Entertainment of 2014-03-27

Trust us - VGMA Board tells public

A confident Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) Board has asked all stakeholders in the Ghana music industry, especially artistes and their fans to continue to trust the Board to deliver the best nominees available for recognition in the annual awards.

Since the release of the nominees list some three weeks ago, some artistes and industry watchers whose expectations were not met by their non- appearance on the list, have expressed various reservations about the nominees selection.

But Mrs Theresa Ayoade, CEO of Charterhouse has asked the general public to calm down and appreciate the work of the Board.

“We are asking everyone to trust us” she told Showbiz yesterday when some members of the Board paid a working visit to Graphic Showbiz.

Accompanied by other members of the Board comprising renowned musician Ben Brako, MUSIGA president Obour, Nii Ayite Hammond and Eli Tettey of Charterhouse, the team took their time to explain the major concerns bothering the minds of music enthusiasts.

Addressing the New Artiste category brouhaha which has Joey B, Kumi Guitar and Akwaboah as nominees, Mrs Ayoade made it clear that Kumi Guitar did a song for producer Sugar Tone in 2012 but released his own song in 2013 and that qualified him as a new

She also explained that Akwaboah wrote songs for an artiste which won him the Best Songwriter in 2012. However he is now out with his own music which makes him a new artiste, just as Joey B who officially released his Strawberry Ginger in 2013.

Commenting on lyrical content, Obour said that there was a difference between explicit lyrics and suggestive lyrics and that the Board worked extra hard to ensure that no explicit songs made their way into the nominations.

According to him, it is the radio presenters who should be blamed for playing songs with explicit content on their platforms instead of insisting on radio edits of such songs.

“Whenever a musician does an adult song, he is expected to do the radio edit of it but for some | reasons, radio presenters prefer to play the unedited one which is no fault of the artiste”.

Another issue that the Board touched on was the release dates of songs. Mrs Ayoade said it is difficult to tell when a song is released since musicians now use different media to release their songs.

“Some musicians release their songs on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and other forms of social networks so it makes it difficult to j determine when a song is actually released but our committed members do as much as they can to figure out when a song was released.”

Citing an example of Sonnie Badu’s Wonder God which many say I was released in 2012 and therefore did not qualify for an award for 2013, Mrs Ayoade explained that someone uploaded a live concert performance of Sonnie Badu’s Wonder God in 2012 when he had not officially released it and placed it on social media.

She also explained that although the song Slow Down was on R2bees 2013 album together with some award-winning singles that had been released a year earlier, that particular song was released first on the 2013 album and not earlier.

Concluding, members of the Board took turns to urge the public to continue to have confidence in the VGMA Board because the Board is composed of individuals with varied skills and knowledge in the music industry.

“It is most unlikely that any of us will place personal interests above that of the industry that we serve, said Ben Brako.

“This award scheme has been so designed that it takes into account various tiers of control including the general public and therefore the public voice is as important as that of everyone else”, he said.

According to the programme of events, the VGMA Nominees Jam comes off in Tamale on April 5 with top musicians including Sarkodie, Samini, and last year's Artiste of the Year - R2Bees.

The show will also feature 'crowd pleasers' such as Castro, Bisa Kdei, Stonebwoy, Joyce Blessing and other surprise acts. More than 40, 000 music fans are expected to be at this free concert at the Tamale Sports Stadium.

A VGMA Industry Awards Night has been scheduled for the Alisa Hotel in Accra on April 26 and The VGMA main Awards Night comes off on May 3 at the Accra International Conference Centre.

Source: Graphic Showbiz
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