Music of Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Source: Ebenezer Narh Affum

Who makes a song a hit, is it the musician or the sound engineer?

Almost every day, our artistes churn out hits after hits. We have hit tracks like ''Ole s3k3 ni oye'', ''Vera'', ''Azonto fiesta'', ''My baby'' and a host of others. We listen to these songs and we feel good about them.

The artistes with hit tracks also get the sense of fulfillment whenever songs they release become hits.

''Who should be given the credit for any hit song?''Should it be the musician or the sound engineer?

Obviously it is the musician who is able to put into play his creativity to be able to scribble down lyrics for a song. Talented musicians are able to come up with songs quite easily and these songs also become hits.

Even in the instance, where instrumentals (or beats) are played for some musicians, they are able to come up with lyrics that suit the instrumentals. This is what we call ''free styling''.

The musician, in writing lyrics for a song tries as much as possible to find words that would rhyme, make sense and be able to recollect.

Just consider some of the hit tracks on our airwaves at present and you would find one thing; most of them have some catchy word or phrases. Even if you can't sing the whole song, you can keep repeating those catchy words or phrases.

Without any doubts, in as much as it's the musician who is able to put down lyrics, arrange lyrics and employ the use of certain techniques so far as vocal delivery is concerned, the musician could be given the credit for churning a hit song.

However, my bone of contention is that, no matter how excellent a musician could be, can the musician still churn out a hit track if he is not able to get a good sound engineer to produce his beats?

The careful observation I have made is that if some of the hit tracks we have currently are reproduced by unknown and not too -good sound engineers, it is likely that these songs which we see as hits today, would be nothing to write home about.

The contribution of sound engineers in making hits cannot be undermined. Have we asked ourselves why musicians write songs and decide to record those songs with particular sound engineers?

In some instances, musicians hear some instrumentals from the sound engineers, here and then, they are able to judge that if they spit lyrics on such beats, they are bound to have a hit track.

Again, consider some of the hit tracks played on radio nowadays; is it not true that most of these songs are enjoyed by the public because they have beats that one can dance to? Who produces such beats?

To what extent can we say a song is a hit just because of its lyrics? If the musician should decide to do an accapella, to what extent can the musician churn out a hit?

Nowadays, most musicians have realized that before their lyrics can be transformed into hits, they need to see a particular sound engineer to work with.

However, what happens after the sound engineer is able to transform the lyrics into a hit song? It's the musician who takes the sole credit for the hit song. However, I beg to differ.

In as much as the musician would find it extremely difficult to churn out a hit song without a sound engineer, why don't we give credit to the sound engineer as well?

It's an undeniable fact that a song when recorded becomes an intellectual property of the musician but I believe that the sound engineer also needs to be given the credit for making a hit song.

Delving deeper, one may even say that not only should the musician or the sound engineer be given credits for a hit song but then, the radio DJ or presenter should also have a share of the credit.

Think through all these and make your own judgment but at this juncture, I will drop my 'diabolic' pen. I rest my case.