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Band World Reggae


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Reviewed by George Luke

Despite their World Music remit, Caribbean rhythms have always remained topmost on Lion Of Zion's list of priorities. So it's nice to see them signing up some decent African talent - their first release from the continent since 2002's groundbreaking (and still fresh-sounding) 'Africa Anointed' compilation. Kenneth Appiah hails from Ghana, but his musical influences aren't restricted to that country, nor to Africa's west coast. The opening track, "Temple", is a heartfelt plea to be used by God, set against a cocktail of primal percussion and choppy guitars. The title track is a socially aware reggae song, reminiscent of Ben Okafor at his best, or of the sadly departed Lucky Dube. "Aboloo" (Bread of life) is a kicking slice of highlife, Ghana's most popular musical export. The acoustic guitars and horns are used to good effect again on "Mebo" (I Will Call) - an Afro-beat tune Fela would have been proud of. The Fela influences can also be heard on "Golgota" (Golgotha), and on "Yesu Nkoaa Nowo Tumi" (Only Jesus Has Power) Kenneth does George Benson's old fun trick of singing along to his guitar solos. The self-explanatory "ABC Of Salvation" retold the story of Jesus' encounter with Nicodemus in a hilarious mixture of English and Pidgin English that nearly made me spit coffee all over my laptop! Ken is a very passionate singer and the Soul Winners are one of the tightest bands I've heard in a long while. This is fantastic stuff. Nice one, Lion Of Zion; now don't leave it too long before springing more great African music on us. . .



On his solo debut "Keep On", Kenneth Appiah takes us on a wonderful musical journey to West Africa with a fusion of Ghanaian rhythms, Reggae and Afro-pop. The first of it's kind in the gospel arena; he has been compared to the likes of Youssou N'Dour, Baaba Maal, Alpha Blonde and even Lucky Dube. Over dense percussion, melodic guitars and vibrant horns, he sings captivating songs of praise and worship.

"This is Lion of Zion's first endeavor back into African or World music since our groundbreaking 2002 compilation 'Africa Anointed', said Lion of Zion and president Mark Mohr. " To be honest with you, so much of the gospel music that has been coming out of Africa lately has been sterile or synthetic so when I received Kenneth Appiah's demos I was blown away. Not only were his lyrics profound and his heart for God evident, I loved the energy of his tracks and the organic sounds that define his music such as live drums, melodic guitars, vibrant horns, dense vocals and hypnotic percussion. After just one listen, my wife (Avion Blackman) and I knew that we had to sign Kenneth to our label and give his incredible music a platform, for it is unlike anything that we had ever heard before--it is musician's music!"

If his name sounds familiar, there's a reason; we first heard Kenneth's reggae sound on's "Boomshots!" compilation. On his first full-length US release, Ken gives us more reggae and a heavy dose of West African sounds. This 16-track masterpiece kicks off with galloping percussion on the upbeat "Temple." When I asked Kenneth about the song, he said with his signature raspy voice and a childlike smile, "As King Solomon dedicated the temple to the Lord, so I want to dedicate my body to the Holy Spirit."

Whether he is singing in English or in Twi (a language of Ghana), the spirit of Kenneth's lyrics still permeate each track. This is particularly evident on songs like "Golgota." full of driving percussion and call and response vocals, it is obvious to my American ears that Ken is singing about the brutal crucifixion of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This song is distinctly Afrobeat, a fusion of Funk and Jazz reminiscent of the sounds of Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musical pioneer.

On the title track Ken's voice blends harmoniously with the melodic reggae rhythm urging us to "Keep On." On this song he quotes Ecclesiastes, stating "There is nothing new under the sun." Through his inspirational lyrics Ken relays that the only true solution to life's toughest problems is to keep on placing your trust in the Lord. "Aboloo" is another beautifully composed song with an infectiously hypnotic funk groove that will hook you from your first listen. On this song Kenneth sings about the food that God miraculously provided to the Israelites while they were wandering in the wilderness.

"Menyame Ye" is unquestionably the most meditative song of the bunch. On this Bob Marleyeque niyabinghi styled track Ken leads us into the highest heights of worship. Sounding just like Peter Tosh or Luck Dube, Kenneth sings in various languages that; "My Lord is good, he's so good to me!" What's great about Kenneth Appiah's music is that while it inspires the spirit, it also spurs on the feet. In fact the rhythms are so contagious on songs like "Heaven," "Kotutu", "A B C of Salvation" and "Owenfo" that you just have to get up dance!

Kenneth Appiah's unique sonic fusion is so different from anything else out there that any gospel reggae enthusiast would be amiss to ignore it. No other artist in the gospel arena has recorded music with the level of complexity involved in "Keep On." It is truly musician's music. The percussive polyrhythms alone will have you spinning around in circles. Spiritually speaking, this album is undeniably Christian as every song directs you toward God. With five roots cuts there is plenty reggae to satisfy even the staunchest roots aficionado and the remaining African tracks will literally knock your socks off. But don't just take my word for it--see for yourself. Order your copy today.

Review Mark Mohr and Norah Endebe - GOSPELREGGAE.COM

"Soul Winners Hits International Stardom"

Soul Winners Hits International Stardom
Soul WinnersIf famous Radio Personalities: Abeku "Efie Kwaso" Santana, Bola "Baritone Voice" Ray and Kofi Asare Brako a.k.a. Abatay, Obimanso and "Wabodam" were to ask their listeners to call in and voice their views about the lyrics and songs of Soul Winners Apostolic Church, one can rest assured that the phone lines will be absolutely jammed by fans eager to air good things about the groups.

Before getting into the story, let me give credence to the achievements of the aforementioned young men inspiring millions of Ghanaians worldwide with their Gospel songs. �BIG UP YOUR CHEST, FELLOW COMPATRIOTS IN THE MEDIA, AND LONG LIVE MOTHER GHANA�

Moving along, welcome to the beginning of a man to whom singing has become the greatest medium to win souls to the kingdom of God. Enter KENNETH APPIAH leader of the group, a composer, arranger, and an Afro pop performer who is a native of Accra, Ghana. His music is in many ways unique, well performed and highly inspiring.

Ken led the Soul Winners - Apostolic in Ghana to release four successful albums which won the best gospel medium group award for three consecutive years (2002, 2003, and 2004) and now lives in the USA taking his game to the next level.

On 16TH June 2006, he performed alongside two American gospel stars Donnie Mclurckin and Tye Trebbet in the McDonald�s Gospelfest singing contest. The track, "No Jesus No Life", took the whole audience of the New York City center to their feet to praise God with his group.



The group has become the most sought after Ghanaian gospel group in the USA, performing on request for concerts, churches, conventions and crusades.

Currently, they are preparing for evangelistic tours in the USA (Maryland, Ohio, New York, Philadelphia, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania) and Canada. As witnesses of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ken said they would like to perform regularly and produce an album per year to proclaim the message of the gospel of Jesus to the lost souls.

Generally, they have built a huge fans base which has become interested in their style of music and the presence of God that comes with it whenever they perform. Ken said they are preparing for their next album "YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN".

Watch out for these men of God who are worth listening to. Coming to a church near you.

Source: Mr.CNN / Ghana - Ghana



Keep On, Kenneth Appiah and the Soul Winners, (Lion of Zion) 2007
Only Jesus Can Save (Out of Print), Ghana
Appraise Vol. 1 (Out of Print), Ghana
Appraise Vol. 1 (Out of Print), Ghana



Official Bio

From the country of Ghana in West Africa comes Kenneth Appiah, the first African artist to join the Lion of Zion/ family. Kenneth is no stranger to the world of reggae and world music. He learned how to play congas at the tender age of five. Throughout the following years he taught himself to play a myriad of instruments such as drums, bass and guitar and has become a trendsetter in the Reggae/Afropop scene. He was the first to popularize Kpalogo (the rhythm style of Ghana) and bring it into the Christian market.

Kenneth was raised in Chorkor, an old fishing village in the heart of Accra, the bustling capitol of Ghana. At the age of 4, he recalls hearing the songs of the local fisherman. These "call and response" songs were forever ingrained into his memory and have become a part of his sound today on songs like "Aboloo".

In the churches of Ghana, there is only one style of praise and worship which is traditional "highlife" praise. Kenneth has set out to bring a new style of praise music into the churches. Influenced by Steel Pulse, the late Bob Marley, Youssou N'Door and Lucky Dube, Kenneth has dedicated his life to representing the controversial styles of Reggae and Afropop for Christ.

He got his start by performing in the church he grew up in. After high school, he went on to form a group of backing musicians who would come to be known as The Soul Winners. Kenneth Appiah and The Soul Winners have become hugely popular in their home country. They have toured throughout Ghana and Nigeria and have played before crowds of thousands. In Africa they released 3 albums and have won 3 Ghana Gospel Music Awards, one of which was for Best Male Vocal. Their debut single was selected by for the popular Boomshots! compilation. This resulted in an agreement with Lion of Zion Entertainment to release Kenneth's debut album.

On his solo debut for Lion of Zion called "Keep On", Kenneth Appiah takes us on a wonderful journey to West Africa with a fusion of Ghanain rhythms, Reggae and Afropop. The first of his kind in the Gospel arena, he has been compared to the likes of Youssou N'Door and Lucky Dube. Over dense percussion, melodic guitars and vibrant horns, he sings captivating songs of praise and worship.

Kenneth is currently on tour in the U.S. and has already performed in New York at the McDonalds Gospel Festival, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado and Arizona.

I am nobody without Christ. If I live I live for him and if I die I die for Him. In all ways I am for Him.--(Kenneth Appiah)