‘Advice To Bice’… (Open Letter To President Obour)

Dear Your Excellency,

Genial felicitations from wherever I am writing this piece from. I would on that same note like to pass on good wishes to you on your election since this is the first time you are reading from me. It’s been barely a year since you took the baton from Auntie Diana to run the affairs of the biggest umbrella body of GH Musicians and I must admit I am so much impressed with your work so far though it sometimes saddens my soul to see some musicians go through some hardships. This letter is only in your name for the reason that you are in charge of the union but is actually a letter to the whole music fraternity, Musicians, Disc Jockeys, Producers, and Promoters all inclusive. Grant me some reading time your Excellency…..It’s an ‘Advice to Bice’.

The utmost desire of every artiste is to release a highly rated and cherished album. In the past, acts like Daddy Lumba, Amakye Dede, Kojo Antwi, Okyeame Kwame, Obrafour, Reggie Rockstone, Buk Bak and you released albums that successfully found their ways into our hearts and our music shelves. The case has not been akin in recent times where there has been so much obscurity. The cause being the proliferation of free individual download sites that release almost all the singles on the album (sometimes leaking songs) even before the official release.This causes the self-written obituaries of albums that were supposed to be classic pieces. In the long run,the artiste does not only loose the pride of having an archetypal album but suffers great loss financially. Mr. President I would be glad if your outfit can do everything within its power to make necessary approaches towards restoring the pride albums carry as it used to be.

Mr President, We could be on our way to a grand collapse and total loss of identity if we can’t preserve what makes us Ghanaian. What happened to the Burger Highlife and Hiplife we used to know in the late 90’s? What happened to Jay Q’s ‘Jama Rhythm’ that got GH dancing? What happened to The Grandpapa’s Traditional English Rap we called ‘Hiplife’ and not HipHop?.I feel ashamed when some of our acts totally westernize what they do forgetting they have a culture to preserve. Artistes like M’anifest and the FOKN Bois have infused their Africaness in all their songs, something other ‘so called’ HipHop artistes should take a cue from. And what is that ‘Twi Pop’ thing D Cryme prides himself with? Jamaica has its Dancehall, South Africa Its Kwaeto and Cote D’ivoire the Francophone style. What is Ghana’s trademark? TwiPop? RnB? HipHop?. Mr. President, Please help me tell music lovers that there is no genre of music called ‘Azonto’ but a dance that has with no doubt put Ghana on the World map and of course has been God’s answer to the unemployment situation in Ghana since many unknown acts caught the train and smiled to the bank.

Sir Bice,You would agree with me that there is more to making a song than Just playing beats with ‘amateur ’ beatmaking softwares. That brings me to the point of distinguishing between a sound engineer and a producer. The Industry can boast of great producers such as Zapp Mallet,Hammer,Appietus,Kaywa,Jay Q ,Richie,RoRo,George Best,Killbeatz and a few more who make instant classics on any day. Many more conversely just make beats for artistes to rap and sing on and run it onto websites for download. I know many of those songs makes you want to puke and I share mutual sentiments Sir. This advice is to artistes to crave for quality and not just a studio session. Mr. President, Let’s talk about this another time.

As a colleague vandal, I well know you uphold the principles of ‘The Red Bachhical City’ where truth stands and will execute all your campaign promises. Your core message was to make the lives of Musicians better, a dream I share in. As a President who has a background in copyright Issues, I will be very glad if the copyright laws can be reviewed and well amended to favour our Musicians who put a lot of resources into the creation of their Intellectual properties. I am also well aware that you have that part of the Industry at heart .Lets leave the experts to do their thing but in the end royalties must go where it is due.

Your Excellency I have bad news, PAYOLA isn’t dead. Or let’s force ourselves to assume it died, but it has resurrected in a quite unholy manner. A Very Talented but financially handicapped person can no longer breakthrough because ‘some’ wicked disk Jockeys still play by the age long rule of ‘Pay Or You Lose Airplay’.This is so discouraging and could kill the dream of the next ‘BET Best African Act’ so to say.I would be in the position to report o few of the perpetrators the next time I happen to meet and dance to their ‘Payola Songs’ .

My last concern your excellency is on the issue of Live Bands. As earlier stated, this is not a letter to only you but to all who mind and matter and have GH music at heart. Our Gospel and Highlife fellows can be commended for their live band performances. This is what makes an artiste innate and up to task .The Lil Wayne,Kanye West,Eminem and Jay Z we blindly copy on some occasions perform with live band. No ardent music lover would miss a live band performance from GH’s top acts even for a Sugarcane Party in Havana or better still a night out with the Queen of England.We could as well buy CD’s to listen to if we wanted to hear studio works.There wouldn’t therefore be any need attending a ‘Miming Show’. In the simplest form of the queen’s language, We want ‘Less Miming and More Live Rhyming’.

I hearby in the name of Good Ghanaian Music plead with all stakeholders to take note and address the issues raised with much passion. Heaven knows where we are going and surely we will get there.

This piece is written in total sincerity and profound in every possible sense for the love of creativity and ingenuity.

Kind Regards and wish you take this in good fate.I wish you well Sir.

Yours Truly,

MAWULI POMARY (@qhojopomarie/ Pin: 289CED00)

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