Sunday January 31, 2016 was the official deadline for submission of entries for this year’s edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), which has started in earnest.
Indeed, the annual awards bring lots of excitement to practitioners in the music industry, fans and most especially to every musician who has worked hard in the year under review, because such musicians will be rewarded with nominations and eventually a musician might walk home with an award.
Nominations for musicians, managers, record labels to submit entries for consideration into this year’s awards were opened on January 1, 2016 for musical works released between January 1, 2015 to January 31, 2015.
Reports suggests that hundreds of entries from musicians all over Ghana in different genres have been received which paves way for the actual work to begin in terms of categorisation and verifying that works submitted were indeed released between January 1, 2015 and January 31, 2015.
A lot of musicians are in anticipation to see who gets nominated for which category. Though promising artiste Wisa, is currently facing prosecution at an Accra Circuit Court for gross indecent exposure at the Decemba 2 Rememba concert at the Conference Centre in Accra on December 24, 2015, organised by an Accra based Citi FM, he has hinted his interest in the upcoming Vodafone Ghana Music Awards slated for May 2016.
“My legal issue has no connection with the upcoming VGMA or anything of that sort, so let’s just wait and see what happens. It will be very cool if I am nominated. I know I deserve the award,” he told Showbiz last week. Could it be that, he put up that stunt just for the awards? Well, you can never trust these musicians.
Such words from him mean that he has submitted his works to be considered for the awards and most preferably in the New Artiste of the Year category. But does he deserve a nomination at all?
New Artiste of the Year definition
Per the category definition of the awards, for an artiste to be considered for nomination and subsequently win it, such a new artiste should have been able to wow and made a great impact with his or her first released single or album during the year under review.
The definition of the category read; “New Artiste of the Year is the Artiste(s) adjudged by the Academy, Board and the General Public as the most promising and talented new artiste(s). The award goes to the artiste(s) who made the most impact with his/her FIRST release (Single/Album) during the year under review.”
Looking at the definition of the category, I strongly believe and I’m very certain that Wisa wowed with his first released song Ekiki Me featuring Luther and that makes him a sure bet for the category. He merits a nomination there.
Until his shameful act on Christmas Eve, he was perhaps the most favourite for that particular category and stood a good chance of taking the award home. But circumstances have changed now, in terms of the public appeal for new songs released by new artistes. I have no doubt that, his was on top.
Also, even though he made some level of impact with the song, it is not what you can describe as strong enough to win him the award because, aside the song being big; that ‘bigness’, that authoritative nature, that posture is not felt from the artiste whenever he is on stage to perform.
Perhaps, he was always overwhelmed and in the process forgetting that, it was the song that made him get the opportunity to be on those platforms to perform to thousands of patrons.
Decemba 2 Rememba
On that stage and after the show, a video that was uploaded on video sharing site, YouTube showed Wisa rubbing the buttocks of a well-endowed dancer with his penis to give meaning to the song he was performing then. The song is titled Slow Motion, a nauseating profane-to-the-core song.
Wisa had a big song before the show but he became a lot bigger after with almost everyone talking about him as a result of his shameful act in the presence of some well-respected people in our society.
He has several songs which are on rotation in La. This includes his breakthrough song Ekiki Me which managed to become a national phenomenon.
Every artiste one way or the other has songs with explicit content but they are done in a manner which is tasteful. Wisa has the penchant for doing only hardcore profane songs which are really distasteful.
As a musician, one has to be creative in how they put words together to make a song. If you have to sing about sexual situations, it has to be done well and not in a profane manner. Wisa must learn that art, if he wants to have a future in the music fraternity.
Though the case is in court following his arrest by the Accra Regional Police Command on December 25, 2015 for exposing his penis on stage in the full glare of the audience, his counsel Mr Jerry Avenorgbo is arguing that Wisa put out his performance for the “beauty of entertainment”, adding that, what Wisa showed on stage was not his penis.
“On the next adjourned date, my client will prove that he did not do what he has been accused of. If we open our defence, those who are accusing him will understand the beauty of entertainment art.”
But prior to that, Wisa had recorded a song to apologise for his indecent exposure and moving from one media house to the other to render an apology. Clearly what his counsel is saying and what he’s doing are at variance.
In the 16 years of the awards, the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards has taken a strong stance against songs which are sexually explicit. At some point, some musicians were invited to face the Board to explain the context of their lyrics which are considered morally unfit for the scheme.
As a result, musicians and songs have been barred from contesting. A fortnight ago, I spearheaded a campaign to have musicians who unnecessarily and deliberately attack the scheme and the Board to be banned for some number of years or for the year that, the incidence occurs.
Again, I do not think it will be out of place for the Board to start taking a strong stance against musicians such as Wisa who openly showed his penis in the full glare of the audience at an event such as Decemba 2 Rememba platform.
Whereas in the Western world, Wisa would be hailed but down here such things are alien to us and it’s high time that, the scheme and the system is sanitised.
If Wisa makes the New Artiste category, it means he will be in other categories because he had a good year as a result of the controversy.
Imagine he’s nominated in the same category with the likes of Okyeame Kwame, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Bisa K’Dei and other respected musicians. How did he get in there if not by showing his erected penis and it won’t be good enough.
By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz