Born into a middle-class family in Takoradi, Ghana, Djan started playing the piano when he was five years old and went professional at the age of 12. He dropped out of secondary school at 14 and after a tour of London with a local Ghanaian band called Pagadija, he joined the UK-based Afro-rock group Osibisa and travelled internationally with the band during the 1970s, playing to large audiences around the world. By the age of 18 Djan had made more than a million dollars, "had hung out with Elton John and Mick Jagger, played for Britain's queen and cruised on champagne-drenched luxury ocean-liners to island-hop in the Caribbean". He left Osibisa to go solo in 1979 and recorded the single "24 Hours in a Disco", which hit the charts in the United States and the UK. Djan started using and became addicted to hard drugs for some 21 years, to the detriment of his career.
Kiki Djan died alone and impoverished in a church bathroom in Ghana, a victim of AIDS and drugs-related complications.