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All set for the annual Ghana Music Awards


One of Ghana’s biggest and prestigious music nights, is here again, counting  down with so much excitement and expectations to the main event on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at the famous Accra International Conference Centre. It promises to come with lot of surprises this year as some of the new artistes are contending with the old players due to the success they have been able to achieve in their music career just in a short while.

With hit songs and lots of stage performances both locally and internationally, one of them is  reggae and dancehall artiste, talented and sexy Mzvee,. Formally in a group of three (all girls), she went solo and won the “unsung category” last year at the Ghana Music Awards which was launched by the organizers to give  talented artistes at the background the opportunity to launch into the main stream of the music industry and perform with big acts on stage at the night of the awards.

After winning, Mzvee has since refused to look back, sharing the stage with top Nigerian acts like Tuface and Wizkid at the last year Hennessy  Artistry Night in Accra, Ghana. With collaborations with top artistes, she earned herself six categories at this year’s edition of the awards, including artiste of the year which had other big acts like Sarkodie, Efya, Edem and the likes in the category.

Also, reggae and dancehall  talented artiste, Vybrant Faya was nominated in the new artiste of the year category, and he believes he might win the awards because he was part of those  that revived dance-hall music in Ghana, and also expressed his satisfaction for being nominated in the dancehall category.

Next is the Afro-pop artiste with Angelique Kidjo like attitude. Filled with so much energy, this talented artiste got her big break when her group, Black and Peach won the Vodaphone Icon Group Singing Competition, went solo and has refused to look back in her pursuit for greatness. Billed to perform at the 89th birthday party of Queen Elizabeth 11 on April 21, 2015, in the United Kingdom which was confirmed by the British High Commission, she was also awarded the Most Promising Artiste in Africa and The Revelation of the African Continent at the maiden edition of the ‘All African Music Awards’ [AFRIMA]  in  Nigeria to appreciate and commend her exceptional talent. Having also performed at some events locally and internationally, Afro centric Nuella also got nominated in six categories, like Record of the Year, Best Female Vocalist which has the soft spoken Efya and Mzvee, Best New, Afro-pop Song amongst others, showed this bundle of talent is ready to thrill once again with her massive stage performance.

Hip-life artiste, Pappy Kojo, a new entry in the three categories, might also be one of the artistes to surprise audience at the awards night with hit songs like ‘Reeler no’ which means be yourself and be real, currently receiving massive air play across key radio and TV stations in the nation and with performances in some of the major shows with his close buddy and colleague, Joey B, who won the Best New Artiste at last year’s awards with a car prize to go along with it. Pappy Kojo, however, got big acts like Sarkodie, El, Samini, Edem to contend with. Despite the fact that he raps in local dialect {Twi}, this handsome and talented ladies man has indeed won his way into the heart of music lovers because of his new approach to rap music.

However, some of the big acts the new nominees have to contend with includes one of Ghana’s best female songstresses and vocalists, the delectable Efya. With an enviable admiration from her fans, this talented singing sensation has won the Best Female Vocalist for four years back to back, and she is still optimistic she will be taking home the award this year because she knows she has worked hard for it. With hit songs and countless stage performances both locally and internationally, Efya has indeed proved she is a  force to reckon with.

Also, on the list of the big contenders is Ghana’s biggest and exceptional  rapper, Sarkodie. From grass to grace, the Illuminati hit maker and BET award winner has  proved over time he sure knows how to keep his fans on their toes, asking for more. With countless collaborations with local and international artistes, and currently on a music tour in the United State, he has  helped put Ghana on the global map when it comes to rap music.

Topping the chart also is dancehall ‘king’, Samini, who overtime, has had to contend with controversial dance-hall artiste Shatta Wale, who believes he should be crowned the dancehall king due to his large fan base. Samini however said in an interview on national TV that he calls himself King of African dancehall, because that was his vision before he  launched his music career, and also because that’s the kind of music he does.

Other dancehall artistes in this category who have also received awards in previous editions include; Stonebowy, Kofi Kinata, and Kaaki. While  Ras Kuku, a new entry in the category  believes strongly that he will win  the award in the dancehall category because he was part of the movement for the development of reggae and dancehall songs in Ghana even at the time nobody believed it would grow into one of the best genres music in Ghana.

Some other big acts to watch out at the awards include VVIP, one the oldest surviving groups in the Ghana music industry. With the departure of one the members and the addition of their latest member, Reggie Rockstone, the grandpapa of hip-life, they have been nominated in three categories and with their popular song, Selfie which became hit with Selfie addicts, they might definitely surprise the new acts on the block not forgetting the talented trio of 4×4, a group of three exceptional guys who have overtime remained on top of their game with hit songs and collaborations with top African artistes across the continent.

For the African Artiste of the Year, one of the prestigious awards for the night which was won over the years by Wizkid , Ice prince and the Skelewu hit maker, Davido in 2014, features top Nigerian acts like the Mavin boss, Don Jazzy, Wanted Tiwa Savage, Marvin’s First Lady and soon to be a mum, Patoranking , Yemi Alade, Diamon Platinumz and AKA  South African artiste, this group is definitely a tough one.

However, 16 years down the line, organizers of these awards have not denied the fact that they have had their own share of critiques, praises and challenges, even when the awards had grown from a one night event into an event of festivals.  Mr. George Quaye, the spokesman of the event company in charge of staging the awards  in a telephone conversation with Encomium Weekly’s Ghana reporter, said the awards which started in 1999, with a one night event has grown into an event of festivals, the music night awards by the Musical Union of Ghana in partnership with the organizers, Chaterhouse Entertainment, music seminars and meeting with stakeholders in the industry and  the industry awards night set up to reward key players like producers, directors, sound engineer, instrumentalists, etc.

He stressed that one of the integral parts of the  entire celebration is the Nominees Jam in which the nominees are taken to a selected region in the country basically to get to perform to their numerous fans, entertain and interact with them. He added that the Unsung category is an initiative launched last year by the organizers to help many talented underground artiste who are looking for an opportunity to break through and show the world what they have to offer. And this is done by the public suggesting names while a committee goes through the list and makes a shortlist of final five or six who get to perform with the big acts at the nominees jam, while a short code is created for their fans to text their favourite performance for the night.  The winner gets an opportunity to perform with the big boys on the night of the awards.


He stated that the challenges are enormous, the first being there isn’t any specific channel where  you can check the exact date of when artistes songs are released, adding that in other parts of the world like the States, there is a new song scan  where you can check the release date of all songs and check the record sales of that song. But over here there is nothing of such. So, to be able to get songs nationwide and get the exact date has been a major problem. And also the venue has been an issue because the awards is an event that attracts lots of people from Ghana and outside Ghana.


For him, critiques are not challenges because they are an extension of what the event is all about. The organizers might be doing something wrong, so, it is the people’s criticism that can straighten some of the wrongs and help bring them back on track. He stressed because they are humans and not perfect they are just trying to do their very best, just that sometimes the choice of language could be insulting and abusive and that is where they tend to have issues.

Moving forward, he concluded organizers need to create a website where musicians could upload their songs and release date and help distribute their songs which could make the job a lot easier, and as an organizer they can only improve on the event and make the show more exciting. This year, the audience should expect the very best in music and the best reward for their favourite artistes or song, because that’s what the awards is all about, honouring them for their hard work in the year under review.



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