With 20 albums under his belt, Daddy Lumba's albums have yielded more number one and top ten hits than
any other Ghanaian musician in our time. Coining so many phrases with his lyrics, Lumba has been responsible for some of the
lingo used in everyday language. Going to a social function without hearing at least one of his songs is like going to Chicago
without seeing the Sears Tower silhouetting the skyline.
Born Charles Kojo Fosu, Daddy Lumba started his music career as one of the duo in the group Lumba Brothers, when he collaborated
with his partner Nana Acheampong and released their first album entitled 'Yereye Aka Akwantuo Mu'. This song depicted the
number of Ghanaian immigrants that originally leave the country to seek better fortunes abroad but make those temporary homes
permanent due to financial, emotional or other unforeseen hardships. The album was produced by Lumba's wife.
After Lumba Brothers, Lumba's first solo album became an instant hit catapulting him straight into superstar status and
making him a household name and a national treasure. Since then, he has averaged an album a year and has collaborated with
other top musicians such as A. B. Crentsil, Selina, Felix Owusu, Yaw Micah, Borax and lately with Pat Thomas another iconic
figure in the Ghanaian music industry.
On his first solo album, the song 'Theresa' quickly became a hit as he crooned about a lover and how no other woman is
comparable. His delivery was unique, his style was impeccable. His ability to coin and mince ordinary sounding words and turning
them into indecipherable incoherent phrases put his vocal technique unlike any other Ghanaian musician before him. His up
tempo beats were undeniably high heat.
On the title track 'Obi ato me so boo', the steady thumping drums and the consistent groovy bass line along with the sharp
piercing lead guitar licks sent chills through one's spine. On the song, his simultaneous craving and praising a new found
lover while chiding and humiliating a former lover puts one in a bi-polar mood swing. However his uncanny ability to drag
people along this sing-along melodic joy ride depending on whether you are praising a lover or dishing out insults to a former
leave listeners to conjecture where they stand.
His second album 'Sika Asem' wasted no time in climbing up the charts thus squashing the 'sophomore syndrome', a situation
whereby most musicians' second album fail to meet the standards or exceed their first ones. This album established him as
a gifted musician who would be around for a long time.
Year after year he released one hit album after the another including, 'Ohia Asem', 'Playboy', 'Seese Wo Se', 'Odo Foforo',
Biribi Gye Gye Wo' and 'Back for Good'. Then just like so many pop musicians before him had done, he found a new life in gospel
music and released 'Mesom Jesus' and 'Woana Na Otene'. Praising and singing about Jesus had become a passion and he reached
out to the many fans who had previously not listened to his secular music.
After taking some time off from the pop scene, Lumba reverted to the genre and released 'Aben Wo Ha' an album that took
the country and his fans by storm. His finesse with words was up to the summit, his beat had become even more vibrant and
the consistency of his tempo had precise and recognizable overtones of his familiar and unique style. The master had coined
yet another phrase for the country.
After having collaborated previously with other stars, Lumba in 1999 paired up with a rising star Ofori Amponsah to release
'Woho Kyere'. That album produced five hits and thrust Amposah into the national spotlight. Reenergized, Lumba followed up
with 'Adepa Hye Adepa', 'Poison', 'Asee Ho', Odo Bewu Dee Eno wu' , collaboration with Pat Thomas entitled 'Ahenfo Kyinie'
and the latest Give Peace a Chance.
Lumba Brother's Together Again!!
So Far So Good
Who's Dancing in Lumba's Shadow?
Daddy Lumba Not Performing in Chicago
Aben wo aha
On the verge of embarking on a U.S. Tour, Daddy Lumba is set to prove to his fans that indeed he is still the reigning champion
when it comes to Highlife music.
During this tour, he will be performing in Chicago on December 10, in Columbus, OH December 17, and in Hollywood, CA Dec. 24.
Daddy Lumba agreed to this interview from Cologne, Germany at his residence.
Spectrum: It is an honor talking to you today. After all these years of listening to your music and
your voice, I cannot believe that I am finally getting the opportunity to talk to you. Thank you for giving me this privilege.
Lumba: Thank you it is a pleasure.
Word has been spreading that you will not show up. What can you say about this?
I have heard all those rumors and contrary to what they say, believe me I will be there. That is what I do for a living therefore
if a contract is ratified and bonded, there is no reason why I will not abide by it. Most of the time, people just spread
the word that I will be appearing some where even though I may not be aware of it.
There are those who intentionally
spread false rumors at the expense of others. It is just amazing how people say what comes to their minds. Our people have
tendencies to exaggerate. You would not believe what people say about me. From what you hear, people say that I am incarcerated
in some prison somewhere for dealing drugs and they concoct some bizarre stories about me, stories that I find it hard to
believe. Sometimes I wonder what motivates people to do what they do.
For the last 20 years, you have managed to stay in the spotlight by releasing an album every year. How do you do this?
Lumba: I thank the almighty God for this talent. It is not easy to achieve this feat
however, if you believe in God, everything is possible. I have had the good fortune to be blessed. Music is my life and I
do what I can to make sure that I keep my numerous fans entertained.
I am on the threshold of releasing my latest album
entitled “Give Peace A Chance”. It is my 21st and my best work yet. That will drop in Chicago when I appear there.
Spectrum: “Give Peace A Chance”? Interesting. What motivated you to come
up with such a title?
Lumba: Well, this album is about social injustice.
I mean we always stand by and see our heroes fall without doing anything about it. We have to work together to maintain peace
on earth. There is too much fighting and no end in sight. Another track on the album that will move my fans is called “Wo
Spectrum: About your collaboration with other artists
like Ofori Amponsah, Borax and others, how do you go about choosing who your next protégé or partner will be?
Lumba: Usually, when I go to the studios for some recording sessions, I keep a keen eye on new talent. As you know there is a lot of young talent out there waiting to be discovered. Thank God I am in the position
to help upstarts. As a matter of fact, my newest protégé is called Abigail Appenteng and her album is entitled “Osoro
Spectrum: What message do you have for the young and
aspiring musicians? Also growing up as a young boy in Ghana, do you have any role models who influenced you with their music?
Lumba: My advice to the young and upcoming musicians is to let them know that this
is not a one time business. It is an arduous, lasting and painstaking endeavor especially if you want to stay on the scene
for a long time.
It is a competitive business and talents abound everywhere you look. Keep up your dreams, reach for
your goals and prosperity will be yours. As far as my role models are concerned, the only one that comes to mind is Kwasi
Ampofo Agyei. To me he was instrumental in giving me the inspiration to become a musician.
You have been in the public eye for so long, how do you keep people from harassing and throwing themselves at you in public?
Lumba: I am a very private and spiritual person. I like going to church. However, I spend most of my time at home. I also enjoy going out to clubs and restaurants
occasionally. As much as I try to stay unnoticed, there are instances where people recognize me and subsequently try to sneak
in a conversation or two.
Spectrum: Watching your concerts on DVD, I can tell that you are more flexible in Europe, particularly Amsterdam than in the U.S. is there a reason why?
Lumba: Wow, that’s funny! There is no reason why I look relaxed. I will be relaxed
everywhere as long as the setting is right with me. It is just that I have noticed in Europe, when I get to the venue, things
go according to plan unlike other places. As a musician, I get excited when things are in order. It gives me the vim to perform
to my utmost best.
Spectrum: You have an uncanny ability to coin phrases.
How do you do that? Also people have trouble understanding what you are saying on your albums, is your new album going to
have the same flavor of teasing the public with phrases that we cannot actually interpret?
God gives me the wisdom and courage to do what I do. Sometimes I am amazed at myself for some of the phrases I coin. It is
a gift that I do not know how to explain. As far as interpreting my music, on this new album “Give Peace A Chance”,
I believe most people will understand the words because it is more of a precise delivery and people can identify with them.
With this vast catalog of yours, how do you select the music that you perform at your concerts?
For the simple part, I try to perform at least one song on every album during my shows. This way I try to satisfy all in attendance.
Either way I believe that most fans leave my show very happy.
Spectrum: Now for the question that
everyone wants me to ask. What does Lumba mean and how did you come up with that name?
means freedom. As a student at Juaben Secondary School, I was the choir master and once we did a song about freedom fighters
in South Africa. Since then people started calling me Lumba and this name has stuck with me since.
Thank you very much for this insightful interview. We are looking forward to seeing you in the U.S. pretty soon.
Thanks! It has been a pleasure.