Meet The Golden Voice of Africa: Pat Thomas

Stories and facts

His remarkable career has spanned over five decades, during which he has left an indelible mark on the world of music. Born in Agona, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, Pat Thomas was destined for a life steeped in music, thanks to his musical roots.

Music was woven into the fabric of Pat Thomas's family. His father was a music theory instructor, and his mother was a bandleader, setting the stage for a lifelong connection to the world of melodies and rhythms. Yet, it was his uncle, King Onyina, a legendary Ghanaian guitarist known for his collaborations with music icons like Nat King Cole, who played a pivotal role in shaping Pat's musical destiny.

Under the guidance of his uncle, Pat Thomas learned not only the technical aspects of music but also gained insights into band organization and music composition. This early exposure laid the foundation for his future career in the music industry.

A Picture of Pat Thomas

In the 1960s, Pat Thomas embarked on his musical journey, collaborating with renowned Ghanaian musician Ebo Taylor. His exceptional vocal talent and passion for music soon garnered attention, leading him to join the Blue Monks, a famous highlife band led by Ebo Taylor. The Blue Monks held residency at the iconic Tip Toe Nite Club in Accra, becoming a symbol of the era's vibrant music scene.

During one of his performances at the Tip Toe Nite Club, Pat Thomas's mesmerizing voice caught the ear of a Caucasian lady in the audience. Impressed by his vocal prowess, she offered him an opportunity that would change his life forever—forming a group called The Satellites in Ivory Coast.

Returning to Ghana, Pat Thomas formed the Sweat Beans Band, which became immensely popular during the Kutu Acheampong Era. His golden voice and charismatic stage presence led to him being crowned "Mr. Golden Voice of Africa" in 1978, a title that resonates with his talent and contributions to African music.

In 1991, Pat Thomas further solidified his legacy by winning the Album of the Year award with his song "Sika Ye Mogya." This recognition showcased his ability to connect with audiences through his music.

Pat Thomas's musical journey was not confined to the borders of Ghana. He ventured to Europe, where he and his band, the Anabos, performed in numerous cities. He later settled in London and then Canada, where he resided for a decade. Throughout his international sojourn, he continued to create music that transcended cultural boundaries.

With an impressive discography that includes 15 albums, Pat Thomas's influence on the global music landscape remains undeniable. His passion and talent for music have even rubbed off on the next generation, as his daughter, Nana Yaa, has emerged as one of Ghana's best female vocalists.

In 2015, Pat Thomas and Kwashibu Area Band's self-titled album received recognition from AllMusic as one of the "Favorite Latin and World Albums." This accolade served as a testament to his enduring musical prowess and the timeless appeal of his work.

A Picture of Pat Thomas and Kwashibu Area Band

Pat Thomas's contribution to African music cannot be overstated. He has played a pivotal role in shaping the highlife and Afro-pop genres, infusing them with his unique style and charisma. His catalog, which includes classics like "Asawa Do" and "Sika Ye Mogya," continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.

In recent decades, Pat Thomas has continued to perform and record with the Kwashibu Area Band, marking 50 years of a remarkable musical career. His first internationally released album in over a decade, "Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band," was met with critical acclaim, reaffirming his status as "The Golden Voice of Africa."

Pat Thomas delivered a captivating and nostalgic performance during his Highlife concert at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC). The 76-year-old maestro exhibited a masterful and flawless musical presentation, leaving the Highlife aficionados in attendance spellbound. The event, besides celebrating Pat Thomas' illustrious five-decade career in Ghana's music industry, also served as a fundraiser for his ambitious School of Music, Arts, and Culture project in the Ashanti Region, with an estimated budget of $6.5 million. Throughout the evening, Pat Thomas, enchanted the audience with his timeless classics, including "Sika Ye Mogya," "Megyedzi Su," and "Gyae Su." His graceful dance moves, combined with his exceptional vocal prowess, earned him resounding applause from the enthralled spectators, all set to the backdrop of enchanting live band melodies courtesy of the talented Bessa Band.

A Picture of Pat Thomas performing at his Highlife concert at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC)

As we celebrate the enduring legacy of Pat Thomas, his story serves as a testament to the power of music to transcend borders, connect cultures, and inspire generations. From the vibrant music scenes of Ghana to the international stages of Europe and beyond, Pat Thomas's golden voice continues to shine brightly, leaving an indelible mark on the world of music.



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