From a fan perspective, you think everything is rosy for artistes to make a hit song and trend nationwide without actually seeing the struggles that artists go through to get airplay for it to trend nationwide especially for northern artistes.
We are quick to criticize and point out the flaws of these artistes without looking at the hurdles they have to jump. Entertainment pundits in Northern Region usually make a mistake of trying to compare southern artistes and northern artistes in terms of how their works are played nationwide.
But one cannot ignore the fact that, Ghana music industry is run by a few, that if you are to make it, you need to belong to that group or have a relation with them. You are working your ass off but you find it impossible to enter into that inner circle because of your name, the language you speak, or where you are from.
These few or mafias happened to be the gatekeepers in the industry and feel that talents cannot immerge from any other group apart from their side. They chose who will rise and who will fall. This thing call nepotism also plays in which artiste get endorsement deals and sponsorship from companies and businesses because of these gatekeepers’ relationships with these companies and businesses.
Early this year, we witness the death of a young Bollywood actor who committed suicide because of the nepotism in that industry. This is not an isolated case. Though we have not recorded any death case, there are countless cases of how many people’s dreams have been ruined and also become depressed just because of how these mafias play chest with their careers.
Just a phone call can make and unmake the career of a rising star who is not from that circle or has no relation with the gatekeepers. Now, northern artistes especially Fancy Gadam and Maccasio have done great things that some of these southern artistes who are enjoying nationwide airplay can only dream to have especially with the loyal fans they have, who can travel till the end of the world just to see these artists perform.
These two artists have come to realize that, the only place they can be appreciated, love, and also create an income for themselves is plying their trade here. Making music to please their fans. they have ignored pundit’s advice for them to move to Accra if they want to be relevant in the country.
Maccasio says he refused to move to Accra and also make music that gets nationwide appeal because he knew he was not going to be accepted. He is not part of them and the support will not be that massive like what he is enjoying here.
He Says moving to Accra is going to take him away from his fans back at home who are his major source when it comes to making money. In the end, what this move will do to his career is to make him lose his strong base and still not be accepted.
‘’We do what the fans want, if we manage to produce a nationwide hit song, which our fans don’t really jam to, we are going to flop in our home region, and at the same time spending money trying to promote it in the southern region. When we organize shows in the southern region, it’s our very own people in Agbogbloshie who will come and fill our shows, and sometimes fans from the Northern region will journey to Accra to attend the show.’’Maccasio
Another point the artiste raised is the promotion of their music. Northern entertainment pundits have always discouraged artistes from sharing their music on WhatsApp and rather embrace digital stores.
Maccasio says he cannot stop using that platform. Though he says he puts all his music on digital stores, he still shares his music on WhatsApp platforms for his fans.
According to him, the digital stores are not for his fans here. The target for the digital stores is foreigners while the WhatsApp is for people in the north here. He explained the WhatsApp helps him to reach out to people in remote areas in the region who cannot access the digital stores but are those who come for his show when he organizes one.
He goes on to say that entertainment pundits here do not appreciate the effort they put in their music and when they are putting up a show compared to their counterparts in Accra. According to him, these people have all the machinery working for them, all they have to do is go to the studio record and wait for gigs to go and perform without having to struggle to have things done unlike them in the northern sector.
“The whole of Ghana, no artist works harder than Northern musicians. They have people who manage their travel expenses, they have contacts in and outside the country whom they can rely on for shows and events, endorsement deals, and company’s support and sponsor their shows.
In Tamale, we don’t have sponsors, everything is coming from us. Even when we manage to lobby to get shows in the south, you still have to take care of your TNT.”Maccasio
Still on the appreciation of music. Don Sigli says pundits should look beyond the fact that they grew up with someone and the person is now rising.
They should give constructive criticism and respect the artistes if he should have a small number of fans because it is not animals that are listening to his music.
For the growth of the industry, the two artistes, Maccasio and Don Sigli calls for unity in the industry and task entertainment pundits to embrace northern music like they are doing to other music from other places.