Ghanaian music doesn’t cut across; we are left behind – CEO of Akwaaba UK

The Chief Executive Officer of Akwaaba UK, Dennis Tawiah, has expressed worry about the inability of Ghanaian songs to be appreciated by other nationals across the world.

Dennis made this statement on Joy FM’s Twitter Spaces show ‘Joy Entertainment Unpacked’ on Wednesday, June 1, 2023, while responding to reasons some Ghanaian artistes are cancelling their foreign tours.

He said that apart from the fact that some of the artistes are not able to get the required numbers for their shows abroad, it is also important to note that a lot of people from other countries find it difficult to relate to Ghanaian music.

He told the host Kwame Dadzie that at present “Ghana music is left behind,” explaining that it is as a result of Ghana’s music not matching up to the new wave of music in the world.

According to Dennis who is a formidable force in the promotion of Ghanaian music in the United Kingdom, in the past when Ghanaian music was popular outside the country, they were really in charge.

“When Ghana music was what is was we were also filling bigger auditoriums,” he said.

“Our current music that we were putting out doesn’t cut across, meaning not everybody is liking or listening to our music. You need other people liking your music to come to your event to be able to watch. It doesn’t matter how much promotion you do. Where we are right now you need Zimbabweans, Senegalelse, Nigerians, Puerto Ricans, you need everybody,” he further explained.

He said music from other parts of the world produced by non-Ghanaians appeals greatly to a lot of people.

“Recently I did a survey myself. I got 10 young students between the ages of 16 and 25. They got their playlist out on their phones and only 2 [maybe] had some Ghanaian artistes on their playlist,’ he said.

Dennis, who organizes the annual Ghana Party in the Park concert in London, indicated that the people he used for the survey are within the age group that consume music the most on the internet.

Emphasising the relevance of language in marketing music to a foreign audience, the Akwaaba UK boss said that Wutah’s song Big Dreams made it to a playlist on Choice FM in the UK because of the content of the song.

He indicated that, at that time it was difficult to have songs that had little or no English in the lyrics to make it to their playlist.

“Wutah made the breakthrough for us because of their lyrical content at the time. Nobody is giving them credit for it. What is happening right now is that our music doesn’t cut across. I am not saying our music is not good but it doesn’t cut across,” he reiterated.

Postponing tours and concerts is not new in the music industry but the recent cancellations of foreign tours by KiDi, Gyakie and Sarkodie have raised concerns among music enthusiasts.

While some of the artistes have blamed it on ill-health and “circumstances beyond control”, other entertainment stakeholders have attributed it to low ticket sales, visa issues, contractual disagreements, among others.


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