Tonight marks 19 editions since the scheme was instituted. In the time, the coveted prize of Artist of the Year has been won by Kojo Antwi (2001), Lord Kenya (2002), Kontihene (2003), V.I.P (2004), Obour (2005), Ofori Amponsah (2006), Samini (2007), Kwaw Kese (2008), Okyeame Kwame (2009), Sarkodie (2010), V.I.P (2011), Sarkodie (2012), R2Bees (2013), Shatta Wale (2014), Stonebwoy (2015), EL (2016), and Joe Mettle (2017).

The mother of all events on Ghana’s entertainment calendar, the event attracts music’s biggest names, as well as astounding performances.

Highlights of the 2018 VGMAs include Shatta Wale’s triumphant return after a 4-year ban, Ebony Reign’s momentum for the topmost prize, as well as the inroads of young kings as Kwesi Arthur, King Promise, B4bonah, Patapaa, KiDi, Kuami Eugene, Kurl Songx among others.

The coveted Artist of the Year slot is as usual, the most highly- anticipated. This was predicated by late singer, Ebony Reigns’ unprecedented run all through 2017, and Shatta Wale’s surprise inclusion after a 4- year ban. Gospel singer Joe Mettle, who currently wears the crown, looks to retain the title, especially off the impact of “Bo Noo Ni” (ft Luigi Maclean) and the “God of Miracles” album. The category is completed by usual suspects Sarkodie and Stonebwoy, who have, for the past decade or so, remained firmly rooted among the first rank of acts from Ghana, and indeed the VGMAs.

Who picks it this year, and who emerges tops in the other categories? We bring you our projections:

  

Gospel of the Year

Boot for Boot – Joyce Blessing

Obi Nyanime – Patience Nyarko

Bo Noo Ni – Joe Mettle ft. Luigi Maclean

Efatawo – Nacee

Adom – Gifty Osei

Jehovah – Ceccy Twum

Joe Mettle maintains his steam as Artist of the Year, publishing the God of Miracles album, which birthed Bo Noo Ni (ft. Luigi Maclean).  Patience Nyarko’s “Obi Nyanime” also proves a staunch contender. To us, the laurel remains between these two.

 

Highlife Song of the Year

Dream – Kumi Guitar

Bronya – Wutah

Odo – KiDi   

Angela – Kuami Eugene

Ladder – Lil Win

Over – R2bees

Hustle – Ebony

A tough category which could see anyone from KiDi, Kuami Eugene, Wutah, or even Ebony emerge victorious.

 

Hiplife Song of the Year

Total Cheat – Fancy Gadam Ft. Sarkodie

Boys Boys – Nancee Ft. Guru

Pain Killer – Sarkodie Ft. Runtown

Obi Agyi Obi Girl – Captain Planet

Ayoo – Shatta Wale

One Corner – Patapaa Ft. Ras Cann

 

Hiphop Song of the Year

State of the Art – Teephlow

Light it up – Sarkodie

Grind Day Remix – Kwesi Arthur

Pen and Paper – Ko-jo Cue & Shaker

Dear God – B4bonah

Though he is a greenhorn, Kwesi Arthur could cause an upset in this category, considering what a revolutionary he has proven all through last year, especially with “Grind Day”. Sarkodie has been ruler for a long time, so it is illogical to rule him out, or B4bonah, whose aspirational joint “Dear God” has been a radio staple ever since it was released.

 

Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year

Until the Dawn – Efya

My Own – Samini

My Name – Stonebwoy

Faya Burn Dem – Article Wan

Rewind – MzVee

Dem Confuse – Shatta Wale

We’re going to go out on a limb and select “My Own”, off Samini’s forthcoming reggae album. Produced by DJ Frass, it has towered high among reggae playlists in the country. Protégé Stonebwoy puts up a strong challenge with “My Name”, as does Shatta Wale’s “Dem Confuse”.

 

Afro-pop Song of the Year

Makoma – Adina feat. Sarkodie

Oh Yeah – King Promise

Say You Love Me – KiDi

Sing My Name – MzVee

Jennifer Lomotey – Kurl Songx

Sponsor – Ebony

My Baby – Magnon

Come from Far – Stonebwoy

In nearly every category which she has been nominated, Ebony appears dominant, and Afro-pop Song of the Year is no different. But fellow young stars King Promise, KiDi, and Kurl Songx present realistic threats. Magnom, Stonebwoy, and Adina could also cause upsets though.

 

Gospel Artiste of the Year

Patience Nyarko

Joyce Blessing

Joe Mettle

Celestine Donkor

Gifty Osei

Nacee

Joe Mettle leads the category by a stretch, especially due to his momentum from last year. It’s highly unlikely for the laurel to go to anyone else.

 

Highlife Artiste of the Year

Wutah

KiDi

Kuami Eugene

Becca

Wutah’s comeback was fantastic. Bronya, the song which essentially announced their return, made massive waves. Still, one cannot ignore LYNX boys Kuami Eugene and KiDi, either of whom could snatch the award.

 

Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year

Ebony

MzVee

Shatta Wale

Stonebwoy

Ebony reigns at this year’s event. In a category containing Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale, no one can be too confident, but Ebony picks this one.

 

Songwriter of the Year

Kumi Guitar – Dream

Joe Mettle- Bo Noo Ni

Bullet – Maame Hwe

Kofi Kinaata – Last Show

Samini – My own

Stonebwoy – My Name

In the past couple of years, it has gone to Kofi Kinaata, who has constantly displayed wit and depth in his penmanship. This year though, Bullet, most certainly walks home with the laurel, for “Maame Hwe”, his poignant narrative of domestic abuse, expertly delivered by Ebony.

 

Record of the Year

Kumi Guitar – Dream

Samini – My Own

Sarkodie – Glory

Teephlow – State of the Art

 

Best Music Video of the Year

Kumi Guitar- Dream (Directed by Abass)

King Promise – Selfish (Directed by Vertex)

B4bonah – My Girl (Directed by Nicol-Sey)

Opanka – Wedding Car (Directed by Bra Shizzle)

Captain Planet – Obi Agyi Obi Girl (Directed by Phamous Films)

Lil Shaker & Ko-Jo Cue – Pen & Paper (Directed by Ekumodzi)

 

Hiplife/Hip-Hop Artiste of the Year

Yaa Pono

R2bees

Captain Planet

*Kwesi Arthur

*Sarkodie

VVIP

 

 Best Male Vocalist of the Year

Joe Mettle – Bo Noo Ni

King Promise – Selfish

KiDi – Odo

Kuami Eugene – Angela

Mugeez – Over

Samini – My Own

While this is an extremely tight category, we’re sticking our neck out for LLE’s King Promise takes this one, for his superior  delivery on “Selfish”

 

Best Female Vocalist of the Year

Adina – Makoma

Nana Yaa – Don’t leave alone

Efya – Love

MzVee – Bright light

Becca – Summye (Pillow)

 

Many music lovers bemoan Ebony’s absence in this category, for her performance in “Maame Hwe”. Adina seemingly leads the category (which also accommodates top songstresses Efya, Becca, MzVee, and NanaYaa), for her work on Makoma, 

 

Best Group of the Year

VVIP

R2bees

Wutah

This could go to any one of the groups, though Wutah’s boisterous comeback, as well as VVIP’s dominance over the years gives them a slight edge.

 

Best Rapper of the Year

Eno Barony – Fear No Man

Teephlow – Phlowducation

Sarkodie – Light it up

Lil Shaker – Pen & Paper

Ko-Jo Cue – Pen & Paper

Strongman – Transformer

 

Sarkodie holds an upper hand in this category, because the other nominees pale in comparison with his bran. Yet, Teephlow seems to have impressed many for his performance on Phlowducation, and therefore, could carry the day.

 

Best collaboration of the Year

Joe Mettle Ft. Luigi Maclean – Bo Noo Ni

MzVee Ft. Patoranking – Sing My Name remix

Kurl Songx Ft. Sarkodie – Jennifer Lomotey

Sarkodie Ft. Runtown – Pain Killer

Shatta Wale Ft. SM Militants – Taking Over

Captain Planet Ft. Kofi Kinaata – Obi Agyi Obi Girl

Becca Ft. Patoranking – Na Wash

Shatta Wale and his “Militants” lead by a whole mile in this category.

 

Best African artiste of the year

Davido

Wizkid

Toofan

Cassper Nyovest

Nasty C

Tiwa Savage

Olamide

Davido stands out in this category, especially with such widespread offerings as “Fia”, “Like Dat”, and his contribution on KiDi’s “Odo (Remix).

 

Best New Artiste of the year

King Promise

Kurl Songx

KiDi

Kuami Eugene

Magnom

Kwesi Arthur

B4bonah

 

Song of the Year

Sponsor – Ebony

Odo – Kidi

Angela – Kuami Eugene

Taking Over – Shatta Wale Ft. SM Militants

Total Cheat – Fancy Gadam Ft. Sarkodie

One Corner – Patapaa Ft. Ras Cann

Bo Noo Nii – Joe Mettle Ft. Luigi Maclean

Obi Agyi Obi Girl – Captain Planet Ft. Kofi Kinaata.

My Baby – Magnom ft Joey B

Oh Yeah – King Promise

Pain Killer – Sarkodie feat. Runtown

 

Tough call in every regard, but Ebony reigns here too, especially considering signals we’re picking from the ground.

 

Album of the Year

Epistles of Mama – Stonebwoy

Daavi – MzVee

Bonyfied – Ebony

Highest – Sarkodie

For one thing, Ebony’s “Bonyfied” produced the most hits last year. Though it faces fierce competition from Stonebwoy’s “Epistles of Mama” album, “Bonyfied” tops this one.

 

Artiste of the Year

Joe Mettle

Ebony Reigns

Shatta Wale

Sarkodie

Stonebwoy

The late Ebony very likely will set the record as the first female to win the topmost prize. This is founded on a remarkable 2017, which saw her release an array of hit songs and the BONYFIED album.  

 

*VGMA 2018 is a Charterhouse Ghana event with sponsorship from telecoms giant Vodafone. Jonnie Hughes and AJ Sarpong compere the Red Carpet session, while Berla Mundi and Jon Dumelo host the Main event.

 

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