Ghana Music in general have had it challenges but the once reigning Kumasi Music have seen the worst of these times in recent years.
Arguably the city with the best of music talents in the country, is struggling to standout among peers as compared to some years back.
Musician, Braa Benk, “Mmaa Wo Adum” crooner has observed the shortfalls and comes through with suggestion to bring back the stolen crown to the Garden City.
Below is the unedited write-up copied from his Facebook wall as of 19th February, 2019. Relax and take time to read his observations.
“For a long while now, it would be unreal if we say music from Kumasi has been a force to recon with in regards to the mainstream songs in the Ghanaian music industry. I have been observing this problems and their probable causes over the years. As a musician myself, I have experienced first hand why our songs are not at the topmost levels of Ghana music.
These are some points which I want to bring up based on my observations:
First off all, I think musicians, engineers, entertainment personalities and general music listeners are almost always very late to catch on potential trendy Styless (singing or rapping) which comes to take over the music scene in Ghana. What makes it a bit more disturbing is that after we are able to catch the vibe which might have already made a couple of artists from other regions (mostly greater accra), we fixate on this style and use their music as the standard for how music should be. And because these artist who started it might have earned a lot of money from it, they are able to invest more in the music and get a more deluxe product (music and video) than what artists from Kumasi can bring out. In some cases, a potential trendy style of music may even start from here but may not get the necessary support to help grow it as big as it has to because the majority of us may still be on the previous vibe which was made big in accra. Eventually this potential trendy style will either die off, or taken by other artists in accra to polish it or the artist will move to accra and denounce coming from Kumasi.
Secondly, I have noticed that most of the artists from Kumasi who are celebrated are those who best sound or appear like existing brands in the music industry. So what we are mostly bringing to the table are substitutes and not starters. There are alotta incredibly talented and unique artists from Kumasi who are almost giving up or moving from the city because their crafts are not celebrated. Meanwhile, other also talented and unique musicians who are not from Kumasi are celebrated and glorified for doing the same unique things which they are not getting the support or credit for (how will that make you feel)
Third point is the most common division amongst the artist in Kumasi. I personally think that’s because we don’t have a charismatic leader to bring most of us together, but our common goal which is Music and success should be enough to bind us together. For the past couple of years, when a Kumasi based artist gets a co-sign from an accra based artist, it is tantamount to his or her climbing up the music ladder and thus, starts getting special treatment from our media. There is nothing wrong with the co-sign but that must not be how we measure success or growth of a Kumasi artist. Some artists are also to be blamed because they feel bigger than the rest of the artists because of this co-sign. What I know is if we need the approval of fellow musicians in accra to validate our talents, then we will forever remain in the shadows of our approvers.
Last point has to do with INVESTMENT. About 90% of Musicians from from Kumasi don’t have investors so they fund their projects on their own. Music is a BIG BUSINESS!! With over $70 Billion dollars annual revenue. There is no limit to how much profit one can make off music if they know how to sell their product. For people with money who don’t know the end and outs of making money from music, there are alotta professionals who are vested in this knowledge who are willing to share information or even teach you how to make money back, at least I know of Mr Ohene-Djan Abraham. Yes, like every business, there are risks involved, but however high the risks are the rewards are even higher. Musicians are walking-gold-mines in this technological era. I have seen alotta people pay huge sums of money to bring artists from other regions to perform in Kumasi and sometimes even just to hangout. It’s impossible to say talents from Kumasi cannot match that of anywhere in the world so we can very much also make our own stars.
I stand to be corrected if there is anywhere I may have gone wrong and any other information that can be added will be appreciated. Thank You”
Have a different opinion? Lets have it in the comment box.