The rise and rise of the studio rats

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Keche

From lurking the crannies of the musical studio room to gracing the opulence of the Sapphire Ghana edifice; a platform reserved for only virtuosos, the Keche duo have fully epitomized the cliché “grass to grace.” The story of the transformation of the Ghanaian musical terrain will be erroneously incomplete without the chronicles of the Keche alias The Skill Team.

Keche is a Ghanaian Hip life/Afropop group made up of two artists; Andrew Cudjoe (singer) and Joshua Ampah (rapper). Keche is touted by many music addicts as the most consistent musical group in Ghana and also the custodians and legends of the Azonto genre, a brand of Afro music that originated from Ghana and went viral globally. The group has racked up sold out shows around the sub-Saharan enclave and the world at large.

On the 5th of June 2020, the award studded duo garnished the KSM show, leaving the ace show host and legendary comedian in awe as they conferred on a myriad of topics while serenading the keen interest of viewers with a live band medley of old and new hits, emphatically buttressing the tag “most consistent musical group in Ghana”.

The scintillatingly intriguing interview saw the duo open up on a number of secrets to their marriages and career longevity that has spanned the greater part of sixteen years and still counting. It was made known to viewers that Joshua has been married for the past 7 years. Joshua said “I have been taken for the past 7 years and Andrew was my best man although Andrew ditched me and didn’t make me his best man, Andrew is learning a lot from me all the same, it has been beautiful being married.”

They went ahead to advise and admonish the youth by saying, be ready and have a purpose before entering into marriage. “You should be a man to be married” they said.

Mutual respect and trust for each other’s value was cited by Joshua as a cornerstone to the foundation of their longevity. “I can’t do this alone”, Joshua blurted. “Without Andrew, I can never breakthrough”. “Keche doesn’t belong to me, neither does it belong to Andrew. It belongs to the fans out there”. Keche is like a company that has employed Joshua and Andrew, the rapper insinuated.

The singer (Andrew) wasn’t left out of the pontification as he added that though “sometimes we do fight; we argue” they seldom allow it to affect the overall mission of the group. The people who are watching you don’t care about whatever you feel or are going through. They are there to be entertained.

The group also recounted various tales during their era of abject penury, times when they were tagged as “up and coming” and hence were extremely limited on funds to propagate their musical career. The now accomplished group hilariously recounted some extreme measures they took just to rack up enough funds to afford a studio session. On the show, the music duo also stated that coming up as Ghanaian artiste, the roads weren’t smooth. They said that “the rough part of their journey made up about of 98% of their story, especially when you’re coming from a family that doesn’t support what you do” Our families thought that the musical path was meant for vagabonds. Keche recounted that they used to make GHC20 approximately $ 4.00, back then after offloading the entire content of a 40 feet container. “It hasn’t been an easy journey for us” lamented Joshua.

The duo also claimed to have taken the vocals of the stars who used to come to Kaywa’s studio as inspiration while growing up as musicians. “Daasebre featured us on his songs and we were excited as growing artiste” the duo added. Kaywa never mentions us to other people because of how good he knew we were and he wanted to handle and manage us all by himself. Being under Kaywa for long, we learnt so many things, and many people didn’t know we knew how it was being done.

Furthermore, Keche stated that they were later discovered by Kay Gee (now a doctor in USA). “Kay Gee gave us $700 to shoot our first music video. Wills shot our first music video.”

Joshua also gave viewers a slice of his sense of humor by giving an account of his first air travel. I felt we were to pay for everything so I rejected all the meals being served on the flight, he said with a charming smile on his face.

The group also confirmed that they were part of a grand virtual show dubbed COVID-19 hope for Africa concert, organized by DSTV as part of Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally the duo chorused, “We are prayerful artistes, we use to pray at the Padmore Park in Tema, fasting and praying and we have never stopped praying ever since we started. We never woke up one day to become the KECHE you see today” said the Same Girl hit makers.

They ended the interview by saying “Never insult greatness and success otherwise it will never come to you, success and greatness needs to be respected”.

The telepathy displayed by the group during the interview was synonymous to their synergy during their performances on various stages.

Over a sublime career, the group can boast of hits such as; Diabetes, Sokode, Slow Motion, Odo, Same girl, Today etc. Presently signed to Gem Media, the group is scheduled to release two projects in the immediate months to come: an EP, and a full album that will see them have a titillating musical interface with various stars across the African continent.

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