Sometimes I wonder why one should buy a ticket at Ghc100 and Ghc200 to go watch our own musicians perform. In Ghana we have just a handful of musicians who have some sort of stage artistry when performing. I wouldn't want to mention names from the high life fraternity and perhaps the gospel because most of these musicians play very well in their live band performances. Now, how many hiplife or so called hip hop or "twi pop" artiste here in Ghana have the stage act or artistry in them?
Ask me and I will only mention names like Samini, Slim Busterr, VIP, Sherifa Gunu and if I should mention one strong one from the gospel fraternity, it is No Tribe. These are few artistes who at least do some choreography and some stage act in the country now.
The rest are all " model artistes". They will just come walk from one end of the stage to the other, jump, shout "put your fingers in the air", show off their clothes and then mime their songs. There is nothing to write home about, their performances are just raw, no choreography, no attitude and all manner of poor interacting habit, just no showmanship.
The few one's who rehearse also only do that when they are going to sing or perform. Our musicians need to sit up and should know the kind of businesses they are into because very soon it will be very boring buying tickets to watch these "model artistes" perform.
The creative process, and performance skills we are expecting to see in them are just not there and something quick needs to be done about it. If possible hiplife artistry and music business workshops should be organized at least once every year to bring about professional artistes development. Persistent practice coupled with ongoing professional development is the recipe for musical success.
If we’re to stick to our practice schedules, our fans or audience will see that creativity, showmanship in our performances and that will make us have very good musicians in the country.
Of course you've heard this one: "that Artiste blew my mind, he totally read the crowd's vibe and worked the room or auditorium!" What does this mean? It means the artiste was interacting with the crowd - simple, but effective! One of my favorite live acts are these dudes named Amakye Dede and Samini, check them out!
Their live shows are spectacular, where they invite their audiences to sing along, do funny dance move, step forward, hug each other... you get the idea, it's awesome. So being interactive can involve planned activities like Samini or like your favorite high life legend Amakye Dede, it can mean being sensitive to the crowd's vibe and responding to it. These are some of the things we are expecting to see from our artistes when we attend shows and not just miming songs, walking and shouting "put your fingers in the air" on stage. One thing we should also look at apart from interacting with the audience is drama. Most stage acts depend heavily on drama but we don't see our artistes putting up this attitude on stage.
Stage or live performance doesn't mean being fake. Sometimes you just have to open yourself up to how the music moves you, and let yourself be moved. Most artistes are fake all the time in their live performances. They have to be real sometimes, need to be honest. I believe the goal of the show is to get the attention of an entire room focused on one thing.
The performance. More accurately, each and every movement of the song, as it unfolds. It's almost like mass hypnotism. It's very powerful and equally hard to pull off, but people will remember the show because they were in it, not just at it.
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