Intensified Agitations; An exercise to yield an improvement in our music industry?


It is trite
knowledge that artistes record songs to serve several purposes. Primarily, it
is commonly known that they record songs to entertain. There are other motives
that also enkindle them to assemble lyrics. One of such motives is when they
have some serious concerns to make. In that regard, they adopt the music as a
medium to ventilate their grievances. Barely 2 weeks ago, steadily rising
Madina based rapper, Ayat released a single featuring his fellow Madina based
artiste, M.anifest. Titled  Kudi, which literally translates to mean
money, the subject matter of the song, the Madina duo submitted their
contributions on the Magnom assembled instrumental. In his submission, The ‘god
MC’ expressed some noteworthy concerns about the apparently pitiable state of
the existing Ghanaian music industry. 

“We pay for
videos, we pay for studios, blowing our savings oh it hurts……
No record labels,
we are the label…..
Forget your
loyalties, pay me my royalties Ghana music industry is a fable….
No golden rule,
those who have all the gold make all the rules”
The above
highlighted lyrics are excerpts of M.anifest’s verse on the said tune.  It is apparent on the face of the lyrics
above that M.anifest raised some genuine concerns about our industry. He
lamented on the purportedly non-existing and ineffective structures in the
industry, the resources the artistes invest into their brand which
unfortunately does not yield the merited returns they must be entitled to. He
also implicitly conveyed a demand to the Ghana Music Rights Organization
(GHAMRO), the body approved by law to undertake collective rights management
for musical works, to pay him his royalties.
Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale
Further, controversial
Dancehall Heavyweight, Shatta Wale has also on several occasions voiced out his
lamentations on what is deemed to be the ineffectiveness of existing structures
in the music industry. He recently demonstrated his passionate concern about
the industry once again with a single christened Ghamro. In the song, he reiterated his demand to GHAMRO to provide
him with his entitlements.

Recently, in a
video Akoo Nana posted on Facebook, the artiste expressed a vehement
displeasure at the existing state of the Ghanaian music industry which
according to him, does not offer an enabling environment which sufficiently
generate the returns that merit the artistes’ output. Akoo Nana radically called
for a revolution to remedy the existing status quo.

The premises
outlined above, including several others not outlined here gives an indication
that generally, our artistes are apparently no longer just mere spectators but
have decided to be citizens. I can see them resorting to what is expected of
them to do as primary stakeholders of the music industry. There has been an
intensified expression of concern about the state of the music industry. More
artistes have been joining in the advocacies, activism, demands for
accountability from the mandated quarters, inter alia.  Other stakeholders such as journalists,
bloggers, industry persons and other concerned persons have also registered
their participation in the activism.  It
is commendable. I hope this commendable activism does not end up as an exercise
in futility but rather, would ignite the implementation of the recommended
pragmatic measures for the betterment of the industry. I would however humbly
advice that the various agitations are submitted in a very decorous manner
devoid of vituperation and wild unsubstantiated allegations. 
By Seth Mireku.

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