Ghanaian Music Groups and their Unending Woes of Splitting

For the past couple of days, there has been a conversation brewing on one of Accra’s biggest media houses. It has been a conversation about Music Groups in Ghana. In fact this conversation came about after Bisa Kdei was reported to have said that he will not advise any up coming acts to be fixated with the idea of forming or joining a music group especially at a time where most music groups seems not to be existent in the industry.

This trigered a conversation where views of musicians who were once in groups but have splitted were sampled. And what an education it has been. Emotions, history, education and some interesting revelations has come to the fore. From the views of these musicians, this is what I have gathered as to some of the troubles Music Groups in Ghana go through.

A. Leadership

Yes leadership. Almost every musician I heard concerning this topic pointed to the fact that one reason behind the breakdown of their groups was leadership. The various groups do not always know who to lead the group. They don’t come to a consensus to ask one of the lots to lead the park. This most atimes stems from ego and the unwillingness from the other party or parties to cede authority and submit to his colleague. At one point, one even testified that they didn’t have a manager to guide them.

B. Money Issues

Again one factor that came up as reason for the split of these groups was money. There seemed not to be a defined plan or system of sharing and spending money made by the group. So the case of the finances became an adhoc movement where we do things as and when they meet us on the road. No savings and no well defined strategy or structure to handle the finances and secure the future of the group

C. The Cliché of “I’m the best in the group”

This is where in the group, one feels he is better than the friend and without him or her the group cannot stand. There is a seeming rivalry among group members which eventually escalates and leads to a split. Ego clashes and a feeling of insecurity from one party or the other. The group get torn apart and you hear them calling each other names.

D. Trust Issues and a lack of thoughts synchronization

Listening to these experienced musicians, what I learnt was the lack of trust that existed between them. You could sense that, these people had individual plans and lacked the synergy in thoughts which hampered there various courses. Most of them lacked the confidence and assurance in the partner(s) to share ideas but then again you can’t work together as a team if you’re always suspicious of each other.

E. Lack of paper work.

There is this phrase often used in our day-to-day conversations that says, “Paper no dey lie”. I think that the greater problem for our music groups is a lack of contractual agreement and paper evidence backing everything they do. Going forward, I believe music groups should sit and put pen to paper and write something to back the “modus operandi” of the group. By that there is a clearly defined role of group players and most of these challenges and troubles will be mitigated.

Big credits to Andy Dusty and his Showbiz Review team on Hitz Fm for bringing this up. I hope going forward, future music groups will learn from this and rise above the challenge of group splits in our music industry. For the few who are still around, you can work on your differences and get back to give us the hits.

By: Qwesi Nabila Zakariah (@qwesi_nabila).

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