SOCIAL MEDIA: THE GIFT AND THE CURSE
Music is known as a universal language spoken by all. Music tends to communicate differently to all. We all have our individual preferences when it comes to music and sometimes the era speaks a lot about them.
Most people will accept the fact that the late 70’s to the mid 90’s was the golden era of music. It was when music had a strong evolutionary process from vinyls to cassettes, traditional to orthodox and the introduction of timelessness. In Ghana, that era was Burger highlife and Hiplife.
It was the era where an artist pushes his all into making good music and fans fully supported their acts. There was no modern technology so every piece of work put was always fruitful. It was also the era where the artist found solace in traditional music sales and constant touring in Europe. When the true fan base was found playing your cassettes in their homes and swinging to the melody of good sounds. When a branded artist could manifest is power into the lives of their fans.
Where color combination and hairstyles was rightfully copied because of full loyalty. When award schemes sought the help of the radio and tv to determine who is the rightful winner of the award. Down to our era, where music has changed. Where its easy to generate a hit song in your home. What changed? THE INTERNET.
The internet is a blessings and also a curse. The internet has bridged the heavy gap between the fans and the artist. It has helped discover many acts out there. It has also helped with promotion through blogging and file sharing. But there are ups and downs to this. The internet has also taken away all filters to credibility.
What do I mean by credibility? Credibility is the state of relevance, belief, trust and validity of a person. When its backtracked to an artist, does the internet make an artist credible? Yes and No! Discovering and promotion of an act, YES. But proving strong awareness and discernment of good music and branding, No!!
I was utterly surprised when someone argued with me that the likes and social media popularity and presence makes an act great. How on earth can a human say this? How can 1k+ likes make one an awesome artist? The social media helps an artist in 2 ways; Promotion and Linking with the fan base. Having a strong media presence doesn’t make one greater than Kojo Antwi or Amakye Dede.
As I said in the era of prime highlife music, an artist’s credibility is shown by the number of cassette sales. There was no social media to promote them. It is said (I stand corrected) that Nana Acheampong’s “Hw3 nia okyer3” was and is still holding the record of highest sold single in the history of Ghana. And with that, he had no social media help.
Award schemes were known to use data collected from music sales, radio stations and major event organizations to determine who fits the nomination line-up. Now the internet is used to determine these schemes. A friend once said, “its easy to be nominated for an award if I advertise my music video on Facebook or buy fake likes than to put in work for the radio and TV for airplay”, and trust me readers, he has a huge point.
Don’t you miss the days where good music was credible? Don’t you miss the days when the internet couldn’t determine who is best or worst? Don’t you want GH music to be great again? Yes we all do. Don’t get me wrong, the internet has done good to the entertainment industry. But has it done more good than harm?
Akwesi the music blogger.