Nii's music is deeply rooted in an awareness of the rhythms and sounds of his childhood. Born into a royal household in the heart of the gold coast, he was surrounded by drums, songs and dances from as far back as he can remember. A natural-born traveller and storyteller, his music weaves the tales found on his paths around the world. These paths wind from Afrobeat to highlife, reggae to rock, with Africa and Europe meeting Latin America. The black Atlantic unites in new textures of diaspora. His unique sound is inspired by encounters between cultures and people, and the meeting of minds and spirits. His is the sound of the new generation as he pays tribute to our ancestors and the great spirit of African culture and history, where women and men were born and ventured out to the world. When live he embodies the rhythm, heart and soul of Africa in an electrifying and infectious show bound to get even the shyest of bodies moving with the currents of folklore and modern-day legends. As Nii says, “we have to maintain dignity with each other whomever we are – from city or country, young or old, wise, poor and no matter how rich – it can all be gone tomorrow. We seek to benefit the world in exploring a side to music and culture people don’t always see – music as health, music as discipline, music as life."
In 2020 Nii returns with his new solo project. Watch this space for more information...
Osibisa was one of the ground-breaking African bands from the 70s. They put highlife on the world music stage with hits like "Sunshine Day" and "Woyaya" . Nii became frontman, musical director and leader of the band from the millennium after the request of founder member Teddy Osei. His vision was to pay homage and tribute to the legends of the bands past and to bring to it the sounds for a new generation.
Legends of UK experimental dub, African Headcharge pioneered the scene since the early 1980s. Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah saw Nii drumming with Frititi, and approached him to come and play percussion with the live manifestation of the band. He was invited to join them on a European tour along with Frititi.
Nii was part of the lineup for several years, his highlight being the 2005 tour of Japan where he also guested with Asian Dub Foundation who were on the tour with African Headcharge.
Nii played on the 2005 ‘In Charge – Live in Japan’, and 1995 ‘Akwaaba’ albums with producer Adrian Sherwood.
Konkoma features two of the pioneers of Ghanaian music and long term musical collaborators Emmanuel Rentzos on keyboard and vocals, and Alfred “Kari” Bannerman on guitar and vocals.
Their self-titled debut album was released in 2012 and was a live studio recording, mixed by Mike Pelanconi (aka Prince Fatty) at his Brighton studio, and released on the Soundway record label. Three of the tracks which Nii contributed to the album, ‘Kpanlogo’, ‘Sibashaya Woza’ , 'Yoo Eh' and ‘Niebakwa’ form part of his new band’s repertoire. Watch Konkoma here.
Nii Tagoe’s Afro Funk Crew
Nii started the group as he wanted to reach a different audience and expand his own repertoire from the traditional side of drumming and dance. African rhythms drove the music but Nii felt that traditional melodies could be rendered in different ways on different instruments from which they were originally written. Nii will return soon with the new incarnation of his solo band.
Baka Beyond are the original multi-national Afro Celtic band, initially inspired by the music of the Baka people of the Cameroon rainforest.
Martin Cradick an African inspired guitarist, and Su Hart who specialises in Celtic song and Baka yelli, were the founding members. Nii joined them in 1996 to play percussion on the ‘Journey Between’ album.
In 2009 he began playing the balafon, kit drums, percussion and singing with Baka 5, alongside Kibisingo Douglas (Kanda Bongo Man), Martin and Su. Nii wrote tracks for the ‘Sogo’ and ‘East to West’. Martin and Nii also produced 'Ete' album together as well as some acoustic Baka songs.
Lorraine Ayensu was a singer-songwriter of Ghanaian and English descent, influenced by British, African, Latin and American music.
She started out as a backing vocalist for former Black Roots frontman Delroy Ogilvie, and Congolese Master Drummer Koko Kanyinda Mukala in the mid-90s, before going on to perform her own music in solo, trio and full band format, with Nii on percussion and backing vocals. They became like brother and sister through the time he was with the band.
Lorraine's meaningful lyrics were at the forefront of her music. It was described as “new world music from a global musician who respects her roots”. Lorraine’s album recordings include ‘Remembering’ and ‘Last Conversation’.
Although Lorraine may no longer be with us, she will always be remembered for her beautiful soul, talent and kindness. May she rest in peace.