Legendary highlife artist Kwabena Kwabena has chastised the media for creating controversies and making it difficult for musicians in recent times to sell their craft positively.
In an interview with Nana Yaw Gyebi, host of Adwumapa Mbre on Connect 97.1fm, the “Aso” hitmaker stated that the challenges musicians go through are unbearable.
Citing himself as an example, he said, “It looks as if the industry doesn’t have room to actually push new talent or push people who need support. In recent times, the attacks on new artistes are too much. I have been in that position before and I know how it feels like to be struggling to find your fate in the industry, wanting to be a household name and recording a new song. It comes with a lot of stress, and then you go on an interview, and the outcome is negative. It’s worrying and a very big challenge.”
He explained that if an interviewer doesn’t make an interview delectable for an artist, it won’t be good for the artist to attract investors.
“If an investor is listening to an interview and the conversation is not pleasant. The conversation is not something good and propelling and pushing the artist. It makes life difficult for the artist. We should cut all controversies surrounding artistes, especially on the radio.”
The musician added that Ghanaians are willing and ready to support musicians. But the problem is about 80% of media reportage defames musicians.
“The problem is that our cherished consumers(listeners) are ready to support us. We have a certain wing in the media, the so-called gatekeepers of this industry. They sell unpleasant news about the artiste. 80% of the news or reportage is to defame an artiste. We have the whole world watching everything we do in our country because of the internet. And then you get presenters doing their programmes and running down the artistes who are investing in their craft. The way we present the face of the Ghanaian music industry or the Ghanaian artiste needs to change. The perception that negative news sells must stop. I think it’s time to stop it because positive news brings the money, negative news kills the business.”
Explaining further, Kwabena Kwabena educated Ghanaians about attracting investors for the business, giving examples of how attractive the Nigerian music industry attracts businesses.
“We have to let the industry look attractive because that’s the only way we can attract business. That’s how it works. Before our structures can work effectively, we need to keep our house in order. Let’s be mindful of how we present and hold our artistes. Kidi, Kelvin boy, Mr Drew, Kwame Eugene, Black Sherif, Jackie, and Camidoh are breaking records and doing well. What is left for us to do is give them the utmost support. It has to be an agenda. We cannot find anything wrong with them. If we set that agenda and understand that these are our new breeds and all we can do is push them to the highest level, we will see something different.”