Togolese stars ‘rock’ at Alliance Francaise

BY: Eugene Selorm Owusu
Amen Viana

There is a perception that artistes from francophone countries know how to “rock” the stage and last week, France-based Togolese musician, Amen Viana and his musical posse confirmed this with their eclectic performance when they played at the Alliance Francaise in Accra.

Dubbed, “Electric Togoland”, the musical event saw performances by Amen Viana and his French band made up of Tao Ehrlich (on percussion) and Laurent Ciron (on electric guitar).

The group wowed patrons with a potpourri of traditional Togolese music, rock and blues for more than an hour much to the pleasure of the audience.

Amen Viana has for the past 20 years been sharing his time between two musical continents; his ears in Western rock-funk and his heart in Africa.

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With the help of sound engineer/producer, Laurent Ciron, Amen Viana recorded an assemblage of artistes, including King Mensah, Ali Bawa, Roger Damawuzan, Greg Zlap, Françcois Gay, and Alain Apaloo into an album titled, Electric Togoland, which was completed in the Happy House Studios in Paris.

Thus, the decision to stage the Electric Togoland music concert in Benin, Togo and Ghana, was to outdoor the songs on the album to music lovers in West Africa. 

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Speaking with Showbiz, Amen Viana said he was very elated that the Ghana edition went on well.

"It feels good to be in Ghana and I'm happy with the reception. My mum hails from Ada here in Ghana so Ghana is like a second home. Thanks to Ghana," he told Showbiz in a chat after show.

The show was not all about Amen Viana and his band as Adjoa Sika, a Togolese singer who resides in Ghana occasionally, also took his turn to display his singing prowess on the night. 

Togolese music maestro, King Mensah, who was widely advertised as one of the performers was absent at the concert, much to the chagrin of most patrons.

"I rushed here purposely to see King Mensah and I'm very disappointed he couldn't make it," Dela Botri, leader of Ghanaian music group, Hewale Sounds, told this reporter in a chat after the show.

France based percussionist, Tao Ehrlich really enthralled the audience on the night with his percussive dexterity. The Electric, Togoland concert in Ghana was the initiative of Amen Viana with support from Alliance Fraicaise and Institut Francais.

The concert was also staged in Cotonou (Benin) and Lome (Togo) a fortnight ago.