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Ghana’s media has been swallowed by ‘Californianism’ – Okyeame Kwame

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Legendary Ghanaian singer and songwriter, Kwame Nsiah Apau, professionally known as Okyeame Kwame or Rap Dacta has recently disclosed a significant observation that Californianism has heavily influenced the Ghanaian media landscape.

 

During his appearance as a distinguished guest on Channel One TV’s The Chat, Okyeame Kwame addressed the question of whether he believes that many young creatives are shifting away from traditional Ghanaian practices. He pointed out that the media has been impacted by American culture, particularly Californianism.

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According to the ‘Small Small’ hitmaker, Californianism represents the Americanization of global cultures, with American movies, music, and music videos being highly appealing worldwide. This influence has allowed American hip-hop music and pop culture to dominate the global pop culture scene.

As a result, artists often find it easier to connect with the American system for visibility and distribution, rather than the African system. For instance, after completing an album, artists typically upload it to platforms like iTunes, Spotify, or Apple Music, which are more American-centric. This contrasts with the difficulty of finding platforms that specifically cater to Ghanaian music genres like Hiplife or Highlife. 

Okyeame Kwame emphasized the importance of intentionally preserving the roots of one’s sound in the face of such influences.

“It is just that the media has been swallowed by Californianism… Californianism is the Americanisation of global cultures. American cultures have taken over the world because their movies are so beautiful, their music is so beautiful, and their music videos are beautiful…so they have found a way through hip-hop music and pop culture to sort of take over the pop culture of the world and because of that, it is much easier to plug your art into the American system so that your art will be visible than it is to plug it into the African system.

“For example, after you are done making your album, you will put it on iTunes, Spotify or Apple Music, which is more American…then when you go online, you cannot find a place that says Hiplife or Highlife.. but you will find Hip-hop and Reggae but wouldn’t find the Ghanaian sound there. I’m not blaming anyone but I am saying if you are an artiste like me and you really want to be visible, you just create a hip-hop channel and you just plug it into the already existing channel for distribution and visibility,” he explained.

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