Like a 15-year-old voluptuous lady in an environment filled with hyenas, music made in the savanna is ready for exploitation. Quick to pursue validation, we never crosscheck the reasons behind the sudden interest in what we do. For a society riddled with several insufficiencies and inadequacies, it is not surprising that a periodic surge in its growth will attract national, and in some cases world attention. Music seems to have been the major benefactor of these glorious surges, especially music made in Tamale.
There was a period where Abu Sadiq, Sherrif Ghalle, Sirina Issah, Blackstone, Lord Wunpini and several others brought hope, in the quest to popularizing music made in the Northern Region, what came out of that is however a mystery to some of us; whilst some of the above mentioned acts still make music, others have found love in other things.
In their prime, they became instruments of peace amongst Northern dwellers, their faces adorned the newspapers, the TV screens as well as billboards, and they also enjoyed a reasonable amount of rotation on radio across the country. One can argue that the choice to use these artistes on peace campaigns was because of the negative view the general media has assigned to the North of Ghana. A very subjective and selfish view I must say.
Sherifa Gunu at a point became the single voice from the north that could be compared to internationally successful acts like Angelique Kidjoe, her stagecraft and energy was so refreshing her inclusion on major events was a thrill. Her musical prowess led to her being the first Ghana based Northern artiste to become a brand ambassador of a multi-national corporation, Globacom.
Personally I expected Sherifa Gunu to be way bigger than King Ayisoba but it appears her deal came with irrelevance, but can we say the deal is the reason her popularity dipped completely or is it that the media had finished using her as a sultry addition to the band of musicians it is quick to exploit? Very debatable!
The past few months has seen a new wave of artistes of Northern extraction woo their town-folks and make a major statement that dominance in Ghanaian contemporary music is not the preserve of artistes based in Accra, but is as a result of working hard no matter where you find yourself. A good statement I must say, but can the popularity of an artiste in his home effectively guarantee success on a global scale?
To be continued….