Executive Director of Charterhouse Theresa Ayoade at a press conference on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, revealed that Shatta Wale would only be processed for a nomination only if he apologised to the VGMA board after defaming them on social media and claiming to blacklist them last year.
Explaining the position of the events organisers’ on State of Affairs hosted by Nana Aba Anamoah on GhOneTV, Tuesday evening, the Public Relations Officer for Charterhouse, George Quaye said the call on Wale is to ensure the scheme put together under their umbrella is protected from such attacks in the future. One will agree, Charterhouse and shata wale had issues which they both need to address.
But come to think of it, After some industry players and lovers of music had complained about Teephlow’s nominations at the 2016 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, organisers have taken his name out of all nominations he had received.
Teephlow’s song, “The Warning” released in April 2014 earned him nominations in the Hip hop Song of the Year, Best Rapper of the Year and Best New Artiste of the Year categories.
But an updated list of the VGMA nominations list shows that three out of four nominations of Teephlow have been taken out.
Best Rapper of the Year, Hip hop Song of the Year and Best New Artiste of the Year have been revoked leaving Best Music Video of the Year.
Bisa Kdei’s “Brother Brother” however could not make the list as expected by some music lovers.
Few weeks to the release of the list, Kwaku Adu Kumi, a broadcaster with Multimedia, raised concerns about the use of an ‘f’ word [forking] in Bisa’s song saying it disqualifies the song from being nominated.
Bisa in response said he meant no malice in using ‘forking’. According to him, the word as used in Kumasi is to express the degree of a situation.
I have also listened to explanations given by the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards board concerning why some categories were merged and others suspended in this year’s event and I find some of the reasons as totally absurd.
According to the board, the Gospel Album of the Year category is suspended because the gospel albums submitted were not enough and those that were submitted did not have the minimum requirements of three hit songs, Lifetime Achievement Award and MUSIGA Merit Award will be merged.
For one reason or the other, I would like to focus on reasons given on why there will not be Music for Development and why the board has treated Gasmilla unfairly, in my estimation.George Quaye, Public Relations Officer of event company, Charterhouse, who doubles as a member of the board in an interview on Pluzz FM’s AM Pluzz on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 stated that the board’s decision not to feature the Music for Development category in this year’s edition was informed by two reasons: first, there were not enough songs and secondly, those available had no projects to back it.
“In reality, one of the reasons this category was established was to encourage musicians not to just do a song but back it with some kind of a project. And Gasmilla for instance has done great as mentioned by your panelist. But you also realise its only Gasmilla. When it started, we were having 3, 4, 5 songs in a year. But this year, the only identifiable song is Gasmilla’s hand wash thing. And this is a category people have embarked on projects,” he said.
George Quaye cited some artistes, who won the category years ago saying,
“Look at Okyeame Kwame’s hepatitis B thing, Kwabena Kwabena and Save a Life thing, Juliet Ibrahim has a glaucoma project. This is what that particular category was established to do so that it’s not just a song. If it were just a song, one of the finest inspirational songs that could really inspire and bring some kind of community awareness was Wutah’s ‘Big Dreams’. We want you not to just sing it but do it. The board could not find enough songs released that was serving the purpose.
Criss Waddle on the other hand reacted to the nominees list Charterhouse released by Charterhouse The P3p33p3 hit maker took to social media right after the nominations to air his frustrations.
He posted on his Facebook page;
“If charter house told us we didn’t work hard to be nominated I would have given them more respect, but for them to say because I supported Shatta wale with a video when he had major issues with them,t hey will never nominate or acknowledge my works it’s fine,Am not hurt!!! #WeNoBore #WeStillOkay #AMGBUSiNESS
“If #p3kakra and forgetti Obiaa can’t make it to the #VGMAs hiphop nominees then what is the criteria for selecting dem nominees… #WackAwards
“Just because Shatta wale was saying the truth and I backed him? I’m as real as it gets because even if “R2bees”my Godfathers were to be in charter house shoes acting this way, I would have still backed wale, I don’t care, truth is truth and if anyone wants to depress any artist I will give that depressed artist my support #P3kakra #ForgettiObiaa are heavy weight hip hop jams
“No wait so PAPPY KOJO “Ay3 Late” is a hip hop song??? I thought Realer No ft Joey B was rather hip hop?? Come on!!! Are they doing favors or they doing the right thing??? #AMG #iFyouKnowthenYouknow
“If PaeDae’s Nineteen Ninety does not win hip hop song of the year, I will slap Aboagyei OF CHARTER HOUSE 90 times anywhere I meet him face to face!!! I swear #AMGCEO”.
It is also quite unfortunate for George Quaye to say that earning a nomination for the Music for Development is not by “just a song” but also embarking on a project. An artiste forfeits writing songs which could get him more gigs, records a song for development only to be met by such an utterance is so unfair.
The reason in itself is contradictory. If my memory serves me right, Reggie Zippy won this same category in 2011 without embarking on a project. What has changed? If anything at all, the board should have announced earlier that to be nominated for the Music for Development category at this year’s event, an artiste should embark on a project after releasing a song cut for that category. And who says writing a song in itself is not a project?
Even if what George Quaye said is anything to go by, Gasmilla released a song titled, Fale Fale which was about cleanliness. It did not end there, he shot a video of the song and embarked on clean-up exercises along the beaches of Accra throughout the Homowo festivities. Why then was he not nominated?
For a reason like “The board could not find enough songs released that was serving the purpose” to be made is disheartening. So if you could not find enough songs, should that one person who nailed it not be given the recognition in order to motivate him and other artistes? Must he compete?
The Music for Development Award, sponsored by World Bank is not about popularity; it’s about works which impacted positively on the public so the argument about you wanting many artistes to compete is neither here nor there.
Is no wonder when people sees the most prestigious award in the nation as family awards and Charter house is refusing to recognise the sweat of our beloved artistes all in the name of safeguarding the VGMA.