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#BlackStarDELIGHT: UK-based Ghanaian Media and Communications professional Akosua Annobil

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Akosua Annobil , a Ghanaian Media and Communications professional based in the UK  shares her thoughts with enewsgh.com on whether Ghanaian artistes have branded themselves well enough.

What was it like organizing and producing Samini’s Album Launch Party in 2009?

Samini won a MOBO Award for Best African Act in 2006, but he was little known in the UK at that time and Afrobeat wasn’t anywhere near as popular as it is now in Britain. So when I got the call to introduce him to the UK music industry, I knew it would be a challenge. It turned out to be great fun, and one of the most successful projects I’ve put together over the past decade. It was a private party for the release of his third studio album, Dagaati, and it was the UK’s first album launch for a Ghanaian musician.

Over 200 British and African celebrities, music industry executives and journalists attended the event, and I booked award-winning rapper Bashy as a London-based support act because his energy (both on and off stage) is captivating – similar to Samini’s. I genuinely had love for the project in regards to the music and crossing boundaries between Ghana and the UK.

As a PR person, do you think Ghanaian artistes have branded themselves well enough to get a worldwide appeal?

The short answer is no. However, I think that’s more to do with the lack of behind-the-scenes talent in the industry, rather than the artists themselves. Ghana has produced an explosion of new talent, which is brilliant. But there doesn’t seem to be many professional PR, marketing and management teams to support them.

That said, I do think some artists need to take better advantage of the online space, which can significantly improve their profiles if executed properly.

Any plans to extend what you do / share your experiences with Ghana (media, creative arts industry)

Absolutely.

What was the inspiration/idea behind founding Fire Media UK/overgroundonline.com?

Back in 2004, my business mentor and close friend Peter Murray , (founder of Pride, the UK’s glossy magazine for women of colour) pointed out that I should be doing more with my media skills and industry contacts. With Fire Media it was a case of supply and demand. London’s underground music scene was thriving and there were a huge number of artists that needed specialist promotion. We then went on to events, theatre productions and celebrities, providing a variety of PR services.

Overground Online came about after spending seven years as an entertainment editor on the now defunct African-Caribbean newspaper New Nation. Black media in general were pretty slow to react to the internet, but it was clear where the marketplace was heading. I co-launched the site in 2008, and it was quite pioneering at the time – a place to read articles and watch videos about African Caribbean entertainment, politics and London culture for free.

Both Fire Media and Overground rewarded me with some great times and valuable lessons, which I’ll treasure and use as a guide as I move on in my career.

Names of celebrities you’ve interviewed

A few of my personal favourites include Chaka Khan, Mary J Blige, R Kelly, Beenie Man and Wiley.

Any memorable career moments?

In 2006, I was flown out on a press trip to Ghana to cover Jay Z’s first concert there. I managed to write some good stories while staying at the same hotel as Jay and his entourage. However, the best thing about the trip was that it was the beginning of my relationship with Ghana – for both work and play.

In 2008, I was called to LA to present a show called Brits Abroad for American TV network BET (Black Entertainment Television), and interview celebrities from the UK who were pursuing careers in Hollywood. While I was there, I also appeared in a popular, debate panel series called Hip Hop Vs America. That was an unforgettable experience.

Akosua, Levi Roots and Ozwald Boateng

Akosua, Levi Roots and Ozwald Boateng

Have you won any awards for your work?

During my days as a print journalist and radio broadcaster I won a Ghana Professional Achievers Award for Media and Communications.

Your thoughts on discussions that digital media will overtake traditional media in the coming years?

I’ll always have a soft spot for traditional media, particularly print, as that was my training ground and the foundation upon which I have built my career. But there’s no getting away from the fact that the future is digital – the change is already happening. Many publications and media organizations have cut or closed down due to marketing spend being shifted to the digital landscape.

Recent reports show that by 2020, more than seven billion people and businesses will be connected to the internet, and the media play an important part in that evolution. It’s also essential to fully equip the next generation to become creators and not just consumers of content.

Kindly give details of what you do with Headliners UK

In 2008/9 I felt passionately about the demise of youth culture in the UK, particularly in regards to violent crime. I initially joined Headliners as an Outreach Journalist; developing and delivering media projects with some of the most vulnerable young people in the country, including youth offenders. The sessions are used as a catalyst to give young people a platform to raise issues in society that they feel are important to them, while inspiring them to build on their skills and work towards achieving their goals.

Over the years I’ve worked in schools, youth centres, pupil referral units and voluntary organizations.. Now, I’m running a Big Lottery-funded project focused on young people in the care system, and working with the charity to develop future partnerships around digital skills and employment.

Any advice to young people who want to chart a career path in the media?

It’s a bit of a cliché, but study the craft and do what you love within the industry. And if you haven’t worked out what that is yet just follow your curiosity or the bits about media that make you tick. Don’t get me wrong, nobody in media starts with nothing and becomes successful overnight simply by doing what pleases them. In my early years I had to make money working in a café, telesales, a hair salon and as a customer service assistant in London City Airport. But all the while I was studying journalism and working in national newspaper offices for free. Later in life you realise it all adds up. Those part-time jobs helped to build my confidence and networking skills; work experience at the Financial Times made my CV stand out; and I got my first break in media through one of the clients at the hair salon!

Last words?

Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the sky.

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Events & Places

Adane BEST, Samuel Owusu, Tagoe Sisters, others for “Time with MGA” concert, March 2

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The Executives of MUSIGA Greater Accra, (MGA) in partnership with EventMastersGh, and Alliance Francaise Accra presents “Time with MGA“: a  variety show featuring top artistes of all genres.

The MGA Variety Show is a pre-independence day live concert slated for Friday, March 2, 2018. Artistes billed to perform include   Shegah (godmother of Dancehall music in Ghana), Adane Best (Highlife), Nana Quame (Highlife), Samuel Owusu (Highlife), Kento & Joe Wizzy (Hiplife), Ex-Doe (Hiplife), Soma Iddrissu (Traditional), Tagoe Sisters (Gospel), Gifty Osei (Gospel), Ras Caleb, Appiah-Levi (Reggae) and Mellodica led by bassist Emmanuel Ofori as a back-up Band for all the artistes.

This event promises to be one of the exhilarating concerts in the series of “Time with MGA”.

The Chairman of MUSIGA Greater Accra, Ras Caleb Appiah Levi said “this collaboration is welcoming as such Platforms do not only help the musicians to improve on their stage craft when it comes to live musical performances but also an avenue to further improve and grow the creative arts industry”.

Mr. Isaac Kofi Maafo, Director of EventMastersGh also added that, they are opened for partnerships as these concerts would provide one of the best and cost effective consumer engagement platforms for organizations to promote and consolidate their brands.

 

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Budding singer Mabiina radiates in new IMAGES

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Budding chanteuse Mabiina of Black Speech Music Group has released new photos.

The RnB singer who released her debut single “True Love”, in January has been tipped by industry persons to breakthrough mainstream soon.

She started music at the age of 7, and later to the famous Hush Hush studio with the legendary beat maker JQ, known for producing most smash hits in the 2000’s.

“ My Love for music is the Calling and to spread that love to my Fans and Music Lovers over the World is the Duty ” she submits.

See Photos below:

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VIDEO: Only You – Kobla Jnr. (feat Efya)

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Black Avenue Musik signee, Kobla Jnr, has released a new song.

The promising act lays his powerful vocals blended with English, Pidgin and Ewe on his debut single “Only You” which features one of Africa’s Most Powerful female voices Efya.

The song was produced by in-house melody man, Rony Turn Me Up with video direction by Jay Jeneral.

Watch the video below:

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GEORGINA! dj ALjahZEEra’s “Music Pharmacy” kicks off “SOUND CIRCUIT” initiative with GH/ Gabon collab

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DJ ALjahZEEra, host of global music show, The Music Pharmacy, is unifying music talent from the continent in a way that is truly unprecedented.

Via his new initiative, “SOUND CIRCUIT”, which he describes as a social responsibility project to help new talented musicians / artistes and mainstream ones to exchange cultural heritage through international music collaborations, he adds to the African playlist, a remarkable new number.

The maiden single, slated for  22nd February and titled “Georgina”,  is an Afropop  masterpiece remixed with popular Gabonese group BGMFK whose audience share in the francophone parts of Africa is phenomenal, especially with the dominance of their songs Ayo, Loin & Aya on international television platforms such as Trace & Mtv base.

Gabonese band BGMFK. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

“Georgina” is a song composed by a talented burgeoning Ghanaian -based artiste named Vegas Ace,  who is steadily growing his fan base in the Sekondi – Takoradi metropolis & the Western region of Ghana as whole.

The song is also produced by Willisbeatz,  one of the greatest talents in music production today,  speculated to be nominated and awarded Producer of The Year at the upcoming Ghana Music Awards 2018.

Ghanaian act Vegas Ace. Follow him on Twitter ,  Instagram and Facebook 

You can connect with The Music Pharmacy via: TwitterInstagramFacebook , and Soundcloud

 

Here’s a snippet of the song:


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TRUE BELIEVER! Shatta Wale Charges at False Prophets in new song – LISTEN!

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In his new single “True Believer”, on which he features protégés Addi Self, and Natty Lee, Dancehall icon Shatta Wale confronts charlatans parading as men of God, in quintessential Shatta Wale fashion.

The joint, produced by MOG Beatz, interrogates the motives of prophets who seem to possess a penchant for seeing only bad news.

“You say you be true believer…only you wey know Jehovah…You say you be true believer, everyday you dey kill your brother” the Shatta Movement frontman and ZYLOFON Music signee ponders on the chorus.

In past weeks, a number of purported men of God have prophesied the singer’s demise –a development which has angered him greatly. In an explosive live video on Facebook following these “prophecies”, the singer petitioned the president, Nana Akufo Addo, saying that his life is in danger. He also threatened to burn down churches if this “false prophecy” fails to come to pass by December.

In a related development, his father, Charles Mensah Snr, has written a formal letter to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to investigate a Kasha-Based prophet for such a claim.

Listen below:

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Events & Places

These Paul Addo images sum up Ebony’s One – Week Observation!

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The One -Week observation ceremony for singer Ebony Reigns (Priscilla Opoku Kwarteng), held in Dansoman over the weekend, was characterised by a mix of emotions: disconsolate and celebratory alike.

A momentous time in modern Ghanaian music, the event attracted a myriad of sympathisers (celebrities, as well as regular folk).

Photographer Paul Addo, via a selection of poignant images, sums up the key scenes from proceedings. Follow him on Twitter

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