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Entitlement is Ghana Music Industry’s biggest problem

Entitlement is the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

Dictionary

There has always been the rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria, from sports to movies and music, however, it seems aside from sports, Nigeria has been whopping Ghana’s backside in the movie and music industries in the last decade and or even more.

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2019 till now, has seen an increase in collaborations between Ghanaians and Nigerians when it comes to music and there have been cross-over hits across the two nations, although, we can admit, Ghana has been there more accommodating of Nigerian music in their market.

Ghana has always been seen as the second home of Nigerians and getting your music in Ghana is definitely a status symbol, although that has changed in recent times as Nigerians are now targeting the global market thanks to successes from Davido, Wizkid, Mr. Eazi, Ckay, Fireboy and more.

In December, after successfully hosting a stadium show in Ghana, Shatta Wale proceeded to disrespect Nigerian musicians, which received a lot of backlash on social media. He continued with a series of tweets, stating the Nigerian music scene doesn’t allow a lot of penetration from foreign music.

He earned support from fellow singer Stonebwoy, who released a statement, asking Nigerians to be as open as Ghanaians in their consumption of music.

My thoughts.. 💭

Originally tweeted by 1GAD (@stonebwoy) on December 30, 2021.

Truthfully, the Nigerian music scene doesn’t allow a lot of influx of foreign music but we have seen, series of Ghanaian music making waves there including most recently Black Sheriff’s Second Sermon, Kofi Jamar’s Ekorso, and Gyakie’s forever.

Amaarae is also a major fixture in the Nigerian music scene and it will not be out of place to say she has her biggest fan base there.

Entitlement is Ghana Music Industry's biggest problem

It has always been easy to blame the influx of Nigerian music for the decline in Ghanaian music instead of the industry analyzing itself and finding a solution.

Just because you play Nigerian music, doesn’t mean they need to reciprocate that in their country. The biggest genre this year in Ghana has been amapiano but I haven’t heard anyone telling South Africans to play Ghanaian music.

The issue with Ghanaian music is not about the influx of foreign music but the level of ‘Entitlement’ in the industry.

Ghanaian artists are one of the most entitled bunch of creatives and they believe everything must come to them on a platter but they are not the only ones with that ego. The music industry is filled with ego from all players.

Event organizers are entitled, pundits feel entitled, On-air personalities, Disc Jockeys, Dancers, Producers, and even the fans.

Everyone feels they are entitled to something, whiles in truth everyone is playing a role in the ecosystem to help build a vibrant and progressive industry.

Pundits critique with their feelings instead of facts, musicians fail to properly promote their works because they feel they are creating music, event organizers and promoters feel they are doing artists favors by billing them.  

It is actually a whole shit-show in Ghana and DJs will rather play foreign songs, than play local music and not get a show of appreciation or money for that effort.

Appreciation is always a good thing, but getting appreciation does not change the nature of your work, and when this sense of entitlement vanishes the Ghanaian music scene will be ready for the world.

As it stands, Ghanaians are blaming anyone but themselves. They forget they are the main cause of their problems but not foreigners.

Ghanaian music is one of the best you will hear from the African continent and they have amazing talents such as Shatta Wale, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, King Promise, Kuami Eugene, Gyakie, Black Sherif, and more.

Ghanaian music will truly strive when the industry comes together as a unit and become intentional and quit the sense of entitlement. No one is entitled to anything, you chose to be in a field, do your job.

Opinion by Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh – Music Services Manager at Muse Media Networks

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