SONG OF THE DAY Akofa Akoussah – I Tcho Tchass

Togolese singer Julie Akofa Akoussah, a.k.a Akofa Akoussah, was truly driven by music. She began singing at the age of three, inspired and led by her mother and older sister, and by the time she was 8 she became principal soloist in her school choir.

From there her career blossomed and grew, singing became her top priority and often took over her studies. In order to master her art she spent time studying and working closely with local groups, including Melo Togo, Rocka Mambo, Rio Romamcero, Ok Fiesta, Eryco Jazz, Afro Cubano, Los Muchacho, Elegance Jazz and Togo Star amongst others.

In her own words: “Luck opened the door in January 1966 where I had the honour of being selected to share the stage with Bella Below – one of the best voices of Africa – at the 1st ‘Negro Arts Festival’ in Dakar. On my return, I was approached by Ambroise Ouyi, the highly respected singer & poet, and we wrote ‘Tu Ne M’Ecris Plus’, my very first opus.”

The popularity of her work led to an increased exposure for Togolese music outside of the country, in neighbouring Ghana and Benin most notably. During her career she collaborated and performed with greats including Manou Djibango, Queen Pelagie, Abeti Massikini, Aycha Kone and Myriam Makeba.  Akoussah was also dedicated to (and widely recognised for) her work for social causes, championing and nurturing young musical talent, and the fight against AIDS. She was president of the National Union of Artists Musicians of Togo (UNAM) before sadly passing away in April 2007 after a long illness, at the age of 57.

Her relatively brief musical career saw the release of a handful of singles and (sadly) only one album.  This was her eponymous 1976 offering, released by the French label Sonafric. From this comes today’s smouldering offering, I Tcho Tchass. The vocals are so, so sweet and lingeringly hypnotic!  Listen above.

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1 Response to SONG OF THE DAY Akofa Akoussah – I Tcho Tchass

  1. Pingback: TOGO: Akofa Akoussah – I Tcho Tchass | Locally Foreign

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