Daughter of Kiki Gyan of Osibisa fame, Vanessa Gyan is considering employing the services of ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, to investigate the whereabouts of the royalties from his father’s songs.
According to the only daughter of the celebrated keyboardist, though she has been receiving some royalties on his father’s songs in the United Kingdom and the United States, she has not received a pessewa from his father’s own country hence the decision to employ the services of the ace investigative journalist to look into the issue for her.
Ms. Gyan made this known during an interview with Oyoko Dehye Kofi on high life time on Accra 100.5fm.
About Kiki Gyan
Kofi Kwarko Gyan was born on 7th June 1957 and died on June 10, 2004.
Kiki Gyan had his first education at the Chapel Hill Preparatory School in Takoradi and later went to the Tarkwah Secondary School. Kiki’s parents were by then playing the keyboard and some other musical instruments.
During those days, children had no encouragement from their parents to take up music as a profession because it was looked down upon rather they wanted their children to be doctors, pilots, accountants, etc. Kiki however found himself deeply involved in the music profession because of the love he had for it.
He loved playing some musical instruments especially the keyboard since he enjoyed it. Kiki dropped out of secondary school when he was in form three and went to Accra to play music. At Accra, he had the chance of joining interesting bands like the Avengers, Blue Monks, Boom Talents and the Pargadija Band.
The Pargadija Band had the chance of travelling to England and that was where Kiki met the Osibisa band. When it was time for the band to return to Ghana, Kiki was the only member to show up at the Kotoka International Airport.
The remaining members had vanished in search for greener pastures. The story became news all over the media houses in Ghana.
In 1972, Osibisa visited Ghana for the first time. Kiki paid them regular visits in the hotel they were lodging.
One day, a member of Osibisa, Mac Tontoh, the junior brother of Teddy, the founder of the Osibisa called Kiki and told him that he was too good to be in Ghana with his talent.
After Osibisa left for England, Kiki went to the Republic of Benin which was by then called Dahomey. There he played with a group called Santiagos for two months and he managed to make some money to fly to England.
When he got there, the Osibisa band was on a tour in the United States so he didn’t get the opportunity to meet Osibisa. However, Mac Tontoh’s younger brother allowed him to stay in his house till they came back.
Luckily for him, Osibisa’s keyboard player, Robert Bailey from Trinidad (Western East) left the group. Mac Tontoh therefore decided to conduct an audition for a new keyboard player.
During the audition, Mac Tontoh realized that Kiki was so good that he could play all their songs so he became their new keyboard player. Because he was so good and could play better than the other guys in the group, the other members started complaining that he was too young to be with them but Mac Tontoh knowing his ability insisted that he should be allowed to play.
Two weeks later they had to go for a tour in the States which was one of Kiki’s terrible tours he will never forget. He said he went through difficulties. As the only young guy in the group, he carried the group’s luggage everywhere that he became exhausted and fell sick. He however forced himself to play during the tour.
The Queen of England invited the band to the Buckingham Palace to play. The Queen was so much impressed that she even didn?t know what to do to herself. There was an All African get together in Nigeria called FESTAC in 1977 and it was there Kiki met stars like Marvin Gay, Peter Tosh, Steve Wonder, the group known as Third World and many more.
Kiki was married to Fela’s first daughter, Yeni Anikulapo but they later divorced due to pressures from a Ghanaian woman to whom he later got married to.
He had his only daughter with her who is currently in a university in the States now.
He was rated the 8th keyboardist in the whole world. Apart from Russia and South Africa, Osibisa travelled throughout the whole world.
Osibisa is a group made up of Ghanaians, Nigerians and West Indies and has made a mark on planet earth. They have also reached heights that no other group has been able to make till now. ?We could sing to a crowd of about 200,000 people and you would see some going naked, others going crazy and some even die? Kiki said.
Kiki during stated his reason for withdrawing from the group. He said as a keyboard player, he used to write most of the songs but because he was so young, Teddy would rather take the credit and this did not go very well with him since he felt cheated.
One day they left for a live concert at the Royal Festival Hall in UK. The songs they sang over there were going to be recorded as an album which was meant to be a hit. It was there that he (Kiki) requested for an amount of hundred pounds which was a big money in those times but the leaders were unable to provide that for him so he decided to leave the group.
There were some other Ghanaians who felt cheated but could not voice their opinions so when Kiki took his decision, they went along with him. Some of these people are the late Jake Soboa, a Nigerian and Kofi Aryivor. Kiki left for the States and then to Nigeria where he made it big and recorded his solo albums ?24hrs? and ?Rose Mary? which became hits in Nigeria. According to Kiki, he came out during President Shagari of Nigeria?s reign. At that time, the living condition was very good.
He later went back to the States where he associated himself with some bad gangs who introduced him to drug addiction and that was the beginning of his crisis and downfall. In fact he started using the money he had in purchasing hard drugs such as cocaine, heroine, etc.
Kiki said his wife then asked for divorce since he had taken the drugs to be his new wife and neither catered for her nor had any feeling for her. He says he now realises the effects the absence of his wife is having on him.
Kiki spent almost all the money he had on drugs so he decided to come to Ghana for his money from some people who owed him but nobody was willing to pay. He had to use the little money he had on him for drugs and that has been his end till now. He is now at the International Health Care Center at Roman Ridge where he is being catered for by his producer financially.
Kiki?s advice to the youth is that ?Stay away from drugs and focus on whatever you are doing and also have faith in the good Lord.
His last words were ?To my only daughter Vanessa Gyan who is 21 years old and currently schooling at one of the universities in the States, I am sorry about whatever I did. I believe God?s time is the best and don?t forget that blood is thicker than water and to my Dad, Kwasi Gyan and Mum, Awoh Myers who are still alive today, I am sorry for disappointing you all? Kiki lamented.
But a few years later after Kiki left the group to group to establish himself in Nigeria, he travelled to the United States of America where he got himself attached to some drug addicts and got hooked to it.After realizing that his life was taking a deteriorative dive, he decided to come back home to seek medical care, but was to avail, until he passed away on Sunday June 6, 2004 at the Fe’den International Church at Kokomlemle.
Kiki`s first solo album/LP was “Afro Reggae,” a genre of reggae soul/funk in a disco style, was released under P.V.P. Records label in 1977. The album did very well on the market. Tracks on it include: Keep It Cool, Reality, Just One Night, Thats The Way God Planned It, Doing My Thing, Afro Reggae and Chaka.
Kiki followed it up with a second album, “Feeling So Good”, a funk-soul in a disco-funk style, which he released under Boom Records label in 1979. This album established his reputation as a class act when it comes to entertaining Disco-goers. Tracks on it include Disco Dancer, Sunshine Baby, Sexy Dancer, Black Afro Punk, Alhaji Who Are You and We Make Music. His last sublimely soul-funk album/LP, “Feelin’ Alright” was released in 1983 under Top Records label (Nigeria).
It was an amazing masterly boogie, disco, funk and Neo soul style of musical creativity. Some of the songs on the album are: Rosemary, Give It To Me, Feelin’ Alright, Too Much, Love To Love You, You, Ain’t No Use and Daily Prayer. Artists that graced this album include Bernard Fowler (Backing Vocals), Darryl Short (Backing Vocals, Bass Guitar, Drum Machine), Darryl Short (Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar), Stephen Brown (Drums, Drum Machine, Percussion), Broadrick Jolly(Rhythm Guitar), Aubrey Maclin (Saxophone), Steven Dowdy (Trombone), Keith Maclin (Trumpet) and Okey Ebosie as the Executive-Producer .
Kiki also released two Singles/EPs. The first was “Just One Night and Chaka” in 1977. Ace Osibisa drummer, Kofi Ayivor produced Kiki`s second single, “Keep On Dancing / 24 Hours In A Disco” in 1979. He had a compilation of his “24 Hours In A Disco” in 1978-82, and after his death it was reissued in 2012 in U.K under Soundway Records label. In fact, Kiki`s single 24 hours in a Disco, featuring a 16-piece orchestra, actually made the charts in the UK and America. “Producers told me I could become the next Boney M,” (Sekyi-Addo, 2001) and that is where Kiki`s career as a solo artist soared beyond his imagination.