The evolving nature of music is the most fascinating thing to me. The way and dynamism of music breeds the ground for what is known as a genre. Usually genres of music tends to basically be about the arrangement of beats and sequences.
Today, there are over 500 genres of music and in Africa alone, we can identify over 100 if a thorough research is done (hi, MUSIGHA). A genre of music is like a business plan; the right plan can bring 3 results;
- Total success
- Partial success
- Total failure
There are many genres and sub genres that have had a strong success rate (hip hop, pop, dancehall, EDM, pop), some with partial success rate (reggae, highlife, rock and roll, R & B) and some with a lower success rate (scat, soca, trance, traditional pop). But what do these genres have in common? A strong, dedicated fan base. With the right fan base you can sell arenas or sell club shows. But why is it that some genres don’t strive or have a dedicated fan base, especially in Africa?
For music to reach a level, it needs 2 parties; the artist and the fan. Most artists want to defy the rule, breakout of their musical shell and sometimes create a new genre. But how dedicated are you? Personally I love Man Sing Angel but 99% of Ghanaians don’t know him. Same has to do with Dark Suburb. The main issue has to do with the fact that they want to mix their genres to pull in more fans.
WRONG!!!!! First off, don’t sell out yourself. If you want to do hiphop, dedicate yourself to hiphop only. Don’t mix any genre. It kills your old fans. I wouldn’t buy a hip hop/ afro pop mixed album from Kwesi Arthur. Being versatile and selling out are 2 different things. Imagine Twitter trying to be like Facebook “pull in users”.
You are the reason why your favourite artist do what they do. Support your act. Give them a reason to continue giving you their best.
Purchase their music, buy tickets to see them perform live. Criticize them when they go wrong (cough cough *shatta* cough cough) and praise them when they raise their credibility.
Media practitioners, djs, bloggers and journos, play your role well. When the support comes from you, the rest will follow. Be the gate keepers of the game. Help them when you can and be the rod that straightens them.
So there you have it. Stick to your part and watch magic. Alternative music can strive well. It should never be Afro pop , dancehall and highlife alone. Long live Ghana music.