Tactical Ras Shifo of Cheers FM interviews TV3’s Mentor star Okuraseni, Samuel
“Who do you think is a genius in highlife music?” Ras posed this question to Okuraseini Samuel. “I think the typical, pure highlife king of highlife in Ghana here whom I’d love to be like is my own father Abrantie Amakye Dede.” Samuel was full of praise for the seasoned highlife musician. “He hasn’t released a new album and yet he still has hit. He has the ability to sing and control his live band and though he hasn’t released a new song, he is still well to do. Even as young men do not have the abilities he has. He’s also a chief. I want to be like him.”
Samuel was asked his opinion on current young highlife artistes. When asked which two young musicians he saw as being capable of reaching the level of Amakye Dede, Samuel readily mentioned the name of Bisa Kdei. He was of the view that Bisa can easily get there. Kuame Eugene’s name was next on his tongue. However, Okuraseini said that Kidi is also one to look out for. “The very sight of him proves he’s a star. He’s one to look out for.” He was a little reluctant though to give his opinion on who he thinks the best dancehall artistes are. “They’re all very good singers. They all do really well. Stonebwoy is a good musician. So is Shatta Wale, whom I’ve had a show with before.”
Okuraseini shared with Ras Shifo his views on being a musician. “Reggie has a pub. Amakye Dede has a pub. This is one of the reasons I want to be like Amakye Dede and hence I model my life after him. You have to understand that doing music doesn’t mean after leaving the studio, you come home and relax, no. You have to find work to do as an aside. I know of a musician who is very good, he does very well. I shall not say his name though. He’s good but he takes pleasure in certain things; you know what I mean. The usual thing is that after leaving the studio, you go to a bar and have drinks with friends. If you don’t take care, you’ll come down.”
Okuraseini Samuel comes from the Brong Ahafo region, Dormaa to be precise. Therefore, Ras wonders why he rarely features artists from his region. Okuraseini took this allegation well. In his defense, he said that they’d planned to do shows in the region. However, every region has a reigning musician. You just can’t move in on someone’s territory. For instance, he cited Kooko as an example. “There might even be someone better than Kooko but it’s Kooko we have heard of in Accra. Our doors are always open for the underground artists.”Highlife is one of the genres of music many Ghanaians enjoy, with its authentic African rhythms and beautiful messages. These days a lot of highlife musicians are oldies and the young people who sing highlife are very few. Sure, some young people do sing highlife but what we usually see is a mainstream hiplife artist releasing a highlife song or two. However, every once in a while, we do see a young musician being bold enough to exclusively perform highlife. One of such musicians is Okuraseini Samuel.