Awards organisers killing Highlife - Quarme Zaggy

By: Gifty Owusu-Amoah
Quarme Zaggy accuses awards organisers of killing Highlife
Quarme Zaggy

AS a fierce promoter of Highlife music, Quarme Zaggy is not pleased with the direction the genre is going in.

His displeasure has mainly got to do with awards organisers categorising other forms of music as Highlife.

In a chat with Graphic Showbiz recently, the Totofiifi artiste said awards organisers are killing the originality of Highlife.

“Inasmuch as I appreciate that some few young ones are doing their best to promote Highlife, what most of them are doing is not Highlife but the system has forced them into it.
 
“My assertion comes from the perception of some industry players that Highlife is evolving and its compositions must reflect the changing times but I don’t believe that Reggae music has changed over the years.

“It has maintained its uniqueness since its existence as it is thought to promote a culture. Again, Zouk by the Francophone still sounds the same so why are we trying to change our Highlife to meet perceived changing times,” he stated.

In Quarme Zaggy’s view, people with knowledge about Highlife should correct the wrongs by award organisers.

“This subject is a recipe for disaster and that is why I have found it necessary to address it before it’s too late. If we cannot classify highlife as Reggae, why should we categorise pop as Highlife?” he asked.

Last year, Quarme Zaggy, addressed the “unnecessary” titles some Highlife artistes have bestowed on themselves on Totofiifi and he is at the moment promoting his latest song titled Araba.

Released last month and produced by Kindee, the song which features Mizter Okyere, 2019 VGMA Instrumentalist of the Year, extols the virtue of Quarme Zaggy’s love interest called Araba.

It tells his personal story about a beautiful woman he fell in love with on meeting her for the first time. Even though he falls head over heels in love with her, she is playing hard to get and that motivated him to compose a song to carry his love message to her.

Listening to Araba, one can identify similarities in rhythm to Wutah’s Bronya but Quarme Zaggy denied that he took inspiration from it when he was asked.

“Well, the same producer worked on both songs so it could be his style but I didn’t take inspiration from it,” he said.  

Born Nana Kwame Ampah, Quarme Zaggy won the Best Male Vocalist at the Central Music Awards last year and he is contesting for the Highlife Song of the Year at the upcoming Ghana Music Awards UK. He was nominated for Best Highlife Artiste at the 4Syte Music Awards in 2014.

Among the numerous songs he’s known for are Shake Shake, True Love, Just The Two Of Us, See Saw, Matede and My Desire.