The organisers of the annual Ghana Meets Naija concert officially launched and unveiled musicians to rock the big stage at this year’s edition on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at Oak Plaza Hotel in Accra.
It is the fifth edition, which promises to be exciting and even much bigger for music fans both in Ghana and Nigeria.
What in my opinion will make the 2015 edition even more exciting is the fact that, a new sponsor has come on board and in all indication, promises to be an unforgettable experience.
Telecom giant Tigo, this year, has taken over the sponsorship of the show touted by many industry pundits as the second biggest show in the country after the prestigious Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.
READ ALSO: Tigo Ghana Meets Naija 2015 Launched: Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy Face Nigeria’s Mavins Crew
Hence, from this year, the official name is Tigo Ghana Meets Naija following the sponsorship deal between the organisers, Empire Entertainment, and Tigo. This year’s edition would be organised under the theme Unleashing Unlimited Music.
According to Jesse Agyepong, the Head of Marketing for Tigo Ghana, the reason Tigo is sponsoring the Tigo Ghana Meets Naija is because his outfit believes in supporting the music and entertainment industry in Ghana.
“Our association with this event is in line with our commitment to support the music and entertainment industry in Ghana. It is also to create platforms for local musicians to highlight their talent.
We will continue to be part of the art industry because we believe that promoting our artistes is an important part of the growth of the music industry in Ghana,” Jesse added.
After the launch of Deezer, which gives music fans the opportunity to enjoy unlimited music on the platform as a Tigo customer, the telecom company has entered into the entertainment scene with some force.
Besides the Tigo Ghana Meets Naija, Tigo has also acquired the rights to sponsor TV3’s biggest live music show, Music Music as well as other entertainment shows in the country.
This only goes to increase the marriages between Telcos and entertainment events organising outfits. It can only get better as the years go by; imagine if all the telecom companies are taking such an active interest in the country’s entertainment events.
Ghana being the host nation has the strongest squad at this year’s edition of the show and representing the country is the current biggest act and showstopper, Sarkodie.
He will share the stage with the most controversial artiste in Ghana, Shatta Wale and Ghana’s current Artiste of the Year, Stonebwoy.
They are referred to by the organisers as Ghana’s Triple Threat. Indeed, they are a threat to the Nigerians.
Nigeria will be well represented by the 7-man Mavins Crew headed by Don Jazzy. The Mavins Crew minus Tiwa Savage who is pregnant and expecting are Reekado Banks, Dr Sid, Korede Bello, Di’Ja, D’ Prince and Don Jazzy.
When the show was launched in 2011, the idea was to give an opportunity to the best of musicians in both countries to lock horns on the big stage and entertain their fans and other patrons in a musical showdown.
Over the years, the event has evolved to the extent that, musicians from both countries capitalise on the show to collaborate on songs among themselves. There are some hit songs, which have come out due to the show proving that the event fosters friendship among the musicians.
However, there is also an element of who carries the show, as has always been the case. With that said, as far as that element is concerned, in my opinion I think that, Naija is hugely at a disadvantage.
Unless some magic happens on the night to make sure the Nigerians carry the night, I do not see how they can match up to Sarkodie, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy.
In Ghana’s camp, Sarkodie has the most hits and popular songs followed by Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy in that order. Their songs and current appeal in the industry will give them the chance to cause a musical tsunami on the show.
These three artistes have individually organised successful shows but not much is actually known of their Nigerian counterparts in that regard.
The Mavins Crew who will be making their first ever appearance on Ghanaian stage can boast of Dorobucci and Adaobi with the former being a huge hit in the country.
I do not know how they will defend the “Naija no dey carry last” slogan. If the show was taking place in Nigeria, the story would have been much different but since its happening in Ghana, nothing is changing.
Having said that, the show has managed to bring about numerous collaborations, I am of the opinion that, it is about time that Empire Entertainment under the tutelage of Bola Ray factor that into the contract.
It should not be compulsory but it should be suggested to the artistes representing their countries to pick an artiste from the ‘opposing’ country for a collaboration.
If this message is sold well, the artistes will buy into that. It will at least eradicate totally or minimise the huge collaboration fees artistes charge before collaborating with another musician.
According to the General Manager of Empire Group of Companies, Ms Laillah Crystal Banda at the media launch, “This year will be even more spectacular and is sure to give music fans an experience to truly relish.
“ The fervour with which the Ghana Meets Naija vision was realised in our first edition still shines through as we celebrate five years of bringing you a premium entertainment experience.
“ All patrons will have a story to tell after they indulge in this year’s event, Tigo Ghana Meets Naija 2015.”
The above is a sentiment that I share in especially with the new sponsors on board. At least, with the show being five years old with Tigo coming on board, both must strive to give patrons an everlasting experience.
Come Saturday, May 23, 2015 at the Accra International Conference Centre, the story will be ‘Tigo Ghana Beats Naija’ or you disagree? As usual, we will continue the debate when we meet in the streets.
By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz