It’s a rarity to find a young musician pursuing a genre of music considered “old” in the midst of more popular and commercially viable genres.
For Kofi Bruce, dabbling in the genre of palmwine music – the old genre- goes beyond a matter of interest. It is an attempt to help revive the popularity of palmwine music and also, express his musicality through relatable and exciting art of storytelling.
The significance of palmwine music to modern african music from the western belt of Africa can not be downplayed. The continuous popularity of afrobeats and highlife music genres across the continent has, at its very foundation, palmwine music.
ABOUT KOFI BRUCE
Kofi Bruce is a Ghanaian singer, songwriter, producer born and raised in the port city of Takoradi, in the Western Region. He is also an instrumentalist with the Afrikyewa (Thumb bell) as his instrument of choice. Growing in a household where Ghanaian highlife music was predominantly played, the cultural ethos of the genre was, unconsciously, supplanted in him at an early age. In his teenage years, Kofi Bruce fell in love with palmwine music. The melodies, minimal instrumentation and intriguing storytelling of the genre were irresistible to the aspiring musician. These elements have been prevalent in his music.
Kofi Bruce has released three songs in recent times. The songs, though different from one another in sound and tempo, are held together by a central story as expressed on his singles “Aketesia”, “Martha Martha” and “Philomina”.
The song “Aketesia”, (young lady in his native language of Fante) explores an oldman’s reflection of his youthful years with women. The song talked about how Aunty Mary’s daughter, takes an old man down the memory lane with her flirtatious stroll around the house .
Leaning back in his favourite chair, he stares into space as he recollects his youthful years when women found him irresistible (a ladies man). It was rumoured that he was responsible for Martha’s pregnancy hence the sng title Martha Matter.
On his recent release “Philomina”, Kofi Bruce delivers a tale about this very unassuming church lady who was hell-bent on keeping him to herself. The two shared great memories together during their flinging moments. The only problem was he was a married man. As he brode over the past, the smile on his face slowly fades as he recalls how difficult it was for him in and out of the church.
Kofi Bruce is determined to help revitalize the genre of palm wine music through the release of his upcoming EP, “Tappers’ Joint” and a series of lined-up live music experiences. The rich musical tradition that stalwarts like Agya Koo Nimo had nurtured, protected, and exported must be upheld by a new generation. Kofi Bruce is swimming his way to the forefronts of palmwine music.