Ruff and Smooth lessons for Ghana Music Awards from VIP, R2bees and others


From the moment the nominees for the 2011 MTN Ghana Music Awards were announced, I have received many calls and emails asking me for my views on the nominations this year, and if indeed I would review it like I have done in the past years.

Well, my opinion may not be different from most people but I have grown to accept that we will never be fully satisfied with the nominations. Nonetheless, we can only try to minimize the perception of nepotism if indeed it is only a perception.

Do I think Ruff & Smooth deserved to be nominated? Yes! Do I think Bless deserved to be nominated for Highlife Song of The Year? Yes! Do I think Bless did enough to be nominated for Discovery of the Year? Well, No! For me, I thought even Ako Nana would have rounded up that category much better. Anyway, Just like the PR for the awards said, the GMAs is a people’s choice awards and though many songs and artistes came up for nominations, in the end it was only the few that impressed the members of the various committees most that made their cut.

The problem I found with the nominations this year however goes beyond the argument of who deserves to me nominated or not. Well, not completely disassociated from that argument but my problem was more with the considerations for nominations in terms of time of releases and what constitutes a commercial release. For instance, at the 2009 GMAs (held on April 4), R2bees were nominated for a number of awards including ‘Discovery of the Year’ because even though the group had not released an album at that moment, they had two hot songs that were sold and used as CRBT (Caller Ring Back Tones). On December 18, 2009 R2bees finally released their album, ‘Da Revolution’. The album was not nominated in any category for the 2010 Ghana Music Awards. However, the group was nominated in 4 categories this year with the same album.

This got me thinking that the selection process may not have a clear direction spelt out for considerations for nomination; or that the GMA still doesn’t have the benefit of the systems to check releases etc. So I contacted the GMA PR machinery about my concerns and I was assured that measures are in place to fine tune the process further in that regard. I wasn’t given a satisfactory answer regarding R2bees but I was told that starting from this year, a more comprehensive definition for releases would be put to work. According to the Ghana Music Awards, commercial releases have been extended beyond the release of an album and the release of a single for CRBT, to include paid public performances of songs. Therefore any single or album that falls within this definition and is released between December 1 and November 30 would qualify for considerations for nomination.

By this new definition, GMA admitted that some hit songs within the calendar period qualified for nominations but were not nominated. Juno Turkson, Media/Public Relations Manager of Charter House (organizers of the awards), commented that a song like ‘U Sey Weytin’ by Ziggy was withdrawn by his record label, Lynx Entertainment because the label claims the song had not been commercially released. She also explained that the peeved duo, Ruff and Smooth’s ‘Azingele’ was in the list of nominations but couldn’t make the final cut after the committees had voted.

It however seems to me that the new definition for releases that can be considered for nominations for GMA would still be flawed since the scheme doesn’t rely on internal mechanism to support the process. I’m waiting for the time when artistes and their labels would not determine if their songs have been released or not. If by GMA’s definition, a song qualifies to be nominated, then that should be the case and everyone must play by the rules. It happened in 2010 when VIP withdrew their nominations a few days to the actual ceremony. Hopefully, that would be the last time that such an episode would ever happen. To ensure that the VIP incident doesn’t happen again, GMA has introduced a mandatory document that artistes or their labels sign to show consent that the artiste or label has accepted the nomination.

Hopefully these changes would go a long way to contribute to the growth of the Ghana Music Awards.

Source: Ameyaw Debrah



About ghanamotion

Founder and CEO at Ghanamotion Limited.

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