Four essential cuts from Ghana & Cape Verde, compiled by Arp Frique...
Music is a great connector, bringing people together in many ways. On his journey in music so far, Arp Frique has been fortunate to meet many beautiful artists. The songs on this first edition of "Radio Familia" are deeply connected to the musicians he performs with. Join the music family on a trip through exciting sounds from Ghana and Cape Verde and listen to their story in both words and music.
Arp Frique never played a show without including Americo Brito’s epic song “C’est Dudu”. The song originally appeared on his album “Fidjo Di Mizeria” from 1989 but he had been performing his anthem for years and it came in many shapes and forms. After spending a lot of time in Paris, he (like many others in those days) got inspired by new records from Guadeloupe and Martinique, especially “kadans”. Incorporating latin piano motifs borrowed from salsa and merengue and a bold choice to sing in French, the song and album became an instant success for Americo in and outside the clubscene (note: DJs were not the primary source of dance music in those days, bands played all night to keep the dancers moving). The addition of C’est Dudu to this compilation became especially relevant since Americo recently passed away. Fortunately, his anthem just like all his other music will remain with us for decades to come.
While going through the archives with Americo Brito for the Radio Verde compilation, he introduced Arp Frique to a band called Imilux Star, of course again well connected with Americo. This Cape Verdean band residing in Luxemburg (where there is a substantial Cape Verdean community) definitely added a different flavor to the musical pallet the islands are famous for: heavy syncopated rhythms coming from the drum computer. They released two albums which both became very popular in their scene and the track “Yolanda” from their 1988 album “Jota Dê” got to Arp Frique’s attention too late to add to the Radio Verde comp. The band is still performing to this day in the Luxemburg-Cape Verdean live circuit.
While Arp Frique was on the road with his lead singer Mariseya, they talked much and deep about Ghanaian music (especially highlife) and he learned a lot about the community from Ghana in the Netherlands, mostly in Amsterdam and The Hague. Mariseya’s dad, Nana Adomako Nyamekye, came to see their liveshow while in the UK which was very special to them considering he is one of the highlife artists Arp Frique has grown to be very fond of. His deeply funky and bubbly bass driven song “Obra Twa Owuo” is about life and death, telling us we should all love each other as we still have life to live. Originally released on “Ano Plan” from 1982, the album is filled with philosophical advice. In his own words: “A message to all humans that something awaits us all at the end of life. Let’s live together with love.
Bnnyhunna, from the Ghanaian community in the Netherlands, joined Arp Frique’s live experience several times playing keyboards and synthesizers. His dad Elvis Kwasi Ankomah, just like him, developed a high level of musicianship while performing regularly in church. The song “Fa Wokoma Mame” (give me your heart) from his only studioalbum “Mfa Menko” released in 1995 is about showing his love to a lady but only if she puts her trust in him completely. The album talks about love, pain, relationships and life. Having worked with artists like Daddy Lumba, Nana Ampadu, Amakye Dede and many other hiplife and highlife legends, he still plays in church every week and has been doing so ever since he was 15 years young.