The 18th Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) has ended. And typical of the Awards, nothing about it ends. It becomes a whole circuitous cycle all year round.
Everything about it resonates all over. From prenomination blues to Award day slues in our seats, and the occasional slews from artistes who went winless, we have seen it all too again. And forever, it will continue.
Where competition is, controversy sits. And for the VGMAs, controversy sits rather comfortably, always swivelling in admiration. Presumably, that drives the awards, may be too, not. The drive for recognition propels the Awards even when there’s a seeming blackout from some media entities and some artistes.
Regardless, the Awards hold; eye balls wait in earnest, even when it threatens to start the day after, thanks to hitches, technical, human, divine? And lo! The red carpet glowed all red. Or it was supposed to? Berla Mundi rather did, on that black dais, perfectly replacing the carpet and the colour of it!
So it is done and dusted! All well and good. But will Sarkodie, Medikal, Ras Kuuku, Guru, admit all is well and good? For Guru, I may assume it is normal. Ras Kuuku was expectant after his three nominations. But his first VGMAs will have to wait, at least a year longer. Medikal’s first entry with seven nominations looked promising. Most confident, as most critics even were, he had the Best New Artiste in the Jacket that draped him on the ‘Red” carpet, but he still harnesses the dream of his first VGMA award. May be next year.
And Sarkodie? Undoubtedly, his worst VGMAs in recent times, walking home with just one award. I doubt Sark or his fans will be as more hurt in missing out of the Artiste of the Year accolade to gospel sensation Joe Mettle, than missing out on the Rapper of the Year to his nemesis M.anifest, and the Hiplife Song category to another fierce competitor Flowking Stone. In all this, I have come to the conclusion that those who lost out on most of the awards was self inflicting, granted all that happened, happened fairly.
Lackluster Approach of Artistes It is a fact that most of the nominated artiste took the awards for granted. At least publicly, there was no enthusiasm on their part that propelled others to whip up same support for them. I do not know what accounted for this, but I sense the artistes, especially those who had “made name” felt it was their right to win at all cost. For example, I did not see and feel the rush and urgency with which Sark and Stonebwoy put into the awards, as they had done in previous years.
For Guru, it is clear he is quite despondent when it comes to the awards. His withdrawal from the scheme and subsequent rescission of the decision is enough indication. I doubt he cares about the outcome of the awards. And I know it won’t be any different in subsequent years.
And how Medikal missed out on his seven nominations still baffles many. I have read several comments that allude to the fact that he should have at least won one. And I ask: Are the awards distributed? He should have won, at whose expense? The VGMAs are competitive in nature.
And in as much as it is popularity based scheme, one’s popularity among the populace and in the industry, doesn’t guarantee a win. The dynamics of the voting system must be understood, and where strings need to be pulled, they are done. Sad for Medikal, but I am extremely happy for Fancy Gaddam. Huge motivation for his career.
New Wave and Floating Lovers Why are Joe Mettle, M.anifest, Flowking Stone and Fancy Gaddam smiling home, all excited? I am not sure these gentlemen slept, and just hoped that their fans will vote for them? Do they even have that ever present visible fans across the divide, as the Sarkoholics/ Sarknatives and Bhim Natives claim to have? So why aren’t the votes of these diehard fans enough to win them their respective categories?
I recollect a Sarknative say, Sarkodie will never miss out on an award because he has that huge following, citing how last year he won awards against expectation. So what happened this year? Has his fan base dwindled? Or is it that his fans were not motivated to vote? Or the votes of his fans weren’t enough to get him the awards? Whatever the case may be, the public votes matter a lot; that is if an artiste is not certain of getting the Academy and Board votes.
What will make Flowking Stone’s “Go Low” beat “RNS” in the Hiplife Song category? And what makes M.anifest’s “God MC” top Hip-hop Song category, and even win Rapper of the Year? And the ultimate winner, Joe Mettle?
There is an emerging force, and these are what I call “floating lovers.” They are not loyalty-blind. Some are in the Academy; the majority is the public. They believe in the hard work of artistes and their artistry. They are difficult to appeal to.
You need to win them. This group, I believe, have backed Sarkodie all this while, and not his diehard fans. Ignore them, and you perish.
This year’s VGMA leaves a huge lesson for artiste. Either you are in, or you are not.
There’s no room for complacency. And most artistes have learnt the bitter lesson.
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