Kuami Eugene, a gifted Ghanaian highlife singer and composer, has said that excellent music need not necessarily be in English, contrary to popular belief.
He claims that many people enjoy amazing music, particularly African music, without really understanding the lyrics.
“There are a lot of African songs we don’t understand but still jam to,” Kuami Eugene told Rev. Erskine on Y107.9FM’s Myd Morning Show. “I believe music goes far regardless ergo, you have to perform excellent music and once it sounds nice people jump on it.”
He believes the language barrier will make it difficult for the artist to break into new markets.
“If you’re able to break through that barrier, then you can do the O2 arena and other places because those coming to watch you want to sing along, and if they don’t understand anything about the music it’s quite difficult,” he explained.
He used Nigerians as an example since they sing nearly exclusively in English, a factor he saw as a benefit for the country’s music business.
“The fact that they use a lot of pidgin in their music and because it’s English, people understand what’s being said. So, when it’s played somewhere, it doesn’t have to be explained because they can understand everything being said in the song,” he said.
The award-winning musician said that it’s not wrong to take pride in one’s roots and culture, and that it’s also not terrible if our music gets out there and people can relate to it.
“It’s good but if you really want to get on the international market you have to do something they’ll understand and that means adding a little of what they can relate to,” he discussed.