As I sit to write, my thoughts are cluttered like pieces of scrambled egg in a pan. I will manage to put them together to at least create a frail of ideas you can piece together meaningfully, if not entirely draw your attention to issues and occurrences that have been generational
I decide to delve into a few questions that I presume have lingered on from generation to generation.
Who deserves what? Who approves that? And what is the real measurement of people’s worth?
I write in line with the recent upsurge and rants of fans, Artiste and stakeholders about the music industry. Did I just say the word “industry” yes and when I looked it up “a music industry should be a place where companies and individuals make money by creating and selling music At least I know we don’t have one because no Artiste in Ghana sells music, there are no record labels, publishing houses and so on.
With all the blabbering above to just show where we are going I will like to delve into the reason for capturing my entry statement in that regard. The absence of musical structures which goes a long way to put revenue in the pockets of Artiste, producers, writers is also probably one of the most important means of data collation to give recognition to any individual in that field.
Example an Artiste throughout a year under review in any organized and structured industry will be furnished with amount of records sold digitally and physically, Number of appearances and venues filled and number of attendants, level of viewership and listenership, How long his or her music has been on the chart from all major billboards…All this data go a long way to inform decision makers on their Ability to be awarded and rewarded.
God bless our homeland Ghana, where we have no data collection system thus a few presumably know how industry experts must gather around to use their experience to determine and facilitate who deserves what, and the measurement of what Artiste are worth? It is Alleged at one point Some wanted 60 thousand, so did Some demand 100 thousand at another point, Question is who decides if they are not worth their demand, a little research led me into an European (D country that gives Artiste the room to charge depending on where their song is on the chart and each time a new song from them make entry rates go higher,
Every Industry has a minimum wage, how come Artiste in Ghana can go as far as free because there is no flat line. Once a lawyer opened my mind to the fact that artiste are not supposed to collect 20 percent of the rate of the highest performer on any bill or platform they share, that literally means if Chris Brown was given the alleged 1 million dollars which is a topic of discussion another day then the least amount any other performer on the night from the resident country should be 200 thousand dollars.
Does credibility from experience give people the autonomy to decide? Do we need musically approved academia to indulge in such humongous task of streamlining awards and rewards? Will that allay the doubt of Artiste fans and stake holders? How about the companies that walk through the door pretend to care about the Arts because of their overall agendum of reaching the masses to generate revenue?
Do well to answer the question, if not all try, let’s find a way to solve the cancer feeding on the Industry and see if our generation can pioneer change without rage…Goget’em.
Edem is an award-winning musician with an incredible dose of experience in mainstream local and cross-regional music. He is owner of the Volta Regime Music Group (VRMG), a Ghanaian-based record label.