Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. The common elements of music are pitch (which governs melody & harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics (loudness and softness), and the sonic qualities of which are sometimes termed the “color” of a musical sound.
To the average Kumasi artiste, this may sound too complex or probably, just another grammarian trying to give huge names to simple things. But trust me, this is the same everywhere. Before I talk about the topic in discussion, let me take a paragraph to tell you small about my experience that pushed me to write this post.
I, as many people in Kumasi has known me to be, has been a media personality for over twelve years and still on it. I have been so inquisitive and have been trying to fix the “Kumasi Music” industry, which most think doesn’t exist, but trust me, there is.
My experimentations led me into organizing a campaign “Kumasi Must Rise” which met quite an audience, but due to the “African PHD” power, I had to put a pause to watch it go down the drain. And to this, I say Kumasi can rise but the people.
It takes more than just the writing, recording and distributing of the music we do. If I may be certain at this, as far as I am aware, there are three stages to make music worthy or “successful”. I paraphrased the word successful, because, today, success doesn’t have one meaning. Success is defined by the person expecting it. This is one reason why most people do not see how powerful their products/music could be. These are just a few of my evaluation as an artist manager in Kumasi, met and has given me a broaden knowledge on how the average Kumasi musician sees music.
- Most of my Kumasi people in this music game thinks this music thing is a family possession. They think since they do their music, if you are his or her family member, or whatsoever to him/her, you should be a fan of his music. They assume that if you know him personally, you owe him or her that automatic fan loyalty. This is a big NO. Music is a religion. Give me a reason to keep on following what you preach and I will find you other fishers of men. Nobody owes anyone in this music industry. If there is one thing I have learnt walking with successful artists who are not Kumasi-based, it is their sense of knowing music is more of a religion.
- My Kumasi brothers think it’s either you get endorsed by a more successful musician that makes you relevant. They mostly think putting a prominent musician on a song would fetch you that fan base loyalty. This idea tickles me anytime I talk about it.
- My Kumasi musicians are all about rap and punchlines. This has always been our doom. Even Kumasi singers want to “punch” in a love song; a love song is to make the listeners remember their love life (either in a good way or a bad way). This punchlines thing has made most of our songs lose that element that could fetch us better attention of investors. And I can say boldly that, most of my Kumasi people know less of what goes into a proper song arrangements.
- Every Kumasi musician wants to be the leader or king or queen of what they are doing. My Kumasi musicians lack the sense of business in this music industry. They think this music thing is a social media, where everyone can be your friend. They see it to be more of a fun relieve than a business. So, an artist can boldly tell you that, he sings what he feels and that is what he/she wants to do. My dear, you cannot go to the law court and tell the house that you are a lawyer, and you feel an accused is guilty or not. You would have to study the case, know what the people want to hear from you and present it well. That is music.
- Until you plan on how to record, release and promote your music, you are just an apprentice trying to outsmart his/her master. My Kumasi people do not even know how and where to promote their music. Most of them think putting the songs on their social media timelines would magically make the song a success. It takes more than that my dear brothers and sisters.
- My last and most important point is that, my Kumasi musicians think that, in the other cities, like Accra, everyone is together helping each other. My brother, my sister, this is a fallacy. It is never done anywhere on this earth. Not even outside Ghana. You can never unite every musician in the expense of meeting a successful music industry. It has always been “each man for himself” from the day Adam ate the forbidden fruit. Wise up and work harder for what you want. Don’t expect anyone to do your hard work for you; build from the ground.
I would put a pause here and come back with another article or better, a video of myself talk about this on a radio or television’s entertainment show. You may hit my DM or contact me on any of my social media pages (@DzeBossOnEm or Dze Boss Tunez) if you need assistance or more breakdown of my posts. Don’t forget that, music is business, religion and entertainment at the same time. Know what you want as a musician and do what it takes to have it.