Ghanaian Highlife Queen Paulina Oduro, will on Sunday May 23rd 2007, perform with Bommbaya, her 10-piece band that dazzles with chiming guitar lines at the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall London, as part of the London African Music Festival.
Vocalist Paulina Oduro and guitarist Kari Bannerman will take a trip to the heart of hi-life music that dominated West African music in the 1960s and 1970s.
This is a major rework of classic songs that captured the heart and soul of generations of Ghanaians.
She will also be joined by a seven-piece band and some surprise guests, for a night that celebrates one of Africa's greatest musical styles.
She will be forming new material from a forthcoming new album out in October and her sold-out album Woman Power that she co-produced with fellow Ghanaian producer Bessa Simmons.
‘Its going to be a great concert, I’m really looking forward to it, it’s a real buzz to perform new material in from on a live audience – it’ll be hot and energetic so bring your dancing shoes!’, she says.
Background of Paulina Oduro
|Paulina Oduro Performing with Paapa Yankson at the Celebration of Music of Ghana Origin Organized by Citi Fm
Born in Sekondi (one of the most musical towns in Ghana which has traditionally produced some of the greatest highlife artists), Paulina’s talent for music was recognised at an early age.
At age seven she moved to Japan with her diplomat father and mother and her interest in music turned to classical piano, which she studied in Japan during her two-year stay.
‘Japan was very exciting for me as a young girl and many years later when I was on tour with my band, in my heart I would secretly thank Japan for the early influence of classical music lessons’ says Paulina.
However, Paulina had traditional Ghanaian parents. Her father did not believe music was a suitable enough career for his daughter and promptly curbed her musical ambitions. So at age nine, the music lessons stopped.
At age ten Paulina moved to London with her parents and by age 20 she was a qualified nurse, but this was to be short-lived as her musical spirit was not to diminish. At 21 she quit nursing and became a professional singer.
In 1982 she joined the reggae band Casanova and within six months they released their first single Loving you this way - ‘My circle at that time consisted of musicians and friends that were involved in reggae and soca, so I quite naturally started experimenting with that type of music – African music came later’ says Paulina.
In the 1980’s, she performed with a number of reggae and soca bands, including Calypso King- Mighty Sparrow and Soca Kings Arrow, Lord Kitchener, Alexander O'Neil and renowned Trinidadian singer David Rudder.
In 1999, she released her first solo album Woman Power - which she says was a reflection of her various musical influences, travels and experiences over the years.
Last year Paulina Oduro joined highlife stars like Paapa Yankson, Amandzeba, Thomas Frimpong, Agya Koo Nimo, George Darko and others to celebrate the Music of Ghana Origin [MOGO] organized by Citi FM.