KIKI GYAN – A FORGOTTEN MUSIC ICON
Kiki Gyan remains undoubtedly one of the best ever musicians/keyboardists Ghana has ever produced. His real name was Kofi Kwarko Gyan and was born on 7th June 1957. Kiki was Musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, records producer.
By the age of 18, Gyan had made more than a million dollars, had been hanging out with Elton John and Mick Jagger, performed for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and cruised on luxury ocean-liners to island-hop in the Caribbean. He also played with legends like Paul Simon and Phil Collins amongst others. He was reported to have made over $3.5million in his career and at some point making a minimum of £8,000 per weekend playing as a session musician in London. In 1977, he met Marvin Gaye, Peter Tosh, Stevie Wonder, and Third World during the FESTAC event in Nigeria. He left Osibisa to go solo in 1979 and recorded the single “24 Hours in a Disco”, which hit the charts in the United States and the UK.
He recorded three albums as a solo artiste, there albums with the celebrated Osibisa, and few others as the KG Band.
Gyan became addicted to hard drugs for a reported 21 years, to the detriment of his career. According to reports, Kiki Gyan died on 10th June 2004, alone and impoverished in a church bathroom in Ghana. The cause of death being illness and drug-related complications.
Nonetheless, he still remains an icon and was one of the best keyboardists in the world, who Ghana hasn’t celebrated enough. RIP King Kiki Gyan.
Ghana desperately needs a Music Hall of Fame/Museum/Library to celebrate such icons and legends.
Written by – Mark Darlington (with Excerpts from Wikipedia)