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CORONAVIRUS/ The Effect Of The Disease On Ghana’s Music Ecosystem

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Ghana, one of the most populous black nation in the world, confirmed two cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the first cases to be reported in Ghana. Sweeping through Asia and into Europe, Accra saw the first reported case of the now-declared pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. In a news release signed by the Minister of Health, who doubles as a Member of Parliament for Dormaa Central, laboratory results of the two confirmed cases were received at the same time from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. According him these cases are imported as both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey.

However doggedly, Ghana is working to combat the situation with some measures established, its toll on economic activity is yet felt. Globally, as the world plans to contain the virus, it has made for a lot of changes. Employees are being asked to work from home, corporations and offices are being closed, the biggest football leagues have suspended a considerable amount of games, oil prices have gone down, and in the entertainment sector, music events and tours are being postponed.

Reggae/Dance-hall artiste, Stonebwoy has been touring North America before the virus broke out. Out of approximately 10 shows, he executed 3, thus, Afrocarrib Festival, Stonebwoy Live In DC, Stonebwoy Live In Chicago. However, the global space as it is right now had the multiple award winning Ghanaian artiste announce that the rest of his tour was postponed.

Stonebwoy, hasn’t been the only artiste to make such an announcement recently. King Promise, who sold out London 02 Acadamy earlier also postponed his shows successive shows. The artiste was set to thrill Canadian audience as part of his As Promised Tour. However, on March 14th, the Canadian government placed an indefinite ban on gatherings of more than 500 people as part of drastic measures to try curb the spread of the respiratory disease known as Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Global music events find themselves impacted too: Beale Street Music Festival adds to the list of suspended, canceled or postponed events due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Ghana’s Stonebwoy and Sarkodie were among the scheduled performers for the annual event. Organizers of the event have decided to push the event to a later date. While specific dates have not been arranged, ticket buyers are provided options. A new date is scheduled to be announced on March 27, 2020. If customers, teams or runners are not able to attend the new date, they will be offered a refund.

The Coachella, arguably the biggest music festival in the world, also had its dates pushed. Seun Kuti, the iconic Afrobeat artiste, was the only Nigerian on the lineup of the festival; other artistes on its 2020 roster includes American recluse superstar Frank Ocean, British-Nigerian rapper Dave, the prominent South African DJ Black Coffee, amongst a host of others, from FKA Twigs to Koffee.

The Afro Nation festival which was to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico from March 18 – March 21 has also been postponed. Many Ghanaian artistes, Including Stonebwoy were on the lineup of the event co-founded by Nigerian creative entrepreneur Obi Asika.

Ghanaians have reacted rather optimistically to the COVID-19, somewhat confident in how its health officials (and the general public) defeated the much deadlier Ebola virus. That isn’t to say Ghanaians are being complacent: sanitizers spiked in demand and prices in the early days; as usual, hands are being washed and face masks are a regular sight around the country.

But given the laudable efforts of health officials so far, there’s every reason to be positive – even in the continued conflict of interest that has pit citizens against a government which doesn’t seem eager to stop entry into the country – that Ghana could shine as a beacon of hope to the rest of the world in these times.

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Show Some Respect – Legendary Zapp Mallet To Sarkodie

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GREATER ACCRA, GHANA, Wednesday, April 1, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – Sarkodie has been hailed today for orchestrating a hit battle between Appietus and Jay Q. #behinddahit

The two managed to pull over 6,000 Ghanaians to their Instagram live battle and we had a lot of music stars also comment under the battle.

However, Legendary sound engineer, Zapp Mallet has blasted the award-winning rapper, Sarkodie for pairing him with some music producers.

Zapp stated, “There is something called respect which is lacking in Ghana today. For instance you don’t compare somebody who was churning out hits before you made Kindergarten with your mate who just started a couple of years back. Show some respect. You will also get there”

Check out his tweet ;

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Appietus And Jay Q Set To Battle It Out Live On Instagram Tonight!

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GREATER ACCRA, GHANA, Wednesday, April 1, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – If you are a big lover of Ghanaian music, you would surely know beatmakers, Appietus and Jay Q. The two are regarded as very popular and talented sound engineers from the country.

Jay Q and Appietus would square off tonight, live on Instagram to find out who has produced the most and best-hit songs in the history of Ghana music.

The battle, dubbed #BehindDaHitz, is orchestrated by Award-winning Ghanaian rapper, Sarkodie. This battle looks forward to offer Ghanaian music lovers a chance to realize some of the hits created by these two. It’s possible we might have heard some of the songs and didn’t even know these two were behind it, therefore it’s a good platform to update us all.

The battle is scheduled for April 1, 2020 at 7 pm on Instagram. Both sound engineers according to screenshots posted by Sarkodie are ready to tear each other apart.

We are really anticipating this battle!

Jay Q has made a video to that effect, asking people to follow him and also be a part of this activity.

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South Africa’s Star Rapper, Nasty C, Signs With Def Jam Recordings

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Award-winning South African rapper Nasty C has signed an exclusive pact with Def Jam Recordings through a joint venture with Universal Music Africa. He’ll make his official U.S. debut when his new single “There They Go” premieres on Apple Music Beats 1 with Ebro Darden today (March 26 at 4:30 p.m. ET).

The video for “There They Go” is also premiering today. Filmed in Nasty C’s hometown of Durban, South Africa, the video was directed by Andrew Sandler (Lil Wayne, Chris Brown). The Cxdy-produced “There They Go” is the first taste from the 23-year-old rapper’s upcoming album Zulu Man with Some Power. The set is the follow-up to Nasty C’s second multi-platinum album, 2018’s Strings and Bling.

In announcing the signing, Def Jam Recordings interim chairman/CEO Jeff Harleston stated, “Nasty C is a unique and forward-thinking artist who is at the forefront of a new generation of rappers emerging from Africa. Def Jam is a globally recognized brand synonymous with excellence in hip-hop, and we are excited to welcome Nasty C — an international star with real vision and talent — into the family.”

“It’s powerful to be a part of the Def Jam family,” added Nasty C. “It’s an iconic record label and has made the careers of many of the artists I look up to.”
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The rapper’s career began in 2012 with the release of his first mixtape, One Kid, A Thousand Coffins. Second mixtape Price City and debut album Bad Hair, debuted in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Since then, Nasty C has won several music awards including the South African Hip-Hop Awards’ Best Freshman prize and four Metro FM Music Awards, as well as being nominated in 2019 for a BET Hip-Hop Award in the best international flow category and an MTV Europe Music Award.

Strings and Bling, featuring the multi-platinum singles “King,” “Jungle” and “SMA” and the platinum title track, earned two South African Music Awards and two All African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMAs). A Forbes “Africa Under 30” and GQ Musician of the Year honoree, Nasty C also has brand endorsement affiliations with Puma, Red Bull and Mercedes.

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COVID-19/ Boomplay To Drop Subscription Prices

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Africa’s largest music streaming service, Boomplay, will look into giving users subscriptions at discounted prices. The news comes as governments across the continent continue to intensify restrictions on mass gatherings and enforce lockdowns in an effort to constrain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

With people spending more time at home due to quarantines and self-isolation, Boomplay says it anticipates that remote online entertainment such as music streaming will increase.

The streaming company told Music In Africa that it had already noticed increases in subscriptions and number of streams on its platform but that it would be premature to chalk up the changes to the coronavirus pandemic. It also said it was prepared to take the required measures to assist people during this difficult time.

“We’ve seen slight increases in subscriptions and streams, but it’s difficult to say at this moment in time if this is due to the pandemic,” Boomplay director of content and strategy Phil Koi said. “We would need to analyse an extended period of time before we can have a more accurate understanding.”

“We are keeping an eye on things and Boomplay will do what it can to support and help people get through this. If this means offering subscriptions at a discounted price, this is something we will definitely look into when we feel the time is right.”

Although it is widely expected that online activities such as streaming will rise, Music Business Worldwide yesterday reported that streaminig numbers had decreased on the world’s most popular music streaming service, Spotify, last week. However, YouTube showed an increase in streaming on its platform.

Changes in streaming behaviour are still to unfold in Africa, which is relatively unscathed by the coronavirus for the time being. In an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced an official lockdown that will be effective from Thursday. The lockdown is expected to have far-reaching and negative ramifications on the economy. At the time of writing, the number of confirmed cases in the country was 554, up from 402 on Monday.

(Source: Music In Africa)

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