The spaceship has docked for yet another year and the most anticipated entertainment program has come to an eventful close with the years biggest artistes being awarded for their excellence.
Like it’s expected every year, people complain and critic the organizers of the show, CHARTERHOUSE from the selection process to the last closing remark of the show and this year wasn’t different as various thoughts were thrown across social networking platforms about this year’s edition.
Right from the announcement of Vodafone as the new principal sponsors, Ghanaians were promised a recharged experience and most of us thought it was long over due and with the introduction of Vodafone who had shown great interest in the entertainment business into the picture, we expected nothing but an exceptional 13th edition of the Ghana music awards.
It was as if I was experiencing a “deja vu” when the nominations were announced and they had so many question marks surrounding them. 2011 we can all agree was a good year for upcoming artisest, I mean these guys made great music that took as through our festivities yet when the time was due, they all seemed to have been forgotten.
Entertainment review shows and blogs spoke bitterly about the selection process and the criteria on which they based their selection upon, committee members came out to defend their decision and as usual, there was nothing we could do but accept it in good faith.
A lot of Ghanaians, including myself had banked our hopes on ticket prices being reasonable this, with Vodafone taking over aside all the rumors floating in town about the amount pumped into this years event, it came at as a shock to many when ticket information were released to the general public with a lot of people stating how hefty it was on their pockets/purses and yet again there was nothing we could do but to get on social networks, review shows and blogs to express our deepest dissatisfaction even though reps from the organizers came out to defend their decision.
It’s Showtime!, as all roads led to Ghana’s premier entertainment center “THE DOME” for the 13th edition of the Ghana Music Awards, dubbed “RECHARGED”, unfortunately I was not at the dome but monitored the nights events from the organizers private free to air TV channel “GHone Television”. The night looked promising, as I took a front row seat in front of my set openly admiring our musicians on the red carpet, elegantly dressed and looking sharp in couture designed by home-based designers and foreign brands.
Personally, everything looked promising until the “FASHION POLICE” or for lack of a better word, the RED CARPET MC’s were introduced as Confidence Haugen , CEO of Aphrodisiac Nite Club, and KOD, took the floor to interview the artistes/celebrities on the red carpet.
All this time I kept asking myself what Confidence was doing with the microphone because this was the first time I had seen her doing this and I believe a program like the VGMA’s wasn’t the best platform to start a new career.
KOD did exceptional as was expected, his deliveries and rapour with the celebrities was on point, with most of the artist sporting his personal clothing line “NINETEEN57”, to me is an excellent move as this is how it is done worldwide.
His compatriot Madam Confidence was struggling interviewing people, she looked totally uncomfortable, it was as if she was star struck, her delivery was bad to the extent that she choked whilst interviewing one of the Vodafone staff, overall it was like fitting a square block into a round hole, disappointing.
As was expected, the stipulated time was long passed as this has become sort of a habit for Ghanaian programs, The show finally took off with an explosive live band rendition from the Gospel singer, Cwesi Oteng performing his hit single “God Dey Bless Me” with a special appearance by Lord Kenya who is now born again christain. I was impressed at first when he appeared on the stage as were many in the auditorium (I could hear from my set) until he just started screaming and running around. I guess he was trying to send a message that, he maybe born again but he is still lord Kenya the performer. Even though that ruined the performance for me I still enjoyed the music provided by the band.
Now from where I was sitting, I saw nothing recharged about the auditorium’s setup. The stage looked normal, just like previous years only that this time, there was a runway attached which I kept wondering if the performing artists would actually utilize this added extension. The lightening setup.
Looked the same to me with no wow, sorry, “recharged factor”, seating arrangements still the same, with the VIP’s in the middle and the regular ticket holders at the sides. The stage designs was not bad, though it looked different, maybe because there was change in colours. The sound quality, I cannot judge completely because for my set, it was terrible but I haven’t heard anybody who was actually there complain even though there was some microphone sharing at such an event, I think I will not comment on this one.
Arguably the best part of the night was the short montage to introduce the host of the program.
At least from where I was sitting, it felt like I was watching an action movie and it was very funny. At this moment the all could do was laugh as Funny face made an appearance in the short sketch. It was a refreshing comeback for the ace-host, as we missed him last year and what an entrance it was I must say, I was highly impressed.
Now the awards can officially start, as the host introduced the band handling the event for the night(I will comment on their performance later) who treated the audience to a medley of songs. Immediately after that came about 20min plus of non-stop performances, which later began to drag on and on, maybe it was because of the poor sound quality from the transmission or the performing artist “screaming” with passion as they performed along with the live band.
Ghanaians over the years have been asking our artiste to stop lip-syncing and perform their music LIVE, now this was where I had a problem because LIVE music is a whole different ball game which demands a lot of musicianship from the artiste.
One does not require a PHD in rocket science to realize that most of our artist are not musically inclined, as this is a requirement to perform live. From sitting point, with my music and sound engineering background most of the performers were off key (I wonder if they even know the key when the song was being made in the studio). Microphone/breathe and vocal control was bad with most of the performers struggling with some of the notes. I would not be like everybody and give them a pat on their back for trying, I’m sorry.
The performances were mostly disappointing from my sitting position, with 70% of the local acts doing LIVE music. I seriously did not see why Cabo Snoop made a return to Ghana, since he had not released new music and HHP had too much stage time as he was not known by many Ghanaians. The Chocolate City boys, performed a single song each, with Brymo showing of his R&B side. Personally I was disappointed they lasted as long as my snack break and M.I performed just one song out of his arsenal. I was waiting for their hit song “Nobody Test Me”, unfortunately, they wished Ghanaians a wonderful night and left us asking for more. Overall I would give the performances a 40/100.
With the awards presentations, I’m not going to comment because I don’t want any “DID YOU VOTE?” questions, because I didn’t and personally, I believe that every single nominee and winner deserved what they got. As to if the winners reflected the votes of the people?, I have no Idea but deep within me, I wished some awards should have gone the way of some people but the all can’t be winners, so we should all take it good faith.
The show ended on rather a good note, as Sarkodie took center stage to accept his award for Artist of the Year. Show is over, mixed feelings backed by a lot of unanswered questions. Another edition gone as we wait for the 14th edition. Personally I think the show didn’t live up to its “HYPE”, it was not a recharged experience at all.
The show felt more like “Musical Concert” than an award show, too many performances which made a two hour program last 4-5 hours. I think it was the organizers way of making the show worth the price tag or better still the ticket rate.
I hope by now Charter House, have realized that a show of that magnitude goes way beyond catchy phrases and we hope they try their best for the next edition and they should consider the other artist who have their music on constant replay at parties, raves etc. next time during the selection process, because It turns out the same old faces keep coming up each year.
These awards are to serve as a motivation for artist when they book studio time, And I hope all other subsequent award shows take a queue from this years Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.
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