For one who has contributed a lot to the music industry, it was heartbreaking for the renowned sound engineer and music producer, Zapp Mallet, to witness the clash between Dancehall artistes, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy, at the 20th edition of Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) on Saturday, May 18, 2019.
For him, the incident, which left him embarrassed, was a big dent on the image of showbiz in Ghana and has unravelled the success of those players who worked hard to get the industry to where it is today.
Zapp Mallet told Showbiz he was disappointed that the sacrifices many had made to build a strong case for the arts industry, particularly the music sector, had been ruined.
“It is a known fact that in our part of the world, people have wrong and bad perceptions of showbiz personalities. They don’t have much regard for us because of what we do. However, our predecessors worked hard to correct that poor image.”
“I’m really affected because I vehemently opposed my mother’s decision not to allow me get involved in the arts and so I worked hard for this industry to win confidence. And here we are today with these young folks taking us back to where we started and ruining all the sacrifices people have made.”
“Personally, I’m pained because I’m looking at the bigger picture and what other industry players might lose because of this clash. These guys didn’t even have regard for the dignitaries present. If they did, they would have exercised restraint.
“Let me ask them this, if their predecessors had set this trend, would they have had this platform to misbehave?” he queried.
Contrary to opinions that the industry is seeing a lot of growth, especially the Dancehall genre, Zapp Mallet had a different opinion.
In previous interviews, he stated that he was appalled at the growing Dancehall culture which had taken over the music industry lately.
As a strong advocate for Highlife music, Zapp Mallet is not happy with the invasion of what he describes as “alien music” and has spoken against how the media hype artistes and not talent and he told Showbiz he still maintained that opinion.
“We are where we are today because we started hyping artistes and not their talents; we see the music industry as nothing more than another juicy place to make money and leave the scene.”
“What we forgot was that music, like every other vocation, is a career and not just a job and ignored those with talents. That was what changed our music because it appeared content wasn’t important but the hype to get your name out there,” he stated.
Zapp Mallet, who has worked with musicians such as Tagoe Sisters, Daasebre Dwamena, Samini, Lord Kenya, Reggie Rockstone, Okyeame Kwame and Nana Quame, said industry players have themselves to blame and not just Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale since the “industry has been left in the hands of people we are not even sure of”.
“Music stopped speaking for itself and the talents were groomed and hailed on social media. It’s not too late to make things right because there are many people who hold the industry at heart.”
“If we don’t halt this menace now, then we should brace ourselves for the worst and when it happens, we have no one to blame,” he stated.