Artist : Kwesi Selassie
Genre : Reggae
Kwesi Selassie, also known as “The Lion of Africa” was born in Sekondi Takoradi, the capital city of the Western Region of Ghana in West Africa. Although he was born and raised in Takoradi, he hails from Agona Nsaba, in the central region of Ghana, the hometown of both his parents.
At the tender age of 11, he began singing and playing the guitar. He would simply sit under the palm trees, exploding with curiosity while experimenting with wires placing them over empty tomato cans and successfully manufacturing his own guitar. Other instruments, such as the bass guitar, drums, percussion and piano would continue to arouse his interest and he would not be satisfied until he learned of each of their worth. It would not be long until his Takoradi secondary school class mates and everyone in his hometown would know him as the “Musical Prince”.
Having been strongly influenced by Mom & Dad, Kwesi decided to move to London, in pursuit of a career in law. Like all parents, Mr. Kweku Sackey-Selassie and his wife, the Queen Mother Nana Baah Agyekum 1, encouraged Kwesi to strive for a professional career fit for his title “Prince”. However, his drive to become a musician was far too strong to be reversed. After three years of pleasing the parents, Kwesi ended his preliminary studies in law at much disappointment from his parents and returned to Ghana to embrace his first love, music. Sometimes “a man gotta do what a man gotta do” and it was his return to Ghana that Kwesi earned the title “The Lion of Africa”.
He reappeared in the music scene with a rage of a true African Lion. Kwesi began singing and playing the guitar with many spectacular bands, all over West Africa. Bands such as Afro Soul System, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Ndeep from Dakar, Senegal, 22 Band of KanKan in Guinea, The legendary Bembaya Jazz of Conakry, Guinea, The Scorpion Band of Barra Village Gambia, The System Band from Freetown Sierra Leon, The Lantics Band and the Osabarima Band fromTakoradi, Ghana. One of the most remembered performances was in Nzerekore Guinea, West Africa, in honor of the President, Lansana Conte for a traditional Ceremonial event.
Kwesi would now begin his travels, touring, and recording his own albums as a songwriter and self-taught musician.
The first move was to Quebec City, (Quebec) Canada in 1993 by invitation of his friend, who later became his manager (now ex-manager) Mr. Mario Gauthier from Matane,Quebec where Kwesi would begin the upward trend in the music scene in a hard hitting fury. In addition to writing, arranging and singing his own songs, he is also a self-taught artist who plays the bass guitar, drums and percussion. As a multitalented artist, not only does he sing in his original language (Fanti) but has also captured the hearts of many fans with the ability to speak and sing fluent English, French, Jula and ten other African dialects making him the solo multilingual artist from Ghana West Africa.
Kwesi has maintained the original blend of his music, grinding highlife, the original music from Ghana, Reggae, Ragga and a touch of European Influence what he calls Highlife-Dub Reggae. His universal themes surround the emancipation of African people, love, comedy and corruption.
In 1995, Kwesi was the first Continental African to ever be invited to perform at the 11th Canadian Reggae Music Awards and the first African to ever be Nominated in 1997 for his cd titled “False Prophets”, and nominated again in 1999 for “Judgment Day” as the Top Reggae Album of the Year.
In November 1999, Kwesi took the African Music Awards in Toronto, Canada by storm as he was the only artist nominated in four of the ten categories for the Best Album, Composer, Release and was ultimately awarded the Best Producer of the Year for his forth album “Judgment Day”.
According to the manager of “The Lion”, Kwesi is an artist of unsurpassed character, charismatic, boiling with enthusiasm and has the ability to mesmerize his fans with high flying energy.
Now with five EXPLOSIVE CD’S to his credit, and just receiving an Artist Appreciation Award from the 8th Annual Mama J Promotions, Kwesi has maintained his title as the only Multilingual High Life Reggae artist not only in West Africa, but in North America as well.
BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR EARS OPEN FOR KWESI SELASSIE’S 6TH CD ENTITLED “SURVIVAL” COMING OUT 2005 FEATURING 15 SONGS, ALSO FEATURING MANY ARTIST FROM AROUND THE WORLD IN THE LION’S STYLE!!!