The VGMA is back and another celebration cycle begins in honour of an ailing music industry.
I have been concerned about what the common ground is for a couple of years now but having not written for a long while, about the Ghana Music Industry too, I think this is perfect timing to make time to pen an article that has been on my heart for years…
A delve into it should have the following points and observations when ready:
-Ghana’s Music industry is growing with new and old problems yet it is the seeming unconcerned yearly #VGMAs party that is the biggest fortune to happen musically year on year. This has levelled up to be the ultimate and occupying stakeholders.
-The obvious message is that we can keep on celebrating vgmas every year and virtually do nothing about the core of the music industry’s problems. This snub is ebbing away in our memory and becoming normal.
-Issues about GH music laws, identity, economic relevance, creativity, royalties system, labels, distribution, social impact, etc…remain unsolved! There is no visible blueprint or map of the industry’s structure or processes within it that should produce results…the same results we are quick to note about other countries.
-Awarding the products of a dysfunctional system yearly and not sparking change or influencing solutions to these generational problems says there is nothing really to be concerned about. Really?
– The industry is at best a painting that beautifies a dirty house in shambles yet a haven for organising engagements and celebrations. Funnily, the after event litter is seen being piled under the carpet every year.
-Yeah it is true the VGMAs has its own issues that need resolving such as the needless cyclical stunts mutually benefitting stakeholders to the detriment of the Music. It is also true there are bodies, conceived daily, that should be addressing the industry’s ills but it’s common knowledge it is a world you wouldn’t want to go into now. However, you can’t say there is no common ground when it is murky who actually is at the end of food chain and who is not as it seems.
-What does a record of release dates not have in common with a recognised and enforced process within a music industry that maps how a song must journey towards it’s release. What does dormant but important genres not have in common with music financing, consumer behaviour or music diversity? How can genuine talent not be traded for popularity and not lead to sensationalism lasting just a day? A lot can be sited….
-It’s about time stakeholders woke up and used the VGMAs to right some of these wrongs…. after all you can’t keep celebrating and awarding products of a dysfunctional system… who is really winning here? The Artiste, Organiser or the Industry?
VGMA is not under attack here though will be bruised in my article but it is because I believe it is and can be the perfect tool to influence change and solutions especially when the countless music bodies, affiliate associations, allied industries and organisations have merely become nodes for power plays, gains and sworn goodwill that have nothing to do with will and common good, yet the industry wallows in pain!
Can we not do something?
By: Paul Azumah-Ayitey