The kind of people I listened to were decided by what my parents listened to, so I had no choice but endure Sam Cook, Lionel Richie, Nina Simone, Egya Koo Nimo, E.T. Mensah and many others. And I particularly liked Egya Koo Nimo for his song ‘Adesua Ye Ya’ because of the long hours I had to spend over my books with my ready with the cane ready on me if I dozed off.
And these people have remained my favorites till date. They sing with emotion and the songs have meaning to every listening ear. Since I gained the right to my music, I haven’t had the guts to listen to a lot of modern music especially the Ghanaian ones. I know we have produced some of the best musicians and bands like Kojo Antwi, Rex Omar and my favourite band of all time, Osibisa. Gosh they had a way with their instruments and lyrics unlike some of the people who claim to be musicians but can’t write coherent lyrics.
I hear the Ghana Music Awards is ten years old this year and there sure would be some big award ceremony except I dread the kind of winners it would produce again.
The Organizers have done well in promoting both Ghanaian music and musicians, only we don’t have that many musicians that require all the fanfare. The numbers of songs released over the past year I am sure only six deserve an award of any kind. It has been an agony having to endure these songs due to the payola.
Whatever happened to the flourishing music industry in Ghana, when people could sing their songs with live bands and kept their audience on their feet till the end of the show? I have never been to an Amakye Dede concert but I hear it’s always great and he has never been booed off any stage yet. I believe this because most people can relate to the content of his songs and appreciate his kind of music. And this is a man who started singing when we were not as sophisticated as we are today and yet could pull crowds and will even today to his concert. What technology seems to have done for Ghanaian music is to put some silly nasal twang in the voice of the singer and when you put them before a live band, they tell how much they grew loving Michael Jackson- the kind which is truly Un-Ghanaian and does show ladies gyrating on television to meaningless songs.
I am amazed the number of people singing these days and calling themselves musicians, you simply have to get a couple voluptuous girls to sway and dangle their assets in your video or TV and you are good to go.
You don’t even have to care what the words in the song are. So far it has the X-factor and you get everyone dancing, you earn the right to be called an artiste.
I am utterly disgusted by the total lack of creativity by these people and their use of sex and girls to sell their songs. And I wonder why hip-life has to be such crap.
I am sure even the God father himself must be disappointed at the inertia in the hip life industry, some of the songs are so horrible you are tempted to ask if the singer expects to sell his CDs or they are seeking popularity by producing such garbage.
I have heard many of them say it is a demand and supply issue. How sad because what music does is to inspire people to a greater good not to simply have sex or wriggle away and not know what it is the song says because they were dancing to the beat as we say around here a lot.
That is Nina Simone, Sam Cook and Millie Jackson did for the civil rights movement and feminism in the USA and that is what Asa is doing in Nigeria. This no USA I get it but we have our ills and every now and then it would be awesome if we hear wise cracks from some of them whiles others dare to get politically incorrect like A-Plus did. I cannot conclude without saying anything about the gospel industry. What is with them and dressing up for videos. They as guilty as the junks producing hip-life.
A verse in the Bible says REJOICE, AGAIN I SAY REJOICE, we have enough of those sad depressing songs about the lack of money, marriage and visas. A bit of positivity, people and we would rid our selves of the self pitying stock of Christians.
And would some choreographer take them dancing, the three steps back and forward is getting tired. God! must every video be shot in a hotel or beside some fancy car it would take fives years for them to own? I have no idea what caused the death of good music in Ghana. This is a multi billion cedi industry people, quit bickering over meager royalties and get it together.
Even in the USA where people download a lot of the songs off the internet the musicians are rich, own businesses and more. Some originality and sense of business would push Ghanaian music onto the world stage.
I reckon we have no musician who compares Salif Keita and the rest making Africa proud. Why a Ghanaian Musician would call himself Ghana’s fifty cent is beyond me- at the risk of sounding insulting. How unoriginal can you get?
What this industry needs is a health dose of reality check, like what Charter House gave Asem, as well no air play of the nonsense they pay for us to listen. I wonder why there are musicians in this country and yet we have to wait till October for JOYFM’s nite with stars or something else organized by some other radio station? Please will all the musicians producers and song writers be given some training by one of their many groups, it will help greatly.
There are those who have etched their names in the sands of time and would forever be remembered and whether they get any awards or not, they have by the number of people eager to listen to them. I cannot start a list because it would be winding but all those who did high life before I was born and can still put a smile on my face when I listen to them. And this year someone should give Becca an award, she’s soulful and can sing and a proud Ghanaian.She is not there yet but she will get on that map.
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