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No Music Industry In Ghana? 3/16/2007
"Ghana has no music industry," are the brazen words emanating from legendary Ghanaian musicians such as Kofi Ghanaba, Teddy Osei, Mac Tontoh, Gyedu Ambolley and others.

If Ghana doesn’t have a music industry, what then do we have? "A bunch of producers and musicians trying their best to make ends meet," was the succinct response from Teddy Osei of Osibisa fame.

That I learned from one educative programme Music & Copyright hosted by musician/producer/activist Carlos Sakyi on Metro TV.

The television programme seeks to enlighten music stakeholders and ordinary Ghanaians on the basic structures that make up an industry.

The essential components that actually make up a music industry are missing in the Ghanaian music set-up.

There are no proper record companies, no music publishing companies, a floundering Copyright society, and poor management of artistes.

So the question is, Which body is responsible for our music industry? The answer many will blurt out is MUSIGA, but hold it.

MUSIGA is supposed to be just a union with a group of registered members that was formed to cater for the welfare of its members.

Is the union a regulatory body that can make and amend rules and regulations, impose sanctions or revocations on any group or individual in the music industry? Is it the responsibility of MUSIGA to set up structures that make up a vibrant music industry?

As a union, MUSIGA falls in the category of other associations like COSGA, GHAPI, COCCA, UGMA and anything else.

If MUSIGA is just a union of musicians, why then do we always look up to them to put things right in our non-existent music industry.

According to Google Music Encyclopedia, a music industry encompasses composer/singers, producers, record engineers, manufacturers, distributors, managers, tour managers, musicians'' union, a copyright society, record companies, publishing companies, A&Rs etc.

That means MUSIGA, which is a musicians union is a component of a music industry and not the music industry.

It is definitely not up to the Ministry of Culture or The Commission of Culture to ensure the existence of an effectual music industry.

Every component that makes the industry must be up and doing to make it work.

It therefore behoves composers/singers to write good songs that can sell, engineers must be innovative in making beats, producers must be compentent and not self-centred.

The Copyright Society must not allow musicians to chase after meagre royalties, the musicians union should not only be about organizing nation-wide concerts but put up better structures that can support musicians and the industry.

If every component of the music industry is effective, there will be less bickerings between musicians and we can confindently say we have an industry.


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