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Music of Thursday, 19 April 2007


Sorry, No Car Or Cash Prizes Here

Last Saturday, the issue was finally put to rest . . . or so it seemed. The organisers of the Ghana Music Awards told musicians and other stakeholders in the Ghana music industry that they could not afford cars or houses as prizes for award winners.

The submission by Mrs Theresa Ayoade, Events Director of Charter House, that GMA should be seen as an instrument through which creative pursuit are duly recognised and not a scheme for giving financial rewards to artistes, is the most convincing argument to date regarding the issue of prizes.

Many musicians have, in the past, called for monetary and other ?more valuable? prizes for the awards.

At this year?s launch of GMA, the President of the musicians union, Alhaji Sidiku Buari, called on the organisers to consider giving cars and houses as prizes instead of statuettes.

Last Saturday, at a meeting of the GMA Selection Committee, Kwame Mikki of Kaakyire Music Productions repeated the call to GMA to provide award winners with valuable prizes.

But according to Mrs Ayoade, ?the music industry is a multi-million dollar industry on its own. Musicians, producers and other industry players receive remuneration for their works through album sales, royalties and other avenues, so the GMA should not be regarded as a means through which artistes can receive remuneration?, she told the meeting.

?The awards given by the GMA should not be equated to that of beauty pageants and music talents hunts which offer cars and cash as prizes because those are amateurs competitions. Winners of such programmes are awarded cash prizes to set them up in their chosen fields.

?Musicians like the ones GMA deals with are professionals in their own right and it is expected that they can afford those luxury items themselves. The Ghana Music Award scheme is merely in recognition of their talents and accomplishments ?, she added.

Over the last seven years, the Ghana Music Awards event has become Ghana?s authentic music industry awards.

Saturday?s Selection Committee meeting was supervised by KPMG, events statisticians. They oversaw the deliberations of the about 60 people, made up of musical representatives from all the 10 regions of the country?arts and entertainment writers and critics, radio presenters, sound and live PA engineers and other music industry players, who answered the invitation of the organisers.

The excercise performed by the Selection Committee was of enormous significance to the outcome of who wins what at this year?s GMA as their votes make up 30 per cent of the decision for the Public Award categories and 50 per cent of the decision for the Industry Award categories respectively.

Each category was given considerable attention in turn. The five Industry award categories that the selection committee voted on were Song Writer of the Year, Hiplife Album of the Year, Gospel Album of the Year, Highlife Album of the Year and Album of the Year.

As the songs in the various albums in contention were played in turn, members of the selection committee were asked by the moderator to tally the number of hit songs on each album in their opinion.

The album that came up with the most hit songs was then voted for accordingly.

Attention was also given to the 14 public awards categories that have been published in the media and members of the committee voted after some of the tracks had also been played to refresh the memory of voters.