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Entertainment of Friday, 27 November 2020


I don’t like to be boxed – Okraku Mantey as he preaches change at masterclass

Vasti Jackson, Okraku Mantey, Franky 5 at the event Vasti Jackson, Okraku Mantey, Franky 5 at the event

Astute music producer and acting president of the Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku Mantey has urged persons in the space to embrace change instead of being content with their efforts.

Speaking at the ‘Return Conversations: The Business of Music” – a masterclass that was put together by the Ghana Tourism Authority, the Creative Council, Beyond the Return Secretariat and The Bridge Zone (all under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture) - Okraku Mantey stressed that “Our kind of job, you should be addicted to change because if you do not change, the consumer will change anyway and lead you there.”

Using himself as an example, the Slip Music boss, known to have produced Lord Kenya, Daasebre Dwamena, and a host of other successful musicians said: “My DNA is change. I’m Aquarius. I always want to evolve… The truth is that I can never be in a box; then I don’t qualify to be a creative person in the first place. Every marketer of music thinks the way I’m thinking. If you do not think this way, you are a big candidate for failure in the music space.”

“Some of the music we’re hearing today are not music that technically I’d want to produce. Unfortunately, the people who are consuming today are not my age; but that’s what they want. So I can say I don’t like it but there is a market for it and so I struggle to stay in a box.”

Okraku Mantey however urged talents to produce songs the can stand the test of time instead of settling for mediocrity.

The masterclass was held on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at the Accra Tourists Information Center. It was on the theme ‘Finding Innovative Ways to Market Ghanaian Music to the Rest of The World’.

Among the panelists were American electric blues guitarist, singer, songwriter, and record producer Vasti Jackson; American DJ Malcolm Xavier; Senior Integrated Media Specialist at Radio One-USA, Coriya Burns; President of Sony Music’s Since ’93, Glyn Aikens; and music educator Dontae Winslow.

The event was moderated by Frank Owusu Kwabena (Franky 5).