As I listened to Bob Marley Tunes at a Coffee Shop in Seoul..

Bob Marley image painted on the wall

I am a listener of almost every genre of music. The underlying fact is, I am addicted to good music. Sometimes I feel like I am a ‘music-genre-prostitute’. I easily get influenced by tuneful music. It doesn’t really matter who the artistes is/are.

Let me tell you a story.

About 4 years ago, a mention of Coldplay (the British rock band) by my friend, Dominic Kankam immediately swayed me to experience for myself. I felt like, I have missed a greater part of my maturing years. Such a talented band with incredible sold out albums and concerts around the world. It was such a heartwarming and hysterical feeling for me to watch them play live at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The icing on the cake was when they performed ‘Lost’ and ‘Princess of China’ with Jay-Z and Rihanna respectively. Ever since, I have never missed a chance of Coldplay. I have watched almost all their concerts on YouTube. I gleamed with anticipation of their 7th Album release dubbed “A Head full of Dreams.” I am not a fan of NFL but stayed up to watch their trio performance with Beyonce and Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show. Currently, I have in my music library, all their seven (7) albums, and listen to their tracks almost everyday.

About two months ago, I discovered the Icelandic indie-folk pop band - “Of Monsters and Men.” Daaaymn…how and why did I not know about them since they launched into the scene? I will write about them at a different day because, I am enjoying one of their shows they did in Brazil recently, as I write this post.

Somewhere late last year, I fell in love with one of the famous K-Pop band in Korea, “Big Bang.” These guys’ energy portrays they have been injected with some steroids. Amazing and talented young lads. For the next two weeks I discovered them, they topped my playlist.

It didn’t take long for me to relegate Big Bang to mid-position when I got swung into Korean Ballads and Opera music. I had heard my roommate play a tune from a Korean pianist called ‘Yurima.’ His tunes became a great study companion.

Whilst basking in Yurima’s soothing instrumentals, I slipped into Korean Drama OSTs. Lots of coffee shops and retail outlets in Korea play OSTs. There was this particular one that got me all emotional and eventually took a slot in my music library. As of now, I am furiously enjoying the OST of the acclaimed 2015–2016 Korean Drama titled, ‘Descendants of the Sun.’ Mehn, you should have been in Korea to experience the blizzard of news that characterized the climax of this particular TV series.

By the way, don’t ask me about it because I have never watched a single Korean Drama in my life..hahaha. Persistent persuasion from my Korean-drama fanatic and friend, Gloria Aidoo has yielded to zilch.

Growing up, my dad would play Bob Marley songs with an infusion of other root reggae legends. Other times, he would play and sing along to the vintage tracks of ‘Rolling Stones’ on his gramophone. Those were the days when phonograph record and cassette recorders were in vogue.

It is diurnal to hear different songs from Hiplife, Highlife, Reggae, Hiphop, R&B at every corner in Ghana. You cannot escape such genres, as a Ghanaian. If you miss it at a funeral grounds, you might meet it at the local drinking spot. Also, if you miss it on TV, you are likely to sooth your ears on any of the over 133 radio stations scattered in Ghana.

In Kumasi for instance, you cannot escape highlife tunes from Amakye Dede, Ofori Amponsah, Kojo Antwi, Daddy Lumba and the likes. I can bet 90 percent of taxi drivers in Kumasi owns at least one album of either Daddy Lumba or Kojo Antwi. They will blast your ears with the magazine-made ghetto-bass-speakers stack at the boot of the cars.

Trust me, no amount of words convinces them to lower the volume of the music. Go to any Sunday ‘Emotuo’ joint and you are likely to be treated to loud highlife and hiplife music. I will not rule out my love for Highlife and Hiplife records as well. I am very up-to-date on the trending hiplife music in Ghana and I follow them with glaring eyes. I should say, there’s been a massive renaissance in the latter genre since its origination in the late 1990s.

Why am I writing all these?

Today happens to be a holiday in Korea. It is observed as a Memorial Day. As usual, I love to hold my meetings and sometimes work at Coffee shops. The ambiance are always suitable and of course, you enjoy Free Wifi. The coffee shop I frequent most for such giddy and serious meetup or pastimes is Starbucks in Itaewon (foreigners district in Seoul). I am that conventionalist when it comes to settling on places. But today, I decided to try a different coffee shop.

The gamble landed on Marley Coffee, also situated on the Itaewon high street. Prior to settling in at Marley Coffee, I went book shopping (one of my pastimes) at one of the rare English Bookstores you can chance on in Korea. The name is WhatTheBook and you can explore them on ww.whatthebook.com. They sell used and new books. I bought a total of 5 books (3 auto biographies, 1 about sports and 1 about Korea), each at a discounted rate of 15%. I was told the promotion runs till 20th June. So, to all book lovers in Seoul, this comes in handy. Who will come with me next time?

Just when I unpacked my laptop and accouterments to begin serious business, I heard “one loooove, one heeeart, lets get together and feel alright.” I froze in the nick of time. Whaaat? I couldn’t believe my ears? Am I in a proper coffee shop? That tune was nostalgic. I haven’t listened to reggae songs in a while, much more to a Bob Nestor Marley the legend’s spirited tracks. More so, in a coffee shop in Seoul. I was hoping hear the usual OSTs I have been accustomed to.

Marley Coffee served me a variety today. You should see me lipsynching along. It felt at home, really really at home. “The late afternoon looked lustrous,” I said. Later, they would play ‘I shot the sheriff’ and many more with some 60’s classic tunes. I couldn’t help but nod along.

Forthwith, Marley Coffee should count me as a frequent customer, as long as they keep dishing out them Bob Marley tunes alongside the FREE-WIFI.

As unusual as it may sound to me, I am not all that blown out of the water. After all, the name of the coffee shop says ‘Marley Coffee’, with the lyrics, “one love, one heart, lets get together and feel all right” boldly inscribed on the walls.

Prolly, Bob Marley’s family owns a share…Hahahhaa…kidding!! Just after I finished this write-up, they played “Punky Reggae Party”. Enjoy if you are a Bob Marley fan.

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