Most Ghanaian musicians have shied away from discussing the subject ‘Payola’, though it is a major challenge confronting their industry.
They treat the subject just like many men treat prostitutes- patronize it under the cover of darkness and treat it with contempt in the market square.
Though several musicians have declined interviews on payola, Ghana’s Rap Doctor, Okyeame Kwame, has spoken to NEWS-ONE on the subject and the two music videos he is currently putting together for the ‘Mr. Versatility’ album.
For persons who do not understand the meaning of Payola, it is a slang that refers to the transfer of money or other inducements to a radio station, DJ or TV station for the promotion or broadcast of music works. This is mostly considered as illegal.
Okyeame Kwame explained to NEWS-ONE that though payola was a reality within the music industry, it did not become an issue in instances where musicians produced very good songs that became instant hot cakes.
He said when a musician produced a very good song, the radio stations rather chased the musician for the song and played it on radio because that was what the listening public was yearning for; so there would be no need for the musician to do any other ‘thing’ to ‘push’ the song.
“As musicians, we must also learn creative ways of promoting our works and not to overly rely on only DJs.
Acquiring promotional knowledge is a very important tool but the bottom line is to do our best to bring out the best of songs that would themselves sell out and get us on the big shows,” he suggested.
Okyeame Kwame disclosed that for the past two years, he had not had cause to influence any DJ to play his songs.
The Rap Doctor is currently putting finishing touches to two music videos on the ‘Mr. Versatility’ album.
He has just completed the video shoot for ‘Sika’ on which he featured Kesse of ‘Project Fame’ and ‘TV3 Mentor’.
Okyeame Kwame said the ‘Mr. Versatile’ video was almost done and Irene Logan would be on set this Wednesday to face the cameras and makeup artistes for the video shoot.
“I featured Irene Logan on the ‘Mr. Versatile’ track and she is in the video as well. The song is a unique one that has 8 different genres all blended and organized to create harmony.
It starts with hip-hop, moves to pop, then to Adowa, then Kete, then hip-life, then back to hip-hop, then raga, then soul and then ends with a happy song.
“The idea is to bring together different cultures, generations, times, ideas, styles and fuse them together in a single song.
I cannot see a louder way of promoting harmony and tolerance among humans than this song,” Okyeame noted.
‘Sika’ is a song with a slow tempo yet danceable rhythm that talks about how the love of money has resulted in countless societal ills including broken homes, robbery, enmity and hatred.
Kesse put up a very impressive performance that nearly outmatched Okyeame Kwame’s.
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