No! Ghana Is Not Above Grammys

Written by on 09/11/2021


UK-BASED Ghanaian artiste Fuse ODG made a startling claim last week that Ghana is above the Grammys. In an interview with Hitz FM’s Andy Dosty, he stated,

“And for the Afrobeats scene, next to Nigeria, Ghana has contributed more than any other country in the world. We have broken records that nobody has ever gotten to. So Ghana to me is way above the Grammys.”

How Fuse came up with that assertion beats imagination, especially for minds that truly understand the dynamics of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, also known as the Grammy.

His claim is based on the premise of critics judging Ghanaian artistes by their inability to win a Grammy. According to him, Ghanaian musicians’ talent and hard work are way above the Grammys.

State of confusion

In 2018, Fuse ODG was credited as co-writer for Ed-Sheeran’s Grammy-winning album, Divide, which won for Best Pop Vocal Album at the awards. He was overly elated and took to Twitter to express his joy at the feat.

In 2019, Fuse lashed out at journalists Ameyaw Debrah and MzGee over what he claimed was their intention to downplay Shatta Wale’s mention as a Grammy nominee by virtue of his involvement in Beyoncé’s Lion King: The Gift project.

He has on different occasions, expressed strong emotions when it comes to the Grammys yet, here he is, painting a picture of the awards not being that important to the Ghanaian artiste.

If the Grammys offered nothing, then he should not have basked in the glory of being mentioned by the Academy and he surely should not have bothered taking on Ameyaw Debrah and MzGee for their views on Shatta Wale’s nod.

Trolling is normal

In the interview, Fuse ODG also raised the issue of the trolling of Ghanaian musicians when it comes to the Grammys.

The fact is that in this era of social media, trolling has become a permanent feature – a phenomenon that is not only restricted to Ghana. It is everywhere!

Artistes are heavily trolled for varied reasons in the USA, UK, Nigeria and many other countries. In fact, when it comes to the Grammys, Nigeria is worse than Ghana yet the likes of Fuse make it seem as though it is a ‘Ghana problem’.

In Nigeria, the likes of Davido are trolled excessively when it comes to the Grammy conversation considering the fact that his contemporaries such as Wizkid and Burna Boy are gaining recognition in that scheme.

So, Fuse and co. should give Ghanaians a break when it comes to matters of trolling.

“I feel like we need to be careful about equating the Grammy to talent. Ghana has some of the best talents the world has ever seen,” he said.

There’s absolutely no doubt about the fact that Ghana abounds with a lot of talent – many discovered and a lot more yet-to-be-discovered. It is a no brainer!

“The Grammys don’t equal the talent of the artiste. Bob Marley has never won a Grammy in his life, but to me and everyone as well, he’s one of the best musicians in the world,”

he added.

The Grammys recognise talent and the quality such talents deliver. It has nothing to do with ratings, charts, sales and business, it is all about the talent.

It makes sense for an artiste not to be dependent on awards for survival but it also doesn’t make sense for anybody to discount a prestigious awards scheme like the Grammys and all the good it brings.

Tell them the truth

Fuse ODG is a beneficiary of the Grammys. He is credited as part of the winning team for Ed-Sheeran’s album at the 2018 Grammys. He is privy to what that recognition did to his brand and career. He should tell everybody the truth!

Global online music platform Spotify released the top 10 artistes in Africa with the most streams, as reported by Charts Africa.

Making the list with significant numbers, Fuse ODG was the only Ghanaian artiste on the list in Africa with over one billion streams. He had 1.32 billion streams, coming third in Africa and is the only Ghanaian artiste who made it to the global list.

He was behind Nigeria’s Wizkid and Burna Boy who ranked first and second respectively and are also beneficiaries of the Grammys.

The truth must be told that a nomination and a win at the Grammys open doors, offer opportunities, provide mileage and leverage and essentially elevate the brand.

Aspire for the Grammys

In an article for Forbes in 2012 titled “The Grammy Bounce: How Much Is an Award Really Worth?” Senior Editor, Zack O’Malley Greenburg provided an overview of some of the benefits of winning a Grammy.

According to him, a sampling of performers and producers shows a “Grammy Bounce” of at least 55 per cent in concert ticket sales and producer fees during the year following a Grammy win.

The financial benefits of the award can be tremendous for big touring acts as well, according to concert data provider Pollstar. In the year after grabbing Grammy number one, crooner Bruno Mars’ average nightly gross swelled from $130,000 to $202,000 (+55%); multi-instrumentalist Esperanza Spalding swung from $20,000 to $32,000 (+60%); and pop-country superstar Taylor Swift surged from $125,000 to $600,000 (+380%).

The afterglow can last even longer: though Swift got a 380 per cent bump following her first Grammy win in 2010, her nightly gross earnings jumped again in 2011 to $1.1 million.

Rapper/producer David Banner, who won in 2009 for his work on Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III says his typical producer fee soared from $50,000 before winning the award to $100,000 or more afterwards; fellow producer Jim Jonsin’s jumped 90 per cent in the wake of his win for producing Lil Wayne’s smash single Lollipop.

 

Source: Graphic Showbiz


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