Raphael Amarabem was born in 1933 in Eziama Ikeduru in Owerri, Imo State. He attended Emmanuel College, Owerri before traveling to Ghana in 1949.
Amarabem is a musician who started playing music when he was a school boy. He used to play Mongo/Sopara samba in elementary school days. He also played drums but later traveled to Ghana in 1994 where he learnt how to play saxophone in addition to mastering the alto vocals. He spent fifteen (15) years in Ghana where he equally learnt mining of gold, Driving and Shoe making.
While in Ghana, he learnt how to play guitar and trained under the late Robert Osuji. Due to this he was able to feature with several musicians during engagements and their club performances.
Raphael Amarabem started with Rex Jim Lawson Band in 1962 and was the first person to introduce two guitars in a band (Jim Lawson's) and as a rhythmist in Rex's band.
Raphael who formed his own band called Peacock Band in Owerri after Rex Jim Lawson's death later released his first album titled "Sambola Mama" which was number one done in Igbo language. It is a song, which lays emphasis on what belongs to me. A reflection of all that happened after the war, everybody was naked and people were isolated and somehow deserted, but for those remaining, they still had land and hope for the future.
Raphael Amarabem was the first chairman of PMAN Imo State Chapter. He also released a song titled "Awadada" for which all lovers who are jilted or deserted by their heartthrob, which translates of a deceitful woman who leaves her lover because of money, she could not wait for a struggling man who used to love her, she was deceived by a money bag but at the end, the money bags dumps her and she found it hard to go to her old lover who is now well to do.
Raphael Amarabem sees highlife music has resolving round wisdom. Accoring to him, highlife music makes one a visionary, giver of wisdom, learner of culture and so produce some rhythmic lyric which are meaningful. Highlife gets you close to your roots.
He also lamented on the need for all highlife musicians to practice cultural songs which are vital keys of singing highlife music with a difference, also in composing songs in local tongue and produce meaningful lyrics. He stressed that music is not for commerce but for life, enjoyment and for charting the right course for the society.