Galaxy is the name of a series of mobile computing devices designed, manufactured and marketed by the popular South Korean multinational company Samsung Electronics. Galaxy is also a term used for a collection of stars and planets that are held together by gravity. It is also a two-member Ghanaian music group made up by Ransford Ohene and David Adjewoda. So in whichever way we define the term, it means so much to us. The word strikes harder when you look up into the sky, listening to ‘Papa Bi’ on a Samsung cell phone.
For the purpose of those who are quite unfamiliar with this human Gallaxy, you will appreciate a bit of a refresher.
Starting actively in 2012, these two gentlemen have well justified their inclusion in our showbiz. They have cast their net to catch some traction to themselves with their authority over the Highlife, Afrobeats, Hiplife and Dancehall genres. Simply put, the group has been just what we wanted from the average Ghanaian artiste.
From the production of breath-taking records and collaborating with big heads to making top-of-the-range videos, running through to branding, they have been remarkable. It’s been a constant release of single records from these boys since they both pulled in, all of which have kept them afloat.
The group has made an appreciable appeal to fans in recent times with their songs, ‘Gborvorvor’ ‘Papa Bi’, ‘Chop Money’, ‘Love of My Life’ et cetera.
I mean, these guys grabbed a nomination in the ‘Best Group’ category in the 2016 VGMAs, after chalking two consecutive nominations in the 4Syte Music Video Awards for ‘Best Group Video’. We can doff our hats for them in pride.
Of course, you never expected me to do a total appraisal without opening fire. That will be suicidal – as suicidal as saying this duo is the best we have ever seen. We wouldn’t be fair to the numerous music lovers in other regions of the country who never heard about this so called award-winning group. We wouldn’t want to be sent away from Heaven for saying we don’t have issues with Gallaxy for their unsatisfactory stage craft. This write-up will be as untrustworthy as the weather if it doesn’t mention the absence of the boys from the big shows.
As is usual of the arts, the commonest denominator challenging every player shows up in varying forms. There is the lack of support from investors, there is the little or no recognition for the job, and paramount among them is the difficulty of the underdogs to soar into the limelight.
The case of Gallaxy is like that of an intelligent school child who returns home at the end of an academic year with results as bad as a certain government that just came to your mind. It beats our understanding how a pair with so much dexterity in music is not yet rubbing shoulders with their counterparts: R2bees, VVIP, 4X4, as well as the top-notch soloists.
The group, despite their talents has not made a significant stride in their career. They are missing on the fat billboards and posters that flood the streets. When we thought they will make the list on the big shows, they disappointed. When we managed to catch up with them, their stage craft didn’t excite us enough.
It appears the group who are apparently Ashiaman-based have for too long concentrated their acts in and around the vicinity – a thing much to be discouraged by any artiste.
Something is missing in this galaxy of stars. Something is missing!
So how come the promising school boy brings home an aggregate as huge as his intelligence? Why the irony? Why the imbalance? Have we evaluated his teacher? Does Mama get the student to read at home?
Now, it isn’t a bias position to assume an artiste’s career thrives on the people calling the shots and pulling the strings from behind the curtains. Musicians are like puppets. They do not just give us what is inside of them, they give us what has been squeezed out of them.
Several years down the lane, it is expected of the group to have ridden on their glory into fame. Seventeen records is a lot of work, enough to win these boys national recognition. A well garnished brand of African ingenuity is credible enough to take them overseas. ‘Papa Bi’ could have swept multiple awards for Gallaxy, if the puppeteers pulled the right strings – well unless some evil spirits are at play.
The work of an artiste’s management is multifaceted and broad in scope. It is their task to devise and execute strategies to facilitate them to excel artistically, even streamlining their personal lives. In a more professional setting, management connects the artiste to the right people, to bring the right people on to the artiste’s team, for the right reasons, at the right time. In essence, their primary duty is this – to create opportunities.
Some people are supposed to be in the engine room taking charge of the day-to-day running of the business for the act, including promotional strategy, acting and making key decisions for the act.
If we could comfortably rule out a diagnosis of hype-over-talent in this case and can vouch for this group as a talented one, then we can look some people in the face and express discontentment. And that includes personal, road, publicity, talent, business managers of several other musicians from whom much is expected.
Rap music now presents huge competition; irrespective of what genre one is looking at – the competition is keen. Each passing moment comes with a new crop of people to keep the race fiercer. A good manager should therefore work harder than the artiste and be challenged to bring something to the table.
Ransford Ohene and David Adjewoda are certainly not here to add up to the number. We have listened and watched them. We have run them through hot sulphur and they stood the test of the fire.
One thing we can’t take away from the boys is their command over the craft. It is what brings them closer to us. But the people calling the shots from the back seem to be taking them too far from our reach.
Author: Patrick Fynn
Follow the author on Twitter: @PatrickFynn