The two things Tema-based Pedro Roger Olympio regards above all things are his trumpet playing and intense desire to assert the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
They were the
principles that drove him to record his maiden album titled Call On Him
in 2009 and that has been followed up with a new collection of eight
songs titled Faith.
Olympio, who took up the trumpet during
his primary school days at the famous John Teye School at Ofankor near
Accra, is basically of the jazz and blues mould. His ardent desire is
to see gospel music styles in this country expanded to embrace more
He tries to make his conviction reflect
on the Faith album which was recorded at studios in Tema, Accra and
Takoradi. The songs are sung in Ewe, Twi and English and they range
from the mid-tempo bluesy, emotionally-charged vocals piece titled
Aseda to a pleasant, trumpet-dominated jazzy track called Thank You and a
sprightly Agbadza-driven song named Yesu Ye.
“I don’t think
our gospel songs should all travel in a one- way direction. There is a
lot more we can do with our own rhythms and other exciting ones from
other places to give our gospel more bite,” Olympio says.
studied music at the University of Education at Winneba and has come
this far playing live or recording with an array of artistes including
Ohemaa Mercy, Daughters of Glorious Jesus, Winneba Youth Choir, Rev
Bernard Ankomah, Stella Seal, Gifty Osei, Black Prophet and Edem.
he admires trumpeters like Miles Davis, Blue Mitchel, Hugh Masekela,
Louis Armstrong and Chet Baker, he admits learning a lot from Ghanaian
trumpeter Osei Tutu.
“The truth is I have learnt valuable
things from Ghanaian players of other instruments such as pianist Victor
Dey and guitarist Sir Young. That has helped me to form a broad
attitude to music,” Olympio states.
The Faith album at certain
points, does not sound like a trumpeter’s work. Tracks like Yehowa and
Celebrate Jesus shine more for clever arrangements, touching vocal
renditions and comely keyboard accompaniments rather than an
over-reliance on trumpet parts.
Olympio points out that he
targets matured adult listeners and discerning youth who appreciate the
intricacies of good musicianship. His Faith album, undoubtedly has
adequate stuff for such people.