DJ Katapila, Cult Ghanaian Producer, Dies At 50

DJ Katapila, Cult Ghanaian Producer, Dies At 50

DJ Katapila, photo by Ismail Abe

DJ Katapila, the Ghanaian producer who started out as a funeral DJ and then built a cult following with groundbreaking records and marathon sets, died on Sunday (January 28) after a short illness. The news comes from Africa's Amazing Tapes, which helped put Katapila on the international map. The label's release describes Katapila as a "mobile producer, DJ and party organizer" who "leaves behind a loving family, including a daughter, young son and 92-year-old mother." He was 50 years old.

DJ Katapila, born Ismail Abbey in the Jamestown area of ​​Accra, began producing in the mid-30s, using simple Fruitloops software to create upbeat and often energetic tracks, blending early house and techno influences with the rhythms and sounds of Ghanaian dance music. does . . He often spoke and sang over or between Twi, English and Gaara songs, complicating the beats with light drums. He released three albums on Great Tapes From Africa, starting with Trotro , and then released his latest EP Techno Africa on Club Ye in 2022.

On Instagram, Awesome Tape founder Brian Shimkowitz wrote:

DJ Katapila came to mind after finding a recording of the track during a trip to Ghana in 2015. We released three albums together and he toured Europe at least four times. We played a lot of shows together, so I have vivid memories of our travels together and all the shenanigans that came with them. Ismail's kind and cheerful character touched many people during his travels. Working with him was not always easy or stress-free, but I am very grateful for what I learned from him.

We've joined forces with the incredible support of @qujunctions staff to overcome the horrific visa process that African artists face. Along his journey, Ismail faced many insults and unpleasant situations, but he was always enthusiastic, positive and persistent. His drive to turn his life into music was as relentless as the music he created over the years. A latecomer to the world of music - he joined Fruity Loops after almost 20 years of continuous DJing - he combines the simplicity of his studio with the vibrancy of his productions.

Originally appeared on Pitchfork

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