A seminar on international artist, rights and music management has been held at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center of Excellence in ICT in Accra. The seminar was a collaborative effort between the Musicians Union of Ghana, MUSIGA and the British Council of Ghana.
The seminar had two major speakers in the persons of Stuart Worthington and Keith Harris. Seated with them on the High table were lawyer Mike Ocquaye and DJ Amess, a radio presenter and Artist Manager.
The seminar focused mainly on giving an overview, updating and helping participants to understand today’s music industry, general artist management where skills, roles and responsibilities of artists and managers were discussed. The various existing and new ways of making revenue in the music business as well as teamwork and 3rd party relationships were also discussed.
Stuart Worthington, a provider of management consultancy, small business information, advice and guidance, professional training & development services for a range of clients and strategic partners and who has worked in most sectors of the cultural & creative / arts & entertainment / media industries spoke about a number of issues affecting musicians, managers and the entire complex situation of handling and sharing monies amongst the various players in the industry.
He entreated that all involved in the business of music should endeavor to gain knowledge and understanding of how money flows so the managers, artists and other stakeholders will know about the financial situations and their entitlement.
There were various issues concerning music sharing, copyright issues and talent management. Keith Harris, Director of Performer Affairs at PPL commented that on the issue of royalty payments, the only way Ghanaian artists can claim their royalties from other countries is when we have good enough systems in place to claim the royalties of artists of other countries.
He also spoke about artists creating good enough images of them and limiting their accessibility to their audience once they hit a certain level. There was a question on when an artist needs a manager to which Keith responded that in a situation where an artist is doing all the work, the very moment the business side of managing the talent begins to interfere with the creativity, someone has to be brought in to handle certain things and this person has to be a manager.
The issues that were disseminated at the seminar were infused with personal and professional experiences of the various speakers. At a point, Lawyer Mike Ocquaye entreated musicians to be serious about registering their music.