Organizers of the annual Ghana Music Awards have justified Samini’s nomination for the Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year category at this year’s event.
Born Emmanuel Andrews Samini, the spirited performer’s nomination for the category sparked a huge public debate with many asking which dancehall or reggae song of his earned him the nomination as the only song that gained him nomination is “Iskoki” for Best Hiplife Song of the Year.
But George Quaye, head of Media, Brands and Communication for Charterhouse, in an interview with Abrantepa on Radio Univers’ Brunch2Lunch, said Samini was nominated for the Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year category because he belongs to that genre and released songs within the year under review. He noted that an artiste category is not based one’s performance on a song but the work an artiste did in the year under review.
“If you look at Samini on the face value, what artiste is he? He is a reggae/dancehall artiste. If you’ve been observing, at the night of the event, when an artiste category is mentioned, we don’t play any of their songs because the artiste category is not about the song; it’s about the person. Did the person release any song in the year under review? The answer is yes. Does that song change the person’s disposition as a musician? The answer is no”, he said.
Citing instances to buttress his point, George said, “Some years back, Daddy Lumba released a Gospel song, ‘Mesom Jesus’. If that was the only song he did, would you have said he should be nominated for the Gospel Artiste of the Year category? Kwabena Kwabena released ‘Bue Kwan’ which is Gospel. If he had made it, which would have been his only song, would you have said he should be nominated as a Gospel Artiste?”
Drawing from international examples, George asserted that, “R Kelly is a pop and R&B artiste. Some of the world’s best reggae, dancehall, and inspirational songs have been released by R Kelly. Do you think when Grammys or any other scheme is nominating R Kelly, they will put him in a Gospel or Reggae category because he has reggae songs to his credit? No, the artiste’s disposition does not change. When Samini performs on stage, about 95% of the songs are reggae and dancehall”, he concluded.
Controversies have ensued over this year’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards after it was announced at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra Friday night. The 16th edition comes off at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) on Saturday, April 11.
By Albert Benefo Buabeng