Say it just as it is: Kwame Gyan’s candid review of 2013 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards!


Let me say right from now that I think the 2013 Ghana Music Awards was better organised than most of what we have seen lately. Charterhouse did a good job but even with the improved organisation, there were still a lot more gaps that seem never to go away regardless of how old the GMAs grow.

TIMING

So can we start this red carpet nonsense at say 7pm; it runs for say 1 hour and then the show starts at say 8pm so we don’t need to stay till half past 2 in the morning for the biggest award of the night to be given out?

Elsewhere in the world these sort of awards are timed and tied to TV hours. Organisers make money and gain sponsorships because of the eyeballs they get. I don’t recall the Oscars or Grammy going on for 7 hours. If we could have a better timing regime and stick to it perhaps it will help grow the awards.

I acknowledge that our sickening sense of time is still with us but really if we don’t have organisers of events like this work with time to instill some much needed discipline into government officials and ‘celebrities’ then we may never learn. Imagine red carpet starting at an advertised time of say 7pm and then our big stars stroll in at 9pm with no cameras there to capture them…these folks like attention so the lack of it like this will make them keep to time at the next event.

We should be able to finish the awards in 3 hours, tops, 4.

r2bees

RED CARPET

We want to do red carpet so that is fine, let’s do it. But can we learn to do it right, and whiles at it be mindful of the time too? Confidence Haugen was a flop last year. This year, she was a mess. A complete disgrace. An absolute misfit who should not be tried again…EVER! Unless of course she proves that she has learned what she ought to have learned last year and proves it. No point giving people roles merely based on their names.

First of all for live red carpet interviews like this you will need a team of producers who identify guests and alert the interviewer about who is coming next. It seems we didn’t have producers or if they were there then they probably didn’t do their job well or didn’t even know what their jobs were. The onus was therefore on the interviewers to know these people or even if they didn’t, pretend they do and chit-chat for a awhile.

We had instances where Confidence would ask an artiste “are you a musician? What is your name? What song have you sung?”. I felt embarrassed listening to her. Awful. Even for those she knew, she had to ask silly questions as though she was not paying attention.

Charterhouse might have hoped that Ms. Haugen would learn a bit after her debacle from last year but obviously she’s been too busy to bother about learning anything. See, let’s get this straight: the act of interviewing is one which is taught and learned. If you don’t know how to do it, you can learn it. If you refuse to learn it, you will not know it. Confidence Haugen does not know it, she does not want to learn it, so don’t use her!

MCing

KOD is one of my favourite MCs. He did better with his opening act at the Ghana Music Week than he did at the Ghana Music GAwards though. He is nonetheless a fine chap but I think he gets too excited sometimes and it makes him seem all over the place when that happens.

What was that unnecessary bootlicking of the Ovation chap? I have nothing against the man but I don’t like it when he’s seemingly worshipped at literally every Charterhouse event especially by MCs. It is as if they have been ordered to mention his name and to talk to him. We all know about the “Nigerianess” of Charterhouse. It is one we may not want to talk too much about but it sure gets irritating when we have Nigerians feeling bossy in Accra. This is not Lagos or Abuja or Warri or Ikeja. This is Accra.

Eazzy was good, I must add. KOD’s style with picking up from the audience was however very dry and predictable. I also feel they should have used Lilwin a little more than they did. Benny Blanco saved the red carpet a bit. My thoughts.

AWARDS

We all expected R2Bees to sweep the awards and they rightfully did. Odo, walahi, Bayla trap were all fantastic joints that most of us loved. However not everything was as predictable, and controversy reared its heard again. This time round, I sided with it.

Obviously one of the lowest point of this year is the Best Collaboration award given Trigmatic and Herty Borngreat. I hope Herty looks back at tonight’s video. Then she will realise “her fans” know she didn’t deserve this. How does Herty Borngreat and Trigmatic win Best Collaboration when Asem and Kwabena Kwabena’s Bye Bye track was there? The Herty\Trig collabo was the weakest in the category in my opinion. No one should spew that ‘did you vote’ noise into my ear.

I have nothing against her but Herty in my opinion is just a secular artiste who has a cloak of a gospel artiste over her head. When I hear a gospel singer use the word ‘perform’ severally, then I know they are not Ministers of God’s word, but some secular acts camouflaging as gospel acts. Let’s leave that discussion for another day. I don’t think she deserved the gospel artisteof the year. Cwesi Oteng and Omane Acheampong were there you know.

Then there was Bandana apparently pulling a Kanye West with his own remix. First time I heard the expression Shata Wale was at the awards. I don’t know why he thought the award was his and he just had to show up to pick it. I have seen some screen shot that showed that he had the most votes. I can’t vouch for its veracity. But even if it were true do you pour ïnvectives on everyone because you didn’t win? He then takes his disgraceful act to his Twitter page (for a supposed big artiste as he sees himself having less than 2000 follows should be embarrassing) where he has dissed everyone he feels is making him not get awards. Funny thing is, dude says he doesn’t need the awards nor the cash, yet he is upset not to have gotten them.

Indeed awards may always come with controversies but I think some of them can be easily avoided. May be Herty did a lot of work to get her ‘fans’ to vote for her. She obviously ‘meant the awards paaa’ so if votes were all that mattered then may be we should not be too hard on her. I just don’t see how that joint with Trig beats Asem and Kwabena Kwabena’s Bye bye in content, popularity, delivery and all that technicalities you may wanna throw in.

EMPTY SEATS

First time I heard the term ‘seat filler’ was in a movie with same title starring Duane Martin andKelly Rowland. Folks, in the Oscars and things you don’t see empty seats because the organisers fill these seats with regular folks who are not stars. We did see a lot of empty seats and that doesn’t look good for TV nor for the image of the show.

I am sure those were reserved seats. Typical of us, some people have said they will come and have pretended they have lost their watches so Charterhouse have empty seats right in the middle and the show goes on.

PERFORMANCES

ECG took my lights when Amandzeba and Manifest were on stage. From what I picked up on social media, those two rocked. Same goes for the old hiplife folks. Kontihene in particular seemed to have received lots of plaudits from social media.

I know its a night to honour our musicians and all but were they not almost too many artisteson the bill? Methinks they were really a lot and that contributed to the show dragging. We didn’t need to have so many of them. The very biggest hits over the year were those we should have made room for.

I loved the opening act though. Chief Mommen and Efya and our sax dude rocked. It is really cool to embrace spoken word again. Who knows, I may be tempted to start doing poetry again.

Having said all this, we do accept the fact that our artistes have a lot to learn on how to truly perform. They generally suck. Truth be told. Yes, we have improved. Have we improved a lot? No. Can we improve some more? Absolutely.

RIFF RAFFS ON STAGE

We still don’t have a way to control all these nuisances and rifraffs who follow award winners to the stage? They now even grab mics and spew rubbish too?

Come on! The GMAs is 14 years not 1 year old. It is about time we curbed that nonsense. It is totally disgraceful. We have allowed hangers on to now think it is okay to jump on stage when ‘their’ artistes win. They have gone further now to actually grab mic and spew nonsense? Why was Commotion, a self proclaimed manager and MC, doing telling us the life story on an act? And then Nana Yaw Boakye of Talk of GH, by virtue of being a TM boy also grabs a mic! Seriously??

Elsewhere….and I will keep going elsewhere cos we are not learning enough from what we see in the US and UK…I don’t recall ever hearing anyone aside an award winner even attempt to speak. The few cases crews like G-Unit and Young Money ‘invade’ stages, there’s even some organised twist to it. But down here, we behave like some uncivilised bunch who have just being thrown into town. The proverbial Johnny Just Come is actually better enlightened.

May be we should tell winning artistes that when their followers invade the stage they will lose their prize money. No one likes to lose things like money, especially for such frivolous acts by a bunch of people who actually depend on you for occasional 5 cedis.

CURTAINS DOWN

All in all I think it was a fun event. People like me and many others enjoyed ourselves on Facebook and Twitter and considering how the event dragged at some points, it was really cool watching from one’s bed or couch. Let’s get;

1. The awards start early so it can end early. It shouldn’t run for 7 hours.

2. Get the red carpet thingy on point by using trained, experienced people. Benny Blanco was okay. Confidence should never come back. There’s Caroline, Nana Aba, and tonnes of lady MCs that would have done a beautiful job.

3. Limit the number of performances. this is the case where too much meat spoils the soup. Get the truly outstanding songs in the year and not just names without hits.

4. If VIPs won’t come, their spaces should be filled. Its embarrassing having empty seats at a big gig like this. We could explore the idea of ‘seat fillers’ too.

5. If VIPs will come and sit in the front like someone forced them to be there, can we consider shipping them to the back, please?

6. Cut out riffraffs from invading the stage. Let artistes pay for the misbehaviour of their fans just as football teams suffer when their fans disrupt games.

Source:  Kwame Gyan, click here!

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