The idea that DJs think Musicians owe them some respect is very absured and I believe some clarification must be made.
In the Industral structure everyone has a specific role to play in other to see the industry grow and therefore some players feeling more important than others only makes the industry retrogress.
The truth is the Creative Man ie Artist is very important when it comes to the industry and it becomes virtually impossible to have an industry when you dont have the Artist.
Unfortunately thats not the case in Ghana and I think its high time we set the record straight.
Without an Artist there is no record company
Without an Artist there is no radio station
Without an Artist there is no distributor
There is no Manager without an Artist
There is no collecting society without an Artist
There is no musician union without an Artist
The industry therefore revolves round an Artist ie Creative Man
When we begin to understand these basics we will begin to appreciate the music business better.
Lets deal with the DJs issue
When hiplife started in Ghana the industry saw a lot of young artist coming up and wanting to become professional musicians and in that quest they were ready to go the extra mile to achieve that aim and the only way they could get their creative works out there was via a media house, now because the business was new and fast rising there were only a few record companies which could not cater for the influx of these new talents.
Since creativity can never be stopped the artists had to find ways and means to see their dreams come to reality and the only way the consumer could hear their music or product was via a radio DJ or Presenter.
Some of the artist went to these DJs begging them to play their songs, some even stayed with the DJs washing their cloths and ironing them just to get them to play their songs.
Soon some of the DJs adopted these begging artist and started managing them and personally pushing their brands till their dreams became a reality.
Now when the DJs realized that they had the power to actually create an audiance for an artist they began to see themselves as demigods and started forming cabals to control who became the next hit maker.
At this stage we began to have more record companies coming on board to take care of the executive production bit since it was becoming a lucrative business. These guys brought in the needed monies and the only way they could make the artist they picked marketable was by going through these cabal of DJs that had been born out of necessity.
The DJs then collected these monies called Payola and pushed the record companies agenda till the songs became hits.
Then came in the distributors who also realized that the sales of the new crop of artist had gone up drastically so they also began to steal and adopt some of these artist by paying them front monies and then paying the Payola directly to these same DJs that had formed the cabal.
Since my emphasis in this write up is on the DJs lets fast track to the present so we dont lose track.
With the introduction of IT and the internet the ways for the comsumer to aquire the product changed and the demand for hard copies ie CDs and Cassetes reduced drastically and instead of the distributors taking advantage of the new media and graduating onto the various internet platform they rather folded up and some went into other businesses.
Now because of the way we built our system with no defined roles and everyone crossing each other with
A DJ becoming a Manager
A Manager becoming a Record Label
A Sound Engineer becoming a Manager
A Distributor becoming an Executive Producer
A Manager becoming a Personal Assistant
A Manager even sometimes becoming a backing vocalist etc
the system had no option than to break down and the artist were once again left on their own BUT fortunately for them this time they found an ulternative way to promote their songs ie via the.internet since the DJs had developed a huge Payola appitite which they the artist could not meet.
Now because of the way the Artist started the business by begging it made these DJs feel like they were better than the artist and that has brought about this impace we are withnessing today.
The Artist have now found the internet and dont really need these DJs cabal to become hits again and the DJs still feels that the Artist still owe them some imaginary Respect.
The truth is the DJs job is to play music and therefore without an Artist the DJ actually has no Job.
In other countries where there are structures and everyone plays seperate roles
The artist creates the song with the engineer and thats it
The Manager gets it to the Record Label
The Record Company promotes it via TV, Radio,Music Videos, Interviews etc
The Distrubutors sells the Records for the Label and the agent finds the Gigs so
You will therefore find it difficult for DJs and Artist to really cross path since all the DJ has to deal with is the song and not the Artist and with such systems the DJs appreciate the Artist. Actually they Respect and Appreciate the Artist for their creativiry.
Locally the DJs role is going down and I believe they should rather find ways of saving their Jobs rather than Crying for Payola, Crying for Respect and then stop fighting the Artist who create the songs that put food on their tables.
The local spots that used to engage their services have repalced them with pendrives
The Parties that use to engage their services have also replaced them with pendrives and that is what technology brings.
Technology have also introduced new ways for DJs to make more monies so instead of living in the past they should rather educate themselves more else they will become extint like the dinosaurs.
Respect is Reciprocal.