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Music Business Masterclass Equips Ghanaian Creatives On Finding Innovative Ways To Market Music To The World

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Under auspices of Ghana Tourism Authority and Beyond The Return Secretariate in conjuction with the Creative Arts Council and TheBridgeZone, the second edition of ‘The Return Conversations’ was organized on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at the Accra Tourist & Information Centre, Accra, with ‘The Business of Music: Finding Innovative Ways to Market Ghanaian Music to the Rest of the World’ as the theme.

The program was broadcast worldwide on the social media channels for ‘Beyond the Return’, Ghana Tourism Authority and locally on Hitz FM 103.9 and Y FM 107.9 and was moderated by Frank Owusu (Head of Operations, Creative Arts Council)

With experts panelists, including Glyn Aikins (Sony Music President), Coriya Burns (Senior Integrated Media Specialist, Radio One), Dontae Winslow (Music Producer, Composer, Trumpeter, Educator), Malcolm Xavier (Award-winning DJ), Vasti Jackson (Composer, Guitarist, Producer) and Mark Okraku-Mantey (President Creative Arts Council Ghana) who engaged in conversation with Ghana’s music and creative industry, the seminar focused on how talents can use available channels to distribute and monetize their music sales.

Krymi, Amerado Burner, Nanky, Kobby Salm and other talents who availed themselves at the seminar were provided with a comprehensive understanding of key aspects of the business, including but not limited to: Record Labels, Digital Streaming, Artists & Repertoire, Startups in Music, New-Industry Media, Artist Management, The Live Experience, D.I.Y for Creatives, marketing, contracts and contract law, new business models.

The event is part of the ‘Return Conversations’ which is a pivotal aspect of the ‘Beyond The Return’ project to reduce the differences that separate the global African diaspora and Ghanaians in the music industry.

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Gyakie Becomes The Most Followed Female Artiste In Ghana On Audiomack

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SOUL artiste, Gyakie, has dethroned RuffTown signed artiste Wendy shay to become the most subscribed to female artiste in Ghana on Audiomack with over 35,000 followers. Gyakie is a budding musician whose familial connection to a Ghanaian great – Nana Acheampong, one-half of the famous Lumba Brothers, has had a strong influence on her love for music from a young age, and on her becoming the fledgling musician she is today.

In August 2020, Gyakie dropped her debut project, a 5-track EP simply titled Seed. The cover artwork of the EP is a photo that shows her as a child, wearing studio headphones and posing in the recording booth alongside her father—a visual which could easily be taken as a bold index finger pointing right at the family business.

According to the afro-fusion singer, the Seed EP is a journey that explores diverse genres as a reflection of her musical quest of finding and staying true to herself, while leaving lingering thoughts of what to expect from her in subsequent projects. Seed is short but sweet, and does just that. The EP is full of different sounds that give you just a taste of what she is capable of and what to expect on her journey, which has only just begun.

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Wizkid Extends His Record As First Nigerian, Platinum-certified Artiste In Canada

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Wizkid extends his record as the first Nigerian, Platinum-certified artist in Canada, with Come Closer’s second certification in the country. It’s the most streamed Nigerian song ever on Spotify with over 96 million streams as at November 2020, and is the most successful song by an Afrobeats artist commercially. The song was released as the third single from Wizkid’s third studio album, Sounds from the Other Side.

In September 2020, Wizkid became the first African artist to be certified Gold (both) as a featured and lead artist in the United States, as Come Closer sold 500,000 units.

According to the Nigerian artiste, the album’s most commercially successful track was recorded in early 2016 at the same time as he and Drake’s other collaborative single, “One Dance” (2016), which peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 as well as the UK Singles Chart and the Canadian Hot 100. The song marked Wizkid’s third official collaboration with Drake.

The single peaked at number 58 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Wizkid’s first charting single as a lead artist, and the best-performing African record of 2017 at large. The single peaked at number 54 on the Canadian Hot 100. In August and November 2017, the song was certified Gold and Silver by Music Canada and the BPI respectively, making it his most commercially successful international single till date.

In November the same year, the song was awarded AFRIMA 2017 Song of the Year. 2baba & DJ Jimmy Jatt handed over the trophy to Wizkid. On the night, the Nigerian took two of the most important awards—Artist of the Year and Song of the Year—along with the Best Male West Africa award.

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African Giant, Burna Boy, Featured On “Joe Biden-Harris” Official Inauguration Playlist

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Burna Boy’s “Destiny” off his Grammy nominated African Giant album has been listed on the official playlist for the Biden + Harris Inauguration ceremony.

Curated by D-Nice and Raedio, the audio everywhere label founded by Issa Rae and Benoni Tagoe, and crafted in partnership with the Presidential Inauguration Committee, the official “Biden Harris” Inauguration playlist was released on Friday (Jan. 15), featuring 46 eclectic songs from Kendrick Lamar and Bob Marley to Beyoncé, Tame Impala and Major Lazer.

According to a statement from the Biden/Harris team, the playlist “represents the diversity of our nation, and our strength and resilience as we look forward to new leadership and a new era in America.”

“As a brand that is founded on the principle of being an audio-everywhere company, we are honored to create the official playlist for the historic inauguration of President Elect Joe Biden Vice President Elect Kamala Harris,” said Tagoe in a statement. “We know that music has the power to bring people together, and after a year of national challenges and division, we hope this collection serves as an indication of a new beginning, positive change and a reminder that music of all types is a common language.”

Inauguration Committee CEO Tony Allen added, “During a tumultuous year that has kept so many loved ones apart, music has been a consistent vehicle that has kept us connected. Whether you are a country soul, a jazz enthusiast, a hip hop head, a classical sort, or just love that old-time rock and roll, music clarifies, inspires, unites, and heals… These songs and artists reflect the relentless spirit and rich diversity of America. They are the score to a new chapter and will help bring people together as the Biden-Harris Administration begins its important work to unite our country.”

Available on all major streaming services today, it kicks off with “Lupitas Interlude” by Brooklyn rapper Kota the Friend and includes Bruce Springsteen’s stirring “We Take Care of Our Own,” Kendrick and Mary J Blige’s “Now or Never,” The O’Jays’ “Give the People What They Want,” Mac Miller’s “Blue World,” Marley’s “Could You Be Loved,” recently-deceased MC MF Doom’s “Coffin Nails” and Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain.”

Other acts on the nod to the 46th president intended to “evoke joy and symbolize new beginnings” include: SZA, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Vampire Weekend, Jackie Wilson, The Brothers Johnson, Oddisee, Whitney Houston, New Radicals, Curtis Mayfield, Toro y Moi, Jill Scott and Dua Lipa.

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‘Alewa’ By Santrofi Named Amongst The Biggest Albums Of 2020

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Highly reputable music critics have already declared Santrofi’s ‘Alewa’ to be one of the best albums of 2020. Now, the numbers have spoken, the data has assembled into integers and decimal points in Pan African Music’s (PAM) end-of-year music review. PAM is a France-based major music digital distributor for independent music dedicated to promoting music from the African continent and diaspora.

“Alewa” was named among other albums from gigantic artistes on the continent encompassing Stonebwoy (Ghana), Hailu Mergia (Ethiopia), L’esprit de Nyege (Uganda) and Burnaboy from Nigeria.

Santrofi, devised from the mythological precious bird from the Akan language — is a collective of spirited and celebrated young musicians assembled around bass player Emmanuel Ofori whose credentials include playing with highlife heavyweights Ebo Taylor, Pat Thomas and Kwashibu Area Band.

The album, “Alewa” is an organic and well-crafted experiment, in an era where many African musicians attempt to seduce a Western audience by making their music pop.

While Ghana still predictably serve as home to flourishing highlife music, the genre’s worth saving still need practitioners and advocates who are willing to propel it forward. Highlife music boasts a long, rich history — about 100 years — of transformation, adaptation, tumult and triumph. From radical-bashing pundits to brave and bold composers, highlife music has remained alive even as prognosticators routinely predict its demise.

Santrofi, the vintage-inspired Ghanaian highlife band, gives us a glimpse into a serene world, a real breath of fresh air that reminds us to uphold Ghanaian highlife.

The debut album is a mixture of culturally rich and authentic Ghanaian highlife music brewed with melodic beats, blues, jazz, funk, groovy percussion and silky vocals served in a Ghanaian pot.

Alewa is an album of love songs—the oldest subject in the book—but it’s filled with other significant themes – racial segregation and discrimination, unity in diversity, jealousy, economics and other cultural happenings in society. In it, ‘Alewa’ builds a self-contained world that luxuriates love—both sonically and lyrically—while still hinting at some of our age’s deep-seated flaws.

Last year was without question one of the most challenging years for the music industry. Santrofi had its share as the band’s booked concerts in over 20 European countries were cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic; this was after a successful tour in 2019.

Source: Emmanuel Jewel Peprah Mensah

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