3 suggestions from a Ghanaian star

Must read

Ghanaian mother and father have traditionally discouraged their kids from turning into musicians or marrying musicians. A music profession continues to be not seen as one that may present a gradual revenue to assist a household, and the behaviour of musicians is seen by some as deviant. These attitudes stand in the best way of musicians eager to make a profession out of their artwork.

I’m an expert musician, music scholar and environmental activist who’s within the world challenges that musicians face. In a latest paper I examined the methods adopted by Okyeame Kwame (OK), one of many pioneers of hiplife music in Ghana, to maintain his profession. Hiplife music combines conventional Ghanaian music types like highlife music with hip hop.

Okyeame Kwame is without doubt one of the few pioneers of hiplife from across the mid-Nineties who stays lively within the business. He has acquired a number of native and worldwide awards for his music and as a philanthropist. Examples embrace the “Key to the Metropolis” of Cincinnati and the USA Volunteer Award from former US president Barack Obama.

My analysis occurred over 12 months and I used an ethnographic strategy, together with participant commentary and interviews, to review the Ghanaian music business. In the course of the interval three issues emerged as explanation why Okyeame Kwame’s solo profession has been sustainable for twenty years.

These three issues have been resilience, diversification and interconnectivity. Resilience is the power to maintain one’s identification and stability, even when dealing with disruptions and modifications. Diversification is mainly about having different choices. Interconnectivity refers back to the state of being related with others – musicians and followers. I concluded that he was notably good in any respect three issues.

This strategy gives classes to assist musicians discover profession sustainability methods in numerous contexts.


Resilience will be outlined because the capability to recuperate and keep an identification and continuity regardless of setbacks and alter. Ethnomusicologist Jeff T. Titon explains that resilience includes discovering weaknesses and strengths associated to modifications, then enhancing within the weak areas and enhancing the strengths.

Primarily based on my analysis I concluded that Okyeame Kwame had proven resilience by tough instances.

For instance, the group he was a part of, Akyeame, broke up in 2004. They’d been a gaggle since 1997 and had been profitable.

He used the breakup to determine his vulnerabilities. These included writing music in Akan (the Ghanaian language he usually sings in); a lack of know-how of the music enterprise; and administrative work. His former associate, Okyeame Quophi, used to do the executive duties whereas he centered on performances.

Okyeame Kwame explored methods to beat these limitations by attaining increased schooling. He enrolled on the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Know-how and attained a bachelor’s diploma (music and Akan). This formal schooling improved his music-writing expertise. He now writes songs and has acquired many awards for his writing expertise.


Okyeame Kwame believed it was doable to make a sustainable profession. However counting on performances and promoting music wasn’t sufficient.

He used his music to change into well-known after which constructed on his recognition to create one other enterprise to earn cash. He defined:

The music itself will not be precious, however the secondary financial system of being a musician is effective.

His private enterprise features a firm that manages different artists, organises occasions and creates tv commercials. He additionally owns a male underwear firm.

He makes use of his model to enter into endorsement offers with company our bodies the place his picture is used to create a marketplace for the businesses. These preparations create an viewers for him.


Interconnection is key for survival within the music business. Musicians should nurture a very good relationship with their followers and colleagues by collaborating on music and different initiatives.

Economists Jordi McKenzie, Paul Crosby and Liam Lenten, of their work on artistic manufacturing strategies within the music business, recognise the rise of collaboration amongst musicians on particular person music initiatives.

Of their paper they confirmed that “top quality music and a rise in market demand gained from the fan base of each musicians” are among the advantages musicians acquire from collaborating.

Okyeame Kwame doesn’t create all his music alone. He typically collaborates with different artists, like Kidi, Beenie Man and Kwame Eugene.


Whereas there appears to be little danger of music disappearing from our planet altogether, those that make and look after music are frequently confronted with decisions that have an effect on the vitality and sustainability of music practices. The viability of any music tradition is dependent upon the supply of musicians.

Musical and cultural futures are extraordinarily depending on and affected by disturbances and modifications in financial circumstances. Therefore, not being attentive to musicians’ financial sustainability can result in unsustainable music.


- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article