Brilliant Ghanaian guitarist Akablay alongside Danish musicians last week rocked the Waka Waka Festival in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, with a dramatic blend of ‘Kundum Highlife’ and Danish rhythms.
With Jesper Tychsen (saxophone) and Anders Boldsen (keyboard) who created the official song for the festival, Christian Lemming (drums) and Ghanaian bassist Kojo Amissah, the group showcased a vivid blend of fresh, unique and uplifting style which threw the audience into a trance-like state – culminating in long cheers and applause.
‘Kundum Highlife’ which is a fusion of diverse African rhythms, highlife and those of Kundum from the Western Region, took the crowd by storm alongside poignant stagecraft and deft dance movements from Akablay that are quite inventive and natural.
Organised by Shelby Production, Waka Waka Festival is an annual event which was initiated in 2011 to celebrate African culture in its diversity in Denmark. Including dance and fashion, it is held at the City Hall Square in Copenhagen and attracts between 1,000 to 3,000 guests.
In a related development, Akablay has created a highlife version of ‘Sunshine Reggae’, a popular composition by ‘Laid Back’, a Danish electric duo that stunned Denmark in the late 1970s and early 80s.
The duo is delighted by Akablay’s recomposition and a video clip is currently being worked on with saxophonist Jesper Tyschen who shot scenes from Ghana early this year.
‘Sunshine Reggae’ which became a chart-topper in Demark was later included on the band’s second album, ‘Keep Smiling’ in 1983, and went on to become a number-one single in Italy, West Germany and 19 other countries around the world.
The guitarist is scheduled to perform at other festivals / theatres and moderate workshops before returning to his base in Accra in late September through Jam Yard Production.