Born in the East End of London to an English mother and a Nigerian father, Kpiaye began a career as a welder on leaving school at the age of fifteen. In 1966 he took up guitar after being given one by his mother and formed The Hustlin" Kind in 1967, who later changed their name to The Cats. The band"s 1968 single "Swan Lake" reached Number.48 in the United Kingdom Singles Chart and led to the band touring Europe.
After The Cats split up in 1971, Kpiaye joined the In Brackets, a backing band that worked with artists such as Dandy Livingstone, Owen Gray and Winston Groovy, and from 1973 worked as a producer in the emerging London lovers rock scene.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s he recorded with Ijahman Levi, Aswad, Dennis Brown, Steve Gregory and Linton Kwesi Johnson among others, often working with Dennis Bovell. In 1982 he joined The Dennis Bovell Dub Band, touring as backing band for Linton Kwesi Johnson.
In 1997 he released the solo album Red, Gold and Blues.