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Music of Sunday, 3 August 2008


Musicians bribe DJs to promote their poor works - says ‘Merqury’

Contrary to claims by some Ghanaians that it is Disk Jockeys who demand money from musicians before playing their songs, ‘Merqury’, a presenter on Sound City, a video channel on GTV, has stressed that it is rather they (musicians) who bribe them (Disk Jockeys) and presenters with money (known as “payola” in the Ghanaian music industry) in order to get their “poor quality songs” aired on radio and television.

‘Merqury’ - who is known in the showbiz circles as ‘Merq’ - made these observations in an interview with The Saturday Statesman. He underscored that only poor sound and video music producers pay ‘payola’ to DJs, adding that most of the artistes and producers invest little into music videos.

According to him, “the poor nature of our music, sounds and videos, has made most Ghanaian musicians less respected on the African continent and beyond”.

‘Merqury’ unreservedly blamed Ghanaian musicians for being the first to initiate steps that are intended to influence DJs and presenters to play their songs. “They do this because they know they have nothing but chaff on Compact Disks and cassettes”.

He described as disgraceful the way and manner Ghanaian video clips are poorly done, “compared to the perfect masterpieces of Nigerian musicians”.

He submitted that “to be able to compare ourselves to Nigerian artistes, “our musicians must invest heavily in their music videos since that is what will sell their albums and promote their personalities”.

On stage, he said Nigerian musicians are priced higher than their Ghanaian counterparts because of their sound and video qualities. “As a result, their songs are always attractive to the public”.

The ace presenter compared the performances of both Ghanaian and Nigerian artistes who go on stage and the remunerations they usually get and pointed out that the latter are paid more than the former. “This is terrible”! he exclaimed.

In order to resolve this issue, ‘Merqury’ urged music producers to focus more on investing heavily in music videos so as to improve the quality of the works produced to attract customers on the competitive market.