‘Beyond The Return’ music business masterclass finds innovative ways to market Ghanaian Music
A masterclass with the aim of improving the business side of the Ghanaian music industry has been held at the Accra Tourism Information Centre.
The programme was powered by the Ghana Tourism Authority and the ‘Beyond The Return’ Secretariat in conjunction with the Creative Arts Council and The Bridge Zone.
The initiative which is one of the Return Conversations as part of ‘Beyond the Return’ programme was dubbed, “The Business of Music – Finding Innovative ways to market Ghanaian Music to the Rest of the World.”
Panelists included SONY Music President, Glyn Aikins, Music Producer, Trumpeter, Composer & Educator, Dontae Winslow, Composer, Guitarist & Producer, Vasti Jackson, Senior Integrated Media Specialist – Radio One USA, Coriya Burns, Award Winning DJ, Malcolm Xavier, and President, Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku Mantey.
The discussions focused on key areas in the music industry such as marketing, finance, technological advancements, new channels for distribution and sales, networking, and new trends.
Addressing the programme from the Accra Tourist Information Centre where is was streamed live to audience in and outside the country, Mark Okraku Mantey, advised industry players not to allow their creativity to be boxed by recounting how he challenged the status quo in the past and succeeded.
According to him, as a young producer, he did not allow what was the order of the day to dictate to his creativity, for this reason, he introduced Hip Hop into highlife with songs like Kokooko by the late Dasebre Gyamenah.
“As creative people, we should not be limited in our creativity but go beyond the box and be innovative in our ways, else the market will outpace us,” he said.
Mr Mantey further urged players in music business to be very particular about their recordings and not to compromise on sound, rhythm, chord progression and mastering among others when producing music.
Vasti Jackson, on his part said the tool one used in music production made the change, adding that fundamentally, good infrastructure to produce the right sound was vital.
Touching on streaming, he said, even though it had exposed music from Africa, those who made a lot of money were the top executives and not mostly artistes, saying it had devalued the financial reward of musicians.
Glyn Aikins, said that measurement of music consumption for some time now had been easy due to technology, which made it simple for people to find out the genre making waves, and which market was available for people to tap into.
“Management need to understand the vision of the artiste, and should be able to put in place the right measures to propel the artistes to get there,” he added.
On music from Ghana crossing over to the global market, he urged those in the circles to network and liaise with other people outside the country to get their music out there.
He said some of the major record labels were opening up satellite offices in Africa which was good news for musicians.
Coriya Burns urged those in the music space to focus on making their messages clear and getting to the right people to fix their songs at the important places.
Malcom Xavier, also asked disck jockeys to commence their own initiatives, throw their parties and use social media among other platforms to promote it to be able to make a lot of revenue for themselves and said that he was opened to promoting music from Ghana.
Dontae Winslow called for dedication and passion to work as well as ensure they actively partake in all the chain of music production.
Participants which included musicians, producers, Djs, music executives and the media expressed appreciation to the organisers for the initiative.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme