Paapa Nyarkoh is probably best known as longtime drummer and Grammy nominee with The Original Wailers, but he’s just as comfortable playing the highlife and traditional rhythms of his childhood home in Elmina, Ghana. We chatted about Paapa’s incredible journey from a young boy banging mother’s pots and pans in the yard, to a world-renowned professional touring the world with acts like Hugh Masekela, Junior Marvin, Glen Washington, Everton Blender, Chico DeBarge, Magic System and of course The Original Wailers. We also listened to four tracks from Paapa’s excellent solo album “Benya,” a thunderous drums-and-vocals-only selection featuring Ghanaian fontomfrom drums. Paapa’s genuine love for drumming and music always shines through, in his recordings, in his performances and in his words. If you’re in the DC area, you can catch him every Wednesday night with local reggae heavies See-I at the Eighteenth Street Lounge.
[Click play to hear our interview with Paapa Nyarkoh – Dec. 21, 2016]