Growing up in Accra, arguably Ghana biggest entertainment hub in Ghana, I have always wondered what goes on in other Regions in terms of entertainment. The entertainment circle in the Southern sector is hard to break-into. There are already people you will term “tycoons” in all the genres of music. There is “Sarkodie” killing it hard in the rap game. If you want a smooth silky voice there is “Akwoaboa”, contemporary Hi-life has Bisa Kdei.
As an entertainment enthusiast, there was a lot of excitement when I got the opportunity to move to the Northern Part of Ghana. Basically, music from north Ghana that is played nationwide is from Wiyaala and King Ayisoba. Yes, people always ask me why I do not add Samini or R2bees and some other artistes. My reason is simple, these artistes are entirely based in the South.
Anyway, moving on, what do I think about the Entertainment Industry in the Upper West Region? In Manifest’s words, let me put it short “SOMEWAY BI.” Why am I saying this? Well let me give you a break down
Well for starters, WHERE IS MUSIGA’s REPRESENTATION IN THE UPPER WEST REGION? No, seriously when last did you hear from the Regional Union. Their “loud silence” in the region is questionable. I did a few checks on my own and found out the President of the Regional branch of MUSIGA is in South Africa. How true this is, I honestly do not know. But come to think of it whether he’s abroad or not, what is his outfit doing to promote music in the region. The VGMA’s nominations are out and, so far there is only Maccasio and Fancy Gadam from the Northern Region. Now let’s just count the number of artistes combined in the three Regions of the North. 50? 100? Ok let’s just do musicians in the Upper west. There is Gally, Raphius, Kawute, EL Twist, Gamebwoy. I probably should just stop there, because the list is a pretty tall one. There is just one question I want to ask. WHAT IS MUSIGA IN THE REGION DOING TO PROMOTE UPPER WEST MUSIC?
Now, talk of music production, there is ECHOSOUNDZ obviously, the biggest in the region. There are others like FerdiSkills, Cobra Records, IEPER Records, Maaweh Mr (I do hope I got that one right). I might have missed a few, mind you I still am new in the region. “Election Brouhaha” by EL Twist and “Bo Ena Ema” by Gally were produced by Kin Dee in Accra. Why did I even bring this up? Gradually, the top brass in the region are moving to other to Accra to be precise, to record. “For me I just can’t think far.” Let me put this in the local English, “why producers no dey Wa? Or sometimes demma beats make one-way?” (Personally, I think they beats are). Ok now serious talk, Music Producers have to sit up and do the job right.
“Same old sh*t, same old artistes being billed on different shows on different days.” “Ungrateful Motherf**kers” by Maaseg Dadaati, now the Dagaare part I didn’t get, the English I did though. I have witnessed a lot of shows here in my stay here. Urmmh let’s see, I can count a few artistes that mount the stage always repeating the same songs. I feel your pain Maaseg, although I do not see the need for you to cuss to make your point. Anyway, so why all this long talk? In my opinion we need news faces to headline shows and to perform.
Have artistes in the region heard about Originality? Waali Van Damme, Fante Van Damme. See the similarities? If you are an artiste and you can come up with your own unique name, how do you expect to cross the Regional boundary. Any way that’s just my opinion.
I do think though that music in the Upper West has a future if the stake holders sit up and do the right thing. EL Twist, Gamebwoy, Rahpius, Aztonish, Kawute for me, the future of entertainment in the Upper West Region.
These are my opinions, you are free to disagree or argue to any point I have raised.
Written by: Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith
Facebook: Kwasi Ahumah Smith