Ghana music; the media and the youth

Music is undergoing a metamorphosis in this part of the world with a steepness that will reach its zenith one day with the vast majority of people getting a cochlea-tic shock that they didn’t anticipate its happening.

You doubt? Ok, let’s backtrack way back to circa 2007 when there was the gradual shift from the Jay Q – Appietus Hiplife to something totally different.

5Five were to have a major hit during this period with their solely English language song, ‘African Girls’.

The song was a hit and perhaps it urged more artists on to dabble with the language as a medium through which they should sing or rap their songs in.

At that time, the trend had been to sing or rap in Twi with a few artists using the Ga and Fante language as their lyrical medium.

It might not be a big something to highlight but the best artists who sang in the latter languages where from the Last Two Music Group.

Since I’ve mentioned them let me subtly add that the Last Two was cooking and nurturing talents around this period who would go on to play big parts in the change of music during the 2008/2009 period.

Months after 5five had the hit song came 4×4 with ‘Hot Girls Dot Com’. That song was it! The production of the song moved from the Hiplife that was pertaining to a more millennial Hiplife.

4×4 (Hot Girls Dot Com music video)

The beat, the language choices and the style were all different but you know with the kind of society we are in, it was still seen as a one off something with the willingness to follow suit being small.

Then all of a sudden it blew up, it burst open and the movement started to gush out. ‘Gimme Blow’, produced by Richie (who was to later be in hot demand) by then new artist Asem was requested at every event.

The song was unique and followed what ‘Hot Girls Dot Com’ had done.

It was happening. The 20-25 year olds were getting the kind of songs they wanted. The movement was on.

There was no stopping the new wave when the music group R2Bees solidified the change of hands with their hot single.

R2Bees, the Tema based group, released ‘Yawa Girl’ produced by Kill Beats. It was in high demand and was on everyone lips and phones.

Things were happening, the songs where trending. Everyone wanted those three songs and it was at this point that technology was used to Ghanaian music’s gain.

During that period, the vast majority of music consumers had phones which had installed on it the newest mobile phone tech, the Bluetooth feature.

Bluetooth by then had become the popular channel to share files from one mobile device to the other far eclipsing the comparatively slow Infrared during that period.

This fast-tracked the change in the music sphere in this country as a generation now got to listen to songs that they were more inclined to.

Gains were made in mid-2008 when more tunes having that new feel was released with Okyeame Kwame reinventing himself also with the remix to ‘Wosu’.

Remember the Last Two Music Group squadron? Yes, they got unleashed in the last quarter of 2008 with two acts coming up tops in Swat Kats-like style. The rap tune ‘Keva’ was the launching pad that unleashed them.

‘Keva’ did more than push the movement further up, it also birthed two artists Edem and Sarkodie, who will go on to have a breakthrough year in 2009.

Edem and Sarkodie had the unique feel and vibe about them that helped the swift change of hands on the music scene. You surely don’t need more from me to know who they are now, do you? Let’s move on then.

Fast forward to our present time, August 2017 and we, my friend, have come a long way. Azonto has had its ills and gains and frankly, we are quite tired.

The juice has been sucked out of the shift that started in 2007. It now sounds syncopated.

Or is it just me coming from a different fed up generation? That is it! With nothing being new under the sun, new breeds of Ghanaian creatives are taking Ghanaian music into a whole different scene now.

Unlike the past musical shift, this one is not being aided by the mainstream media. This movement is being pushed once again with the help of social media, technology!

The music being put up by artists classified by mainstream media as underground is super. The quality of the finished works is one that will compete with and are better than some songs out there.

The Future

The silent movement is being done by artists who fall within the 22-27 age groups. This different generation is strongly aiming to rewrite the definition of Hiplife from Ghana but this time with pure influences from the artists of old.

When I mean old I mean 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s old. Adding a touch of urban millennium flow, this generation’s drive and passion can’t be halted.

The support might be lacking but that hasn’t stopped anyone, not even one from slowing down.

Technology, charle look tech is playing a massive role here that you couldn’t have imagined. Gone are the days when radio and TV were the only avenues people could listen to your work.

Mainstream media simply just doesn’t see the reason why their songs should be played with the preferability still being for the pop dance tunes.

With Twitter and SoundCloud, millennial artistes have found a great and non-payola way to which their content can be consumed.

The creativity in the way these sites are used to promote new music is top, top!

Let’s move on to something more glorious, something new whereby when you sit to listen to a song you come out with not only good instruments but above anything else, meaningful lyrics.

We surely can add names of some artistes who are spearheading this change on this article but don’t you already know them?

Is the list not too long and good to exclude even one? I mean the movement is so glaring to ignore.

One thing missing in this write up is the role of the sound engineers in this cause. They have been very influential to the apex in every tune put out by the new generation of Ghanaian artists.

The further growth of the new generation of Ghanaian artists rests in their studios and on their beat production set tables.

It’s a whole new rhythm filled with our culture that they are creating. There is a cultural change; this is not just a music movement.

This generation is aware of what its culture is and they are using it to influence their music.

Do not expect them to make music that will conform to the current music that is receiving major airplay on radio and the other medium.

Ghanaian radio should be a part of this phenomenon now not when it blows up and they have no choice.

There are plenty of ears that desire to listen to good music but radio is playing the music that radio wants.

Free The Youth

No qualms there but you should know, this our generation doesn’t give up on the good that they believe in.

Ghana music is shifting guards, identify and be a part of it. It’s our culture!

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