When you ask Ghanaian highlife musician Kwabena Kwabena about Ghanaian musicians who have influenced his sound over the years, he’ll mention the first generation of highlife musicians like Dr K. Gyasi, Agya Koo Nimo, E.T. Mensah, King Bruce, Jerry Hansen and The Ramblers.
When you ask him about his favourite character on the Ghanaian series, The Billionaire’s Wife, he’ll tell you he finds Adepa fascinating. Adepa, played by newcomer Andriana Akua Amegbor, is the young woman at the centre of the Showmax Original drama, who must fight an endless battle for survival when she marries an old billionaire.
Adepa is also the name of the original score created by Kwabena as part of the show’s soundtrack. The legendary musician couldn’t resist jumping on the project when the opportunity came knocking. “It felt good to do what I love – creating music,” he says.
Airing its finale episode today, and with all the 10 episodes now available to binge on Showmax, The Billionaire’s Wife has become the most-watched title in history on Showmax in Ghana. The show has also been the number 1 most-watched title on the platform in Ghana every week since its launch in March 2023.
Kwabena joined the project after a friend recommended him to the Ad-Visors team, the production company behind The Billionaire’s Wife. “Scoring movies has always been something I admire so this was very welcomed,” he says.
He worked on the project for four weeks, a process that first required him to read through the show’s scripts a few times to get into the story and feel all the emotions in it. “This usually informs the melody and instruments to use for the production.”
Kwabena and his music are no strangers to the film and TV industry. Three of his songs were featured in the soundtrack of Shirley Frimpong-Manso’s 2009 film The Perfect Picture. He also collaborated with Falz and Basketmouth to create the soundtrack for Nigerian-Ghanaian co-production Ghana Jollof, the Showmax Original comedy drama that premiered in 2021.
However, as far as soundtracks go, his work on The Billionaire’s Wife is more monumental because this is the first time he’s solely created an original score for a production from scratch. It’s been an exciting experience for him, this foray into film and TV scoring, which he admits is very different from creating a music album.
“I love to create music out of stories so scoring TV shows is just so exciting and I love doing it,” says Kwabena. “Movie or TV soundtracks are much simpler since there is a script to guide you. However with albums, one needs to imagine the title and theme of the project, among other things.”
As for what’s next for him, The Billionaire’s Wife is just the beginning of something big, and this is certainly not the last time we’ll see his work on screen. “There’s a lot to do in music. Surely, I would love to score a lot more films and TV shows,” he says.
Binge-watch all 10 episodes of The Billionaire’s Wife on Showmax.