FOR close to 50 years, veteran Highlife musician, Pat Thomas has maintained his relevance in a very competitive industry with his evergreen songs which have earned him both local and global accolades.
Despite new and seasoned acts making equal industry strides, resulting in a seemingly fierce rivalry in the Ghanaian music industry, Pat Thomas has succeeded in making the list of legends whose significance would never fade out.
How he does that? The Sika Ye Mogya hit maker explained to the Graphic Showbiz in an exclusive interview that consistency is what has done the magic for him.
His consistent promotion of highlife music and his love for the genre are the reasons for his continuous relevance in the Ghanaian music industry, as well as on the global scene.
According to him, despite being exposed to new cultures and musical styles, he remained steady, carved a niche for himself and established international standards that would allow Ghanaian highlife music to be appreciated.
“I believe it all boils down to keeping at what I love doing all the time and my passion for highlife music. There were growing threats from other cultures due to engagements and exposure with the outside community, new genres and even industry heavyweights but the goal was to stick to my passion which is highlife and deliver beyond expectation.
“I never for once swayed from the defining elements of highlife music and that’s made me who I am today. I dare say if I had shifted focus or had been inconsistent, I may not have chalked this milestone and I am very grateful to the industry and Ghanaians for supporting me and my craft all these years, “he added.
The Gyae So singer urged up and coming highlife artistes to preserve the genre's distinctiveness by resisting the demands of new cultures and novel genres.
He contended highlife music, which has its roots in Ghana, has its own distinctive history, and any attempt to alter it to accommodate modern musical styles would be detrimental to the genre.
"Originality sells more, so what we as highlife artistes can do is to stay true to the genre's defining characteristics and avoid incorporating other genres, which can eventually dilute our highlife.
“Highlife is what distinguishes us as Ghanaians and we can only present it and create songs with all of its distinctive components,” he told the Graphic Showbiz.
Known as the Golden Voice of Africa, Pat Thomas, born Nana Kwabena Amo Mensah in Agona in the Ashanti Region is a globally recognised Ghanaian vocalist and songwriter famed for his work with Highlife bands of Ebo Taylor, Marijata and Sweet Beans. He played with the Kwashibu Area band during his last global tour a few years ago.
Some of the songs he has to his credit include Oba, Mewo Akoma, Odo Adaada, Stay There and Asawa Do.
He featured on Sarkodie’s Bra and recently on R Hustle’s Guy Guy.
On August 4, 2023, a concert dubbed Pat Thomas Highlife Night in honour of Pat Thomas who is in his 70s will be hosted at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).