Why Most Bloggers Don’t Upload Upcoming Artistes’ Songs for Free

This is 2018, and you cannot successfully pursue music without the involvement of the internet. After recording, an artiste releases the music via the internet. Distribution is done through the internet. Like hell, Kanye West released the platinum-selling “The Life of Pablo” album exclusively online via streaming platforms. Artistes connect with their fans through social media. If we listened to certain DJs and radio presenters to know who’s hot, bloggers are the new guys who have taken over that.

Photo credit: Alfred Aborga

In Ghana, free music is distributed largely by bloggers. Music management bodies send official releases to bloggers, even before some radio giants get hold of it. Music bloggers can make or break artistes in this era. There’s significant friction between upcoming artistes and music bloggers, and I don’t think it’s going to end anytime soon. Well, I am here to break it down.

Upcoming artistes have a problem with bloggers refusing to upload their songs (and promote it), just as they do for mainstream acts. Mostly, upcoming artistes pay for song uploads on blogs. On the other hand, mainstream acts don’t give a penny to bloggers, but they still sweat, track release dates and time to get theirs uploaded. So it gets the upcoming artistes wondering if bloggers are really in support of GH music, and their craft.

Now, this is the untold story of a music blogger. What people have to see is, music blogging is a business, unless the person emphatically states it’s a hobby or a charity. In the end we all have to eat. Just as the artiste is searching for popular songs to see exciting paydays, a blogger pursues his/her passion and yearns to make a living off it. The big question here is, how does the blogger makes his/her money?

One of the most important terms in the dictionary of a blogger is “traffic.” The more people visit a website, to get new information or download music, etc., the more internet traffic is directed to a website. If a blogger has subscribed to an advertisement deal for ads to be displayed on the website, this traffic converts to money, which the blogger withdraws to maintain the site. And that’s the major source of capital for most bloggers. So it is left to the blogger to decide how to gain traffic.

From personal experience, I’ve known that outputs of mainstream acts drive traffic more than that of upcoming acts. Knowing this, would you choose focusing on uploads of upcoming acts if you were a blogger? Hell no! However, a few blogs, including SteezeHub.com have taken the risk of uploading songs from upcoming acts for free, just as is done for mainstream ones. But again, from experience, most of these guys don’t appreciate it. They’re selfish! They can be on a blogger’s neck to upload their songs, and after going through hell to do it, they turn around and share SoundCloud links, trashing your link. They forget it’s a win-win affair. I used my own internet bundle, time, energy, creativity and effort to upload your song, and the least you can do which is sharing the link to enable me get traffic you refuse to do?

In the end, it gives the blogger little to no reason to upload songs from upcoming artistes. Yes, we want to push GH music, but we don’t want to starve to death while at it. Bloggers invest a lot of money into the business — buying domains and hosting subscriptions, renewals, internet charges, and a whole lot. And just like any other business, we have to gain profit from it. This is what upcoming artistes should know and change their attitude. Maybe then can we see change.

Akoo Nana, Gemini & Four Other Artistes Missing in Action

 We’ve not been so much into 2018, but some artistes in the Ghanaian music scene are making waves whilst others are missing in action. To maintain relevance in the industry qualifies as one of the most difficult tasks in the game. This is probably because in Ghana, a musician has to keep dropping songs to keep his/her name in the discussion. So once an artiste goes off the public scene to perfect his/her craft, or for whatever reason, such person is considered to have fallen off. We take a look at some of these artistes who have been off the radar this year.

Born Darlington Kwesi Agyekum, D-Cryme, the CEO of Twi Pop Records has for some time now not been active. After the hit single “Koko Sakora” which featured Sarkodie he later released another tune titled “I Swear” in January 2018, but didn’t really receive that much attention. Thereafter, we haven’t really heard much about him. I believe he’s cooking something delicious for us.

Second on our list, Eazzy, whose real name is Mildred Ashong has also for some time now not really being active in the music scene after her song with the self-acclaimed Dancehall king Shatta Wale, titled “Power.” Eazzy d’first lady, please we miss your voice wai.

Next is Akoo Nana, the Kasoa youth president. He has also been missed by his fans in Kasoa, around Ghana and the world. After his single with Shatta Wale in 2017 “Super Love” and also some controversies with Musican Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), we haven’t heard from him again.

Gemini Orleans has also been missing for some time now. Although the closest he has got to fame is “I’ll Do, Don’t Do”, it seems as though he’s totally giving up now. No one has been bold and skilled enough to take up his seat as fastest Ghanaian English rapper. In my humble opinion, I believe he should load up more bullets… the game needs his fire.

Donzy Chaka after you gave us “Club” to drink and taking our “Heart Away” in 2017, you forgot us, right? We miss Donzy’s exceptional storytelling, and excellent lyricism. How he weaves to appeal to the local ears isn’t common.

Finally, on our list is Michael Kesse Frimpong better known by his stage name Kesse. After winning the fourth season of TV3 mentor and also partook in season two of MTN’s Project Fame West Africa and was the second runner up to the Nigerian singer Chidinma, he hasn’t really blown up to most corners of the country, that’s after dropping some singles with Sarkodie and Appietus has not really been active.

We await your art, we miss your sonic remedy. Please get back to the studio and feed our hunger.

Words by Paa Kwesi Essel