The self-professed originator of Hip Life, Gyedu Blay Ambolley who’s known for making controversial assertions has stated categorically that majority of artists in Ghana don’t deserve to be called musicians but rather composers citing Sarkodie and Tinny to buttress his argument.
In the rightful thinking of the veteran musician, a musician is someone who is able to put sounds together and create a message out of it for people to enjoy. In simple terms, Gyedu Ambolley is trying to say that a musician should know how to play at least one musical instrument. He goes on to cite Sarkodie, Tinny, et al. to dissociate them from the musician tag.
“Many a time, I see the media calling Sarkodie a musician or calling Tinny a musician. No!, they are rappers and not musicians. People who call themselves musicians, they have to go back to the drawing board. They have to go back to school to learn how to play instruments”, Gyedu Ambolley said this in an interview with Accra-based Class 91.3
In Ambolley’s estimation, artistes of Sarkodie’s caliber are only good at putting words together but they’re underdogs when it comes to musical arrangement. To him, such artists are just recording their voices without any musical techniques. So, it’s high time such artistes learn musical instruments so they can be seen as complete musicians.
“There are some people who can compose music, the idea will come, and a melodic idea will also emerge, so, they will meet somebody and sing it to him, but they cannot arrange the music, they cannot say: ‘Guitar, you play that side or trumpet play this side’; they cannot do that, so, that person only becomes a composer but not a musician,” he added.
On records, Gyedu Blay Amberley is the first musician from Ghana to formally incorporate rap forms into local High Life rhythms. He plays the saxophone and bass guitar. More importantly, he will be honored by Oak Plaza Hotel on May 25, 2018, for his contribution to the music industry.