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Ameyaw Says

My first Kojo Antwi Experience

I have always wondered why huge crowds fill out Kojo Antwi’s 24th December concert year after year; and after my first experience this year, I perfectly understand that it is usually the only real concert in Ghana all year round and I am willing to be a part of this annual ritual from here on. […]

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I have always wondered why huge crowds fill out Kojo Antwi’s 24th December concert year after year; and after my first experience this year, I perfectly understand that it is usually the only real concert in Ghana all year round and I am willing to be a part of this annual ritual from here on.

From the setting of the stage to the selection of performers, it was clear that a lot of thought and preparations had gone into the production. There was something for the old and young and the culturally conscious ones were not left out at all. With supporting performances from Ghana and the rest of Africa, the excitement and anxiety grew with every passing minute until Kojo the Music Man got on stage.

The night kicked off with a cultural performance from the TQTJJ Drama and Dance Ensemble and as the night went on, the experience was spiced up with thrilling performances from the likes of Black Prophet, Okomfo Kwadee, and Wutah. And while these artists rocked the stage, I couldn’t say the same for Pricky from ‘Obaa F3f3’ fame. He looked like a fish out of water compared to all the other Ghanaian acts, his lyrics and unwarranted Jamaican patois left very little to be desired. Even having half naked girls dancing with him on stage couldn’t save his act and I think he was a bad inclusion. What made it worse for me was that he used some swear words in his intro; wrong crowd wrong move.

As usual, the Maestro included some acts from Africa in his concert this year and since I haven’t seen any of the past shows I cannot compare the selection from this year to previous editions. However I wasn’t particularly impressed with Ethie Sing from the Republic of Congo. Before she came on stage, most of the previous performers had performed to a large extent with a live band and so the atmosphere and the minds of patrons had been tuned to that richness of sound but her performance was CD backed and most of the time I couldn’t even hear her actual voice. I thought we were passed the era of miming or whatever it was that she did. And to make it worse, she couldn’t bring in the Francophone vibes with her dancing. Her Congolese colleague, Lelo did much better with his song and dancing though. The francophone groove was felt in his waist wind and that of his dancers. It was not surprising that he had a better response from the audience. Nigeria’s Flavour of ‘Ashawo’ fame did not disappoint either as he performed his hit song much to the admiration of the crowd. I even caught former First Lady Agyemang Konadu Rawlings even singing a few lines of the song after she had danced with one half of the duo, Wutah earlier on the night.

After all the supporting acts had performed, it was time for the main event. Kojo made a grand entrance in a Jiao (Chinese palanquin) carried shoulder high by 6 Chinese men (well maybe Korean or Japanese but they all look the same to me) amidst soothing vocals from a Chinese singer. He was gently placed on stage and revealed with immaculate theatrics. When he got out of the litter; he went straight into his act and charmed the crowd with his classic hit, ‘Me Nya Ntaban’.

From the opening act, there was no looking back as he rocked the auditorium of the National Theatre with one hit after the other. With a catalogue of hits spanning two decades of a glorious musical career, Kojo Antwi was spoilt for choice and even the crowd couldn’t decide on which songs they wanted the icon to perform. Whenever he asked the audience which song they wanted to hear, there was a chorus of indecision. No matter what song he performed, Kojo Antwi was simply amazing and clearly only a few Ghanaian acts could perform non-stop for almost two hours with the sustained energy he put up, especially at his age.

My favourite performance had to be ‘Happy Anniversary’ taken from his latest album, ‘Mwwaah!’ The ballet of sort treatment he gave the song was simply breath-taking; relevant and classic. One of my other highlight was seeing Efya Awindor render Kojo Antwi’s hit song, ‘Dadie Anoma’ with such soul and ”divacity’, truly Ghana’s got talent. South African singer and friend to late icon, Marian ‘Mama Afrika’ Makeba, Sontae gave a glowing tribute to the late singer when she performed ‘Pata Pata’; and Kojo’s duets with Nana Yaa, as expected, ware classic acts.

Oh what a night! I wanted more but after performing ‘Adiepena’, the Chinese singer was back on stage and I knew before long that it was all over. I enjoyed every moment of the show even including MC KKD’s unorthodox hosting skills and stunts. They surely were interesting fillers love him or hate him! I wish I could join the long queue of fans who wanted to grab their photo moment with the icon after the show had concluded, but I had to leave so I could tell the world of the wonderful experience I just had. See there next year.

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Ameyaw Says

Where are they now? Big Brother Africa Season 1 housemates

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When the Big Brother reality TV phenomenon took over the world, Africa was not spared. Thanks to M-net and Endemol, my family caught the bug early in 2001 with Big Brother South Africa. With larger than life characters, as well as a prying and eloquent host, Mark Pilgrim, we witnessed two seasons of fun, unpredictable television. A crazy Ferdi won season one while another crazy housemate, Richard, won the second season. (more…)

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Ameyaw Says

Celebrating my 40th birthday with orphaned children and abused women

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I want to thank everyone for the amazing well-wishes, prayers and gifts that characterised  my 40th birthday celebrations. You inspire me to excel more each year!

One of my biggest highlights was on Monday, when I visited orphaned children and abused women at the Potters Village Home, in Dodowa.

I first heard about the home when Ameyaw TV was invited to cover a donation earlier in the year. I was touched to make a similar donation when I watched our video from that event.

Watch the donation to the Potters Village Home below

The Potters Village is a charitable organization established to provide care and support to women and children who suffer domestic violence and abuse. To donate to The Potters Village, visit https://thepottersvillage.org/ or call +233243573386

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Ameyaw Says

“Every artist needs a Bullet” – Wendy Shay praises her manager

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Wendy Shay has heaped praises on her manager, Bullet for being the best in the industry. (more…)

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Ameyaw Says

Is it time to scrap ‘Artist of the Year’ from the Ghana Music Awards?

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As a keen follower of the Ghana Music Award for over two decades, I have observed how increasingly it has become difficult to award the ‘Artist of The Year’ over the period.

 

Today, I ask whether that category is even necessary? What is the true measure for the artist of the year – be it for a genre or the ultimate? As the current scheme stands, and looking at how winners have been chosen over the years, I doubt there are indeed any standards for scoring and judging the ultimate ‘artist of the year’.

 

An obvious standard for measuring an outstanding artist would first be the body of work. I know the Ghana Music Awards over the years has also considered the level of artistry and the performances of the artist as a key indicator or measure for choosing the artist of the year, which I find pretentious and even contentious because we each look for different things in a performance.

 

So by logic, in choosing an artist of the year, the number of hit songs (good or bad), album or EP ratings, and public ratings would be good indicators. By this logic, Diana Hamilton wouldn’t be the strongest suit for Artist of the Year for the 2021 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. For the year in review, I honestly only knew of her smash hit song, ‘Adom’. If she had an album, I don’t know of it. She was not nominated for an album or an EP this year; she came into the competition with one strong song, and an obvious backing of ‘industry people’.  Looking at the nominees in the category this year, the others had more than just these attributes!

 

Over the years, we have come to accept the Ghana Music Award scheme as being a judgment of the Board, the Public and the Academy. While I love it for this unique outlook, it comes with its inherent challenges also. And I feel that to preserve the integrity of the awards, some changes need to happen. This includes scrapping off the Artist of the Year category. We have seen the scheme adapt and make changes over the years including new categories, new definitions and more. In fact this year saw the introduction of Afropop/Afrobeats Artist of the Year and EP of the year, to reflect the growing changes in the industry.

 

I think it is about time to build the various genres of the scheme and make them competitive enough for the artists that win each genre to be the top award for each genre, example, Highlife Artist of the Year or Hip-hop artist of the year. For instance for the Grammys, the top awards in the “General Field” are four awards which are not restricted by music genre. These include The Album of the Year, The Record of the Year (which is the Vodafone most popular song of the year in Ghana, and not so much its equivalent), The Song of the Year (which is a songwriter award unlike in Ghana) and The Best New Artist.

 

The ‘Artist of the Year’ unnecessarily makes the awards overly competitive for the musicians, and frankly, it has been proven enough that the Ghana Music Awards scheme does not have what it takes (in terms of the standards I mentioned earlier) to adjudge the ultimate artist of the year in Ghana. For instance, by logic, looking at the nominations this year, Diana Hamilton was the only gospel artist in the ‘artist of the year’ category, which meant that by default she had already been adjudged ‘gospel artist of the year’. Yet, the ‘gospel artist of the year’ is supposed to be a combined judgment of voting by The Board, The Academy and The Public.

 

It’s time to clean up!

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Ameyaw Says

My Top 6 highs of the 2021 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards

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The 2021 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards was billed to be the biggest night for Ghana’s music industry, and for most parts, it lived up to the expectation, and perhaps even surprised some people.

After a not so inspiring Day 1 of performances and industry awards, Day 2 on Saturday picked up with a number of amazing moments. And here are my picks

Tribute to Castro

Singer Kurlsongx led medley of hit in honour, Castro 7 years after his speedboat accident. Castro will be  legally declared dead this year, and the tribute was very befitting, although the performance was entirely great. Kofi Kinaata and Sarkodie joined Kurlsongx to before some of their biggest collaborations with the ‘hiplife colossus’.

Mr Drew’s performance

Mr Drew proved why he deserved the New Artist of the Year honour with a well produced performance. The energetic performance was backed with solid vocals and exciting dance routines. His ability to control his vocals while dancing proved that he is indeed gifted with both.

 

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Adina’s show of intent!

Adina came to prove a point on Saturday and her performance clearly was a show of her intent to remove doubts about leading this year’s nominations. She begun with the touching ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ tribute to her late father and picked up the tempo with the Reggae/Dancehall song of the year, ‘Why’. Adina won two of the biggest awards at the VGMA this year including Record of The Year for ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ and Album of The Year for her eclectic ‘Araba’ album.

 

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The Asakaa vibes

Yaw Tog , Kofi Jamar and Ypee got the chance to be a worthy representation for the new wave of music from ‘Kumerica’ that characterised the new vibes of the Ghana music industry in the past year. collectively the performed two of the biggest jams of the years including ‘Sore’ and Ekorso’.

Queen amongst Kings

Ghana’s number femcee, proved she deserved the Best Rap Performance laurel with a well coordinated stage craft that made me fall in love with her, in a new kind of way. Her flows were effortlessly executed and her coordination with her dancers were well choreographed.

A worthy champion

The 2020 Artist of the Year, Kuami Eugene, who was also in the running for this big gong this year came with a strong performance to prove why he was the reigning champion. The performance had a lot of layers and progression, something not very characteristic of Kuami Eugene.

 

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Ameyaw Says

Watch: HITZ FM’s Dr. Pounds ties the knot in star-studded traditional wedding

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HITZ FM on-air personality, Dr. Pounds- real name Maximous Mensah has married his fiancee in star-studded traditional wedding in Cape Coast. (more…)

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