newfound love has added value to his brand as an artiste.

He believes that the blend of doing both Highlife and Dancehall has not only expanded his fan base but has also allowed him to express himself more creatively.

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Epixode also highlighted the value that highlife has added to his brand, stating that it has given him a sense of identity and authenticity. 

"Highlife is a part of our cultural heritage, and incorporating it into my music has helped me connect with my roots and showcase my Ghanaian pride," he said.

He encouraged young artistes to explore the possibilities of blending highlife with other genres, emphasising the importance of innovation and creativity in the music industry. 

"Don't be afraid to try new things and push the boundaries of what is possible," Epixode urged. "That's where the magic happens."

The artiste whose real name is Theophilus Nii Arday Otoo is paving the way for a new generation of artistes to follow in his footsteps and celebrate the beauty of Ghanaian music. 

He, however, acknowledged that taking his path might not be ideal for every artiste.

“It might work for someone like me, but not others. I think we can all succeed and make our mark by using a fusion of all styles, including our unique sound of Highlife,” he added.

Highlife legend

The 2021 TGMA Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year was one of the artistes who performed in honour of Highlife legend, Abrantie Amakye Dede, who was celebrated with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the recently held Telecel Ghana Music Awards (TGMA). 

Epixode performed alongside Kwabena Kwabena, Fameye and Akwaboah.

Epixode, who is known for songs such as “Wahala Dey”, “Too Much”, “Efie Nsεm” and “You Are the One”, among others, said he had no regrets about doing Highlife music because it had added value to him as an artiste.

He noted that but for Highlife, there was no way he would have qualified to be part of a tribute performance for a well-respected musician such as Amakye Dede.

“All I can say is that Highlife paved the way. I was contacted by the TGMA Board to be part of the tribute performance for Amakye Dede, and it was an honour to be invited because it means people appreciate what I’m doing with Highlife. 

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“The feedback on my performance on the night too has been positive and I can confidently say that Highlife music has added value to my work as an artiste,” he stated.  

Promotion

Epixode, who is also a creative director, proposed a solution to promote Ghanaian music globally. 

He suggests that properly documenting the rhythms and sounds of songs by both veteran and new-generation artistes is key to improving Ghana's music industry.

Epixode's statement comes on the heels of international artistes sampling Ghanaian music without proper acknowledgement. 

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He believes this is due to Ghana's lack of adequate song documentation over the years. 

"International artistes frequently sample our songs, like the recent use of Reggie Rockstone's rhythm by Chronixx. It's essential we document our music catalogues to preserve our unique sound and legacy for future generations,” he told the Daily Graphic.

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