TRB: HOW DID WEKU KRON KRON COME ABOUT?
WKK: this band came about 10 years ago when I was teaching my younger siblings, friends and close associates how to play musical instruments-precisely the wind instruments. This vision came up when I was with my former group “Wind Afrique Band” with whom I tried to compose a few songs with in the African traditional style we displayed moments ago. But unfortunately they didn’t buy into the vision so I realized I had to reinvigorate it, and that of course I needed a team so I called on some of the young people I was training. They believed in the vision I had and passion for music. Initially they were shaky but with reassurance and training for 3 years we came out with a ‘solid’ band.
TRB: What does WEKU KRON KRON MEAN?
WKK: WEKU KRON KRON means ‘holy family’ in the Ga dialect which is widely spoken by the people from the Greater Accra region here in Ghana. WEKU means ‘family’ and KRON KRON means ‘holy’.
TRB: WHAT IS THE BAND LOOKING TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS?
WKK: Basically we are looking at feeding the world with our rich traditional music. Building on the tenets of cultural diversity, we seek to show the world an essential part of us which is the African traditional music by having people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, such as Gas, Ewes and Fantes coming together to form this band.
There is the need to explore and showcase our culture to the world-especially to the western world. We cannot continue to copy and adopt western cultures and music and not share our indigenous African cultures with them in order to have a balance.
TRB: WHAT GENRE OF MUSIC DO YOU CREATE?
WKK: You could call it afro pop but I would prefer to call it ‘traditional art music’ or better still ‘African art music’ because all the music that we create is put down in the form of musical notations where if you are a music teacher who can read music, you can use the score to read and play or impart knowledge to music students.
TRB: WHAT INSPIRES THE COLLECTIVE?
WKK: Creativity is our inspiration, because the goal is to create a distinctive rhythm. One would realize that in the cover songs we performed tonight. Adding our own touch by switching the style to make the sound a WEKU KRON KRON classic, the band takes delight in creating new stuff but not only playing other people’s music.
TRB: WHAT KIND OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS DO YOU USE IN YOUR MUSIC?
WKK: Besides the keyboard, guitar, drums and trumpets we also incorporate the flute-a distinct one called “WARIGA” from the northern part of Togo. We also use an instrument similar to the horn used by the Ashantis at the Manhyia palace to announce the presence of the King. What we use is the antelope’s horn, African fiddle, xylophones and the ‘fontomfrom’ drums, which provide a unique sound.
TRB: IN A LESS ADMIRED MUSICAL GENRE WHAT MOTIVATES WEKU KRONKRON TO REMAIN ORIGINAL EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT MAINSTREAM MUSIC?
WKK: I think the youth these days want western music but we Africans can best do what is ingrained in us; our music is one of such things. The African traditional music motivates us as band, because we cannot sit idle and enjoy music from other parts of the world while our music goes extinct. So I can say staying true to ourselves and being original motivates WEKU KRO KRON band.
TRB: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A BAND AND PERSONALLY, AS BAND LEADER?
WKK: The band is faced with numerous challenges which include the lack of a good management to steer the band, financial setbacks and exposure even though we have rich traditional music to give to the world. But we try to work our way through.
TRB: WHAT IS AFRICAN MUSIC AND WHAT SHOULD IT BE ABOUT?
WKK: When it comes to Africa, music is believed to be in our blood, I would use the expression “from the cradle to the grave”. Music is part of our everyday life-a typical example is finding an African doing domestic work while singing recreational music. So I think African music is innate, it forms part of our identity.
TRB: WOULD YOU SAY AFRICAN MUSIC IS YET TO BE DISCOVERED IN-DEPTH OR IT HAS ALREADY BEEN DEFINED?
WKK: It has definitely been discovered-our ancestors preserved it to be passed down to us. But I think we are not properly documenting it, thus it’s fading away since it’s only being transferred orally.
The emergence of western music has affected African music greatly because it is swaying the present generation away from identifying with their own music, its history, evolution and how it should be carried on which in turn would make them appreciate it more rather than neglect it. We as a band seek to go back to our roots and pick the old folk tunes that our forefathers treated us to and fuse it in our music.
TRB: WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE WORLD-IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS WHAT SHOULD BE EXPECTED FROM WEKU KRONRKRON BAND?
WKK: We would like the world to know we are here to continue and perfect upon the awe-inspiring works by “Osibisa”. Serving the world with rich African music, we invite everyone to connect with WEKU KRONKRON, be it music promoters, producers, music enthusiasts to come on board to propagate and spread the African traditional music and vibes with the world.
TRB: THANK YOU FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US.
WKK: Thank you.