Ghanaian musicians fail to globalize

Ghanaian musicians fail to globalize

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Ghana for decades has been known for original music and producing some of the most talented and decorated musicians on the African continent but majority of the country’s artistes in recent times are unable to cross boundaries irrespective of the fact that their musicianship is of international standard.

What could be the cause of this unfortunate situation the entertainment industry is faced with. This problem can be attributed to lack of vision on the part of musicians and management. These artistes enter the industry with their focus centered only the country, all the they care about is the game and money that the job comes with. They fail to see the world at large or look at the bigger picture and eventually end up dying with all their talents just in Ghana or better still in their respective regions.

In a conversation with a colleague journalist who has over eight years experience in the Kenyan entertainment industry stated that Ghanaian songs are hardly played  in Kenya and therefore it makes it impossible for the artistes to be known in the country, she also revealed to me that Ghanaian artiste are not known in Kenya but rather they are familiar with our Nigerian brothers. This feedback I got was very disheartening, I was left with so many unanswered questions.

However she made it known to me that with Ghana’s Stonebwoy, E.L, Feli Nuna and Efya inclusion in Coke Studio, there is a high possibility that one of these artistes especially stonebwoy will be discovered by Kenyans.

The fact that our artistes are been nominated for international awards confirms that there are talents in the country, but it doesn’t take just talent to break into the international market. A lot of work must go into long and short term goals, management, Investment, networking, brand building, fan base extension and adaptation international standards.

The current crop of musicians in Ghana have been able to make it locally but have failed woefully in crossing the boundaries. Ghanaian music videos are not commonly seen on international platforms like Trace TV, MTV Base,  Channel O to mention but a few, meanwhile countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania etc have their music videos frequenting on these channels. One is likely to blame this on numbers and level of investment, but apparently there is a conscious effort by these countries in pushing their music videos and cultures on us.

Most Ghanaian artistes don’t even have Public Relations Representatives (PR) in countries they are targeting. A typical example of an artiste who is good at that is Nigerian artiste Patoranking, he has a rep in Ghana who sees to the day to day promotion of his works in the country. So although he is not base in the country his music and works are relevant in the country. Just recently launched his God Over Everything (GOE) album in Ghana, but our local artiste on the other hand are just interested in what they are enjoying here.

Osibisa formed in the 1970s was able to make it internationally. In current times you have names like Rocky Dawuni, King Ayisoba, Sarkodie, Manifest and many others holding the forth for Ghana globally. In the face of this, comparing the rate at which other African countries are making it internationally to what Ghana is achieving I say it’s nothing to write home about.

Ghana is blessed with so many talents but it is high time we rose to the occasion as artistes and industry people.

Written by Nii Ayi Mensah Lartey





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