Entertainment Wed, 27 Apr 2005

Georges Kouakou - Musician, Music Arranger and Super Producer


At the just ended event of the renowned BIG 4 tour in Atlanta on April 23, a well built African said hello to me when we met and I returned the greetings. Later on, the white American Sound Engineer doing a sound check played a reggae tune with heavy beats which sounded like it was a Freddie McGregor, Buju Banton, Alpha Blondy or Burning Spear track. I was very impressed with the beat so I immediately went to find out from the Sound Engineer the artist who sang that song? He gave me the CD where the song was from. The artist on the song was called Mateo Monk, a White American reggae artist.

To make a long story short, The CD was made possible by a low key Ghanaian/Ivorian, Georges Kouakou with great ties to who is who in reggae music. The Ghanaian brother apparently was the gentleman who had greeted me earlier. Georges told Mr. CNN exclusively that he met Mateo Monk in Colorado during a tour with a reggae band. Mateo Monk and his band were the opening act for the renowned reggae band, Culture. He was very impressed with Monk's performance and they decided to work together. Mateo Monk as George stated, is a down to earth musician who has signed a recording contract with a French Record Company called Sankofa Blackstar which is owned by a Ghanaian named, Boakye Duah who lives in France.

Most people who see Georges on stage performing with various reggae artists would not recognize that he is a Ghanaian and he speaks Twi fluently. Georges is very well-known in the Ivory Coast but he says; "It has always been grieved on my heart that I did not stay in Ghana to help produce this beautiful culture of my motherland, I've all my life invested in international artiste such as Alpha Blondy, Ismael Isaac's Yellowman, Sister Carol, The Wailers Band, Culture, Burning Spear and etc. Those are the people I produced and played with, so make it clear in your article that I'm a Ghanaian and would like to give my talents and service to the Ghanaian culture".

Mateo Monk in a telephone conversation with Mr. CNN later spoke highly of Georges and said he was pleased to be working with him. Monk was asked if he would not mind performing some of his reggae hits at the famous New York Picnic in the summer if invited since he has ties with Ghana and said he would be happy to perform.


Georges Kouakou was born in Anyama in October 12th 1960, a suburb of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. Having a Ghanaian father and Ivorian mother, George's family moved to Ghana at the age of seven to start his education. George attended the Nsuta Methodist Primary School and later on continued in the middle school in Tarkwa in the western region in Ghana. Georges started his early musical lessons with his father in Ghana where he was the organist in the Methodist church. Later, he moved back to the Ivory Coast and joined his maternal family where he started studying in the National Institute of Arts in Abidjan in 1976.

He started his professional musical career in the north of Ivory Coast in the Makumba night club in Ferkessedougou. In 1977, he was the main keyboardist at the l'OFI de Bouak?, and then in Abidjan at the l'Ochestre de la RTI (The TV Orchestra) in 1981-1984, where he met with Alpha Blondy and arranged the artist's first album 'Jah Glory'. In 1985 Alpha Blondy formed his first Band (The Natty Rebels) and asked Georges to join him as a keyboardist and a producer. Georges spent a good 10 years with the mega reggae star producing songs like: Rasta Poue, Cocody Rock, Jerusalem, Sweet Fanta Diallo and ETC.

In 1990 after a US tour with Alpha Blondy, Georges decided to move to the USA, to Atlanta, GA. After few years in the south of the United States, he moved to Maryland where he lives and produces many artists, such as Yellowman, Ismael Isaac, Serges Kassy, Hamed Farras, and Mateo Monk, and also performs with groups like the Wailers Band, Culture, the Abyssinians, I Jah Man, and the Meditations. Georges also owns a home studio in the Maryland area.

George is leaving the USA on 16th May to Accra where he would like to meet some of the local producers and Engineers including some journalist to expose his ambition.

Georges Kouakou is set to appear on a cover of a top magazine in the Ivory Coast. He is a Ghanaian and deserves our spotlight because of his exposure in the reggae scene worldwide.

Mr. CNN says more grease to your elbow.

If you would like to know more about this Super producer, contact the following; (301) 559 6834 (301) 792-5766, kouakou@hotmail.com>

Source: Mr. CNN/http://people.africadatabase.org