Local music is one of Ghana’s more glittery treasures. The artistry that is displayed year after year reflects the innate creativity that individuals from around here are laced with. Hence it is very common for the tag ‘golden generation’ to be flung around when a new crop of Ghanaian musicians springs up. The days of E.T Mensah, Ebo Taylor and Osibisa were culturally iconic and arguably G.O.A.T status. The era of Amakye Dede, Kojo Antwi and Daddy Lumba easily got you in your feels. The Reggie Rockstone movement which birthed Obrafuor, Lord Kenya, Sarkodie and a league of talents was/is grittier and grimier than ever. You could pick a favorite from each generation and there are definitely more gems, categories and subcategories interspersed in and around the aforementioned sects to be discovered if you delve deeper.
The spirit of ‘Free The Youth’ reverberates through the streets of Ghana and there is an untamed urge for young adults to spew their creative juices and unapologetically express themselves through their craft.
More now than ever, the music business is commercial and profitable. It is really a business. The vehicle of digitization has opened the door for artists to extend the frontiers of their reach beyond Ghana, in effect, making it easier for their artistry to be appreciated by a variety of markets. Spearheading this new wave of music in Ghana is the youth. The spirit of ‘Free The Youth’ reverberates through the streets of Ghana and there is an untamed urge for young adults to spew their creative juices and unapologetically express themselves through their craft.
It is also pleasing to see people take to them almost immediately and for a cult following to eventually be realized. ‘Internet Babies’? Well, why not? King Promise, Kidi, Kuame Eugene, Wendy Shay, MzVee, DJ Switch, Herman Suede, Kwesi Arthur, Kuvie, Nxrth, La Meme Gang and a host of other talents under 25 years, have received huge boosts in their music-centered crafts from some form of digitization just over a year after entering the game. I stress that every generation in their prime have had that hunger – the levels may vary – however, digitization is the game changer. It is relatively easier to get put on these days. The likes of King Promise, Kwesi Arthur and DJ Switch, who are still burgeoning in their various crafts, have not had to wait until the twilight of their careers before they hit an international stage. One like or retweet indeed goes a long way.
All of their success that does not fall at the doorstep of digitization however. The work ethic and nous of these young folks is there for all to see. They learn quickly in order to come to terms with the ever-changing trappings of the game. EPs and albums are fearlessly dished out, self-organized concerts are now rife, media tours are embarked on, brand endorsements are more attractive and more. Perhaps, the gusto and energy needed to be a ‘360’ artist in this age makes it even more obvious that this is indeed the time for the new crop of musicians to get their due.