Kiki Gyan – “Disco Dancer”

Time to hit you with some African disco!

Now Kiki Gyan is an artist whom I found bit mysterious when I initially came across his music. A piano prodigy from Ghana (Go Black Stars!), who became a keyboardist for the popular Afro-Caribbean pop band Osibisa, then went on his own to release hit singles in Europe and West Africa before falling off the face of the planet, dying penniless over a decade ago? Really? Never heard of the guy. But in his heyday of the late 1970s and early ’80s, Gyan had become a star for his West African disco funk, with his track “24 Hours in a Disco” being a chart-topper abroad in 1979. At his height, Gyan was a millionaire, ducking screaming girls, hobnobbing with celebs like Elton John and Marvin Gaye and even being married to the daughter of the famed Fela Kuti for a time. Gyan’s success was short-lived though, as the ’80s brought coke, and a nasty drug addiction sadly sidelined his career. Gyan would pass away in 2004, leading to an outpouring of grief in Ghana and beyond.

Even though Gyan’s time on top was short, he had some funky music though. “Disco Dancer,” the opener from his 1979 record Feeling So Good is a terrific example. The vibe is infectiously fun and playful, with a smooth beat and a great tempo. It’s perfect for the dancefloor.

Ah, rest in peace, Kiki!