My conversation with Isaac Wallace was challenging. It turned out to be nothing near what I had expected. But that’s what you get for approaching another person with your preconceived notions. It gets even more complex when he is an authentic musician who approaches his trade with a personal philosophy. One that you may not be familiar with. Given that he reminds me so much of Lee Scratch Perry provides enough grounds for me to label the man eccentric. But that’s another thing I probably should not do. You cannot really box this man, he is his own man. You don’t define him, he tells you what he is and you simply make an attempt to understand.
His history is complex. He has and continues to work with three generations of musicians. His influence is very diverse. His philosophy is original. Put all that together and the result is ntumtum akeka me dwe—the title of his debut album. But if you think a debut album is all there is to this man, think again. In his tracks are many hits produced for and with some of Ghana’s most celebrated artist including the likes of Ofori Amponsah and Kwabena Kwabena.
He has a different view of hi-life. He argues that it is not really a type of music or even a style for that matter. It is just “high” Music and perhaps as you will get with the music of Bob Marley. I shall desist from explaining this view for fear of misrepresenting the man. Like I said, I wasn’t sure if I understood he idea enough.