Hi life music a genre originated from Ghana in 1920’s before it spread to Liberia, Nigeria and other african countries now holds a lot of controversies as to which song be called Hi Life here in Ghana especially when it comes to various awards schemes and categories.
History proves that this genre has suffered a lot of change and I’m tempted to believe it’s the most unstable genre in Africa.
There has been arguably foreign inpact on it since it’s origination depending on which foreign genre is been patronized in Africa.
In the sixties when Blues was dominating we had CLASSICAL HI LIFE.
The ET MENSAH and the King Bruce era. In the eighties when we experienced House and Soca then it change to Burger HI LIFE. In mid nineties when Hip Hop and R&B took over then came Hip life and in the late Nineties when we ha pop and funkz then came Contemporary Hi Life.
And gradually turned into Afro-pop now I don’t know whether we are going to have Pop Hi life or whatever
From time these are some of the sort of HI Life’s we’ve had.
Classical Hi life. Burger Hi life. Western Hi life and the Contemporary Hi Life unlike reggae which has kept it’s characteristics since time immemorial. Or even Calypso and blues( cools).
I don’t know whether is due to the mode of its commencement. Cos it was the mix of local Akan instruments mixed with the western instruments. Probably due to this it’s always attracting foreign influence. I stand to be corrected thought but this is my little study.
From history Hi life is characterized by Jazz flute and multiple guitars leading the rhythm so if we really want to get to the roots and solve the issue with the genre and stabilize it so that it can have an identity then let’s have this one point and there won’t be any issue identifying HI LIFE.