Award winning Dancehall artist Iwan talks to enewsgh.com‘s Abdullai Isshak about the upcoming Bass Awards, Reggae and Dancehall music in Ghana and lessons learnt from promoting his music.
Q: What have you been up to after you left Bull Haus Entertainment?
A: After Bull Haus Entertainment, I recorded the “12th September” album. I put twelve songs on the album and seventeen on the special edition. I have been working but it’s just that most of these songs don’t get the chance to go mainstream because of our struggle to get Reggae and Dancehall accepted in Ghana. I am now shooting the video of “Omega Rise” featuring Kesse and many other videos will be shot.
Q: What reasons do you think made it impossible for 12 September to receive massive attention?
A: My mistake was not doing videos to go with the songs. Sometimes people need you to interpret the songs visually. Another issue is me being in school and my project work didn’t allow me much space to promote the music. I’m doing my National Service now and free to do and promote my music.
Q: The Bass Awards is coming up in few weeks, what’s do you make of it?
A: Any organization that has got that love and energy to back a good cause like the Reggae and Dancehall industry should take time to recognize those people who lifted and held the banner all this while. Other than telling artists to come pick forms and fill and submit portraying a picture like Ghanaian artist are chasing for awards. Nonetheless I think they are doing a great job.
Q: Your expectations?
A: If it’s a night for Reggae and Dancehall industry, no Hip Life, “Gospel” or Hip Hop artist should hijack the categories, unless there is a category to shine light on a fusion of a Hip Hop, “Gospel” or Hip Life artist and a Reggae or Dancehall artist.
On the night, if awards are going to be dished out to artists from different genres other than Reggae and Dancehall because they recorded a Reggae or Dancehall tune in their album that will be unfair to those who have dedicated their careers and life to these genres.
Q: Most people are of the view the Reggae and Dancehall industry is small compared to that of other genres, what do you say to that?
A: There is a massive Reggae and Dancehall industry in Ghana but if people don’t follow the industry and don’t know the artist then you say Dancehall and Reggae artistes are not many. People should pay attention to the industry and they will see artistes who are deep into the genre.
Q: What’s the difference between Reggae and Dancehall music?
A: Reggae music is one drop music and put more emphasis on the third beat. Dancehall is diverse, someone can pick an R&B song and with his lyrics, energy and aggressiveness change it to Dancehall. Dancehall was birth out of Reggae because the youth of Jamaica had stuff up their chest they couldn’t say on Reggae music because of the consciousness Reggae carried, so Dancehall was born.
Reggae music is pure music and a conscious brand but Dancehall talks about women, guns, drugs and not conscious. Also in terms of beat Reggae is around eighty to hundred Beats per Minute and Dancehall goes ninety to two hundred and ten Beats per Minute.
Q: How do you feel about artistes known for other genres jumping in on the Reggae and Dancehall genre?
A: Most of the artistes jumped on to Reggae and Dancehall because they feel anything goes in this industry but they should be aware that the genre is a much respected one and the chaff at the end of the day will be blown out from the grains. Better vibes will always prevail.