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Entertainment of Wednesday, 25 September 2019


Top 5 artistes who left their management and are doing better

Dancehall artiste Stonebwoy has done incredibly well over the past years play videoDancehall artiste Stonebwoy has done incredibly well over the past years

Many will agree that recording deals are one of the major factors hindering Ghanaian talents from achieving excellence. Even talent hunt shows which have given juicy recording deals to its winners over the years haven’t been able to support them to the top.

Ghanaian record labels are not enjoying the best of times with artistes leaving them abruptly and not honouring their contracts. On the flip side, the average artiste will be enthusiastic to tell you that they have “divorced” the record label they were formerly signed to because of unfavourable contractual clauses.

The likes of Richie Mensah’s Lynx Entertainment, over the years, have shown they mean business with great managerial skills with their artistes.

In general, the Ghana music industry appears to lack proper artiste management and necessary frameworks to help the industry grow. A few artistes understand the work they do and know how important it is to keep their brands intact by working with a great management team.

In this report, takes a look at artistes who have parted ways with their record labels and are magnificently hitting the international market independently.


CEO of Burniton Music Group, Livingstone Satekla, arguably became big after his departure from his former management label, Samini Music/High-Grade Family.

After leaving the label years back, Stonebwoy had nominations in all major categories in the 2015 VGMA’s which got him sweeping the topmost award - Artiste of the Year.

On the same night, Bhim - as he is affectionately called - won two other awards; Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year and Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year.

In that same year, Stonebwoy beat Sarkodie, AKA, Yemi Alade and WizKid to win the Best International Act – Africa at the 2015 BET Awards.

One of the main highlights of Stonebwoy’s breakthrough in 2015 was in November when he joined Jamaican legendary reggae group, Morgan Heritage, on their European tour dubbed “Strictly Root”.

The tour saw Stonebwoy perform at Tivolivredenburg Utrecht, Metropole Hall Lausanne, Switzerland and at De Vaartkapoen Bruxelles Brussel, Belgium. He became the second Ghanaian Grammy nominee after an album he was featured on earned a nomination at the 2018 Grammys.

Rated on the global music scene as one of the best reggae dancehall exports from Africa, Stonebwoy was crowned the Reggae Dancehall Artist of the Year at the 2019 edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Award for the fifth time, beating his “new friend” Shatta Wale.

Stonebwoy after leaving High-Grade Family is credited with two albums, Necessary Evil and Epistles of Mama.

Under High-Grade Family, Stonebwoy recorded his first hit single "Climax" featuring Samini and subsequently "Ghetto Love" featuring Irene Logan. Both songs earned him nominations at the Ghana Music Awards. After this exposure, he released his debut album "Grade 1 Album".

Stonebwoy also signed a new deal with Zylofon music in June 2017 but the contract technically ended on May 18, 2019.

Watch Stonebowy's hero music video here:


Another musical artiste who has done incredibly well after a break up from his former label is Osei Kweku Vincent known as Strongman. After two years of working together, Strongman and Sarkcess Music parted ways in April this year.

The label, owned by award-winning rapper Sarkodie, signed the young talent in March 2017 with the aim of helping marketing his enormous talent.

According to the rapper, his time with SarkCess Music was rough and nothing he did was good enough.

After announcing his own label “Strong Empire” same month, Strongman has been crashing the airwaves with hits like 21st Century, Ups and Downs, King of Gods and Obi P3 within the few months he left Sarkcess Music.

Under SarkCess Music, Strongman made some successes; he released an EP titled “Still That 9igga” that won the “New Lord” award at the 2017 4Syte Music Video Awards; “Best Rapper” award at the maiden edition of the Ghana Music Awards SA (South Africa); and released a few hit singles including “Transformer” featuring Akwaboah and “Baby Girl” featuring Kuami Eugene. He also earned a nomination at this year’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards for Hiplife Song of the Year with "My Baby".

Watch his music Video here:

Kofi Kinaata

After five years of building a successful music career with Samini’s record label, Martin King Arthur popularly known as Kofi Kinaata also left saying he needed a serious label to manage him.

Kofi Kinaata under High-Grade Family released several hit songs including Susuka, Confession, Time No Dey, and Made in Tadi among others.

Samini and Tony Pun signed Kofi Kinaata unto the Samini Music/High-Grade Family record label in 2013. After the Takoradi “darling boy” left the label, he released “Single and Free” in the dying days of 2018 after everybody thought he would not get any hit song.

Kinaata has come out with great tunes like The Whole Show, Never Again and Adam and Eve since he became an independent artiste.

Watch Kofi Kinaata's music video here:


Afrobeats musician, Elom Adablah known on stage as E.L first signed to Jayso's Skillions Records and helped Jayso co-produce the Skillionaires Demotape but after graduating from university, the Skillions broke up and EL to became a solo artiste.

The Koko hit singer was crowned Artiste of the Year at the 2016 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards with “Mi Naa Bo Po".
He also won the Hip-life/Hip-hop Artiste of the Year.
EL’s hit records include “Obuu Mo”, “Kaalu”, “One Ghana”, “Auntie Martha”, “Shelele”, “Mi Naa Bo Po”, “Koko”. “KaaBuAme, See me Sometimes, Abaa and Pay Like a Boss”.

He quickly gained reputation for his crazy club bangers and spectacular Afrobeats sounds and has been a constant rise since the release of his debut album “Something Else” in June 2012.

In 2016, the CEO of “OVNation records performed at a Studio 189 New York Fashion Week event. Studio 89 is owned by Hollywood actress Rosario Dawson and Ghanaian Abrimah Erwiah.

He is credited with 5 studio albums; Something Else (2012) ELOM (2016) B.A.R. 3: The Lomi Era B.A.R 4, and BVR.

Watch Koko music video here:


VGMA Record of the Year award winner, Baidoo Lukeman who gained national recognition during the Maiden Edition of the "Next Big Thing in Gh Hip-Hop" after placing first has performed tremendously well since he joined the “rap game”.

In December 2016, he parted ways with “The Last Two” label and signed a 4-year management deal with Spyder Lee Entertainment.

He, however, abandoned the camp to establish his own label; TeePhlow Music/ Revolve Records.

The talented artiste going independent won "Record of the Year" with “State of the Art” off the Phlowducation EP at the 2018 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.

Watch Phlowducation video here: