The music of F. Kenya is (in my humble opinion) some of the most stunning Ghanaian highlife ever recorded, music with a unique sound characterized by deep Akan harmonies, sweet organs, and heartbreakingly beautiful vocals. The Power House, released on Essiebons in 1975, is Francis Kenya's first full length record. Like Kenya's other work, these songs are beautifully arranged, with rich musical textures that feature an interplay between interlocking guitar parts and organ lines. In addition, these songs are unique in that they are sung in Nzema (Kenya's own language) rather than the dominant Asante Twi (generally the language of highlife). The Nzema are an Akan ethnic group found on both sides of the Southern Ghana/Côte d'Ivoire border. As in the context of other African countries, boundaries imposed by European colonizers frequently divided ethnically similar groups across arbitrary national borders.
F. Kenya - Mmamya Bie Mmamma
Below is a brief biography of F. Kenya from the back of this album:
Prof. John Collins of the University of Ghana, Legon shared a close relationship with F. Kenya, living in his home during the 1970s and travelling with Kenya's concert party troupe for some time. In addition, Collins recorded F. Kenya & his band at his Bokoor Studio. Seven of these tracks may be found on the great compilations The Guitar and the Gun and Electric Highlife.
Download The Power House