Written By : Leah De-Graft Takyi
Ghanaian producer and disc jockey DJ Katapila, known for his innovative albums and marathon sets, has passed away at the age of 50 after a brief illness. The news was confirmed by his label, Awesome Tapes From Africa, who described Katapila as an “inimitable producer, disc jockey, and mobile party-starter.” He leaves behind his young daughter and son, as well as his 92-year-old mother.
Ishmael Abbey, known as DJ Katapila, was born in Accra, Jamestown. He initially began his career DJing at funeral parties. However, he later transitioned into production, using simple software like FruityLoops to create captivating tracks that blended early house and techno influences with rhythms and vocals from Ghanaian dance music. Singing and speaking in Twi, English, and Ga, Katapila added an extra layer of complexity to his beats by incorporating live drum pads.
Katapila gained international recognition through his collaboration with the label Awesome Tapes From Africa. He released three records with the label, starting with TROTRO, which showcased his unique musical style. His final EP, TECHNO AFRICA, was released on Club Yeke in 2022.
DJ Katapila's passing marks a significant loss for the music community, both in Ghana and globally. His innovative approach to blending genres and his energetic performances made him a beloved figure among fans. His contributions to the music scene will be remembered, and his influence will continue to inspire future generations of musicians.
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