Why Ghanaian Music Artistes Lose Relevance: The Case Of Ofori Amponsah

Why Ghanaian Music Artistes Lose Relevance: The Case Of Ofori Amponsah

Ofori Amponsah was one of the highly sought-after music artistes in the mid-2000s but lost his relevance after almost a decade on top. YEN.com.gh takes a look at his journey.

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Ghanaian music stars, just like other entertainers, are saddled with many problems during their careers.

These problems include lack of royalties and other structures which make revenues from music very thin.

But apart from the general lack of structures, one other headache of a music artiste is how they can stay relevant in the industry for years.

Why Ghanaian Music Artistes Lose Relevance: The Case Of Ofori Amponsah
Ofori Amponsah was one of the best Highlife musicians in his peak Photo source: @oforiamponsahofficial
Source: Instagram

This issue of artistes losing their relevance has become more prevalent since the late 1990s to the 2000s when the music scene was changed by the emergence of Hiplife.

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While older generation artistes like Amakye Dede, Kojo Antwi, Daddy Lumba, Nana Acheampong, have sustained a large following for not less than 30 years each, some of the best artistes in the 2000s and even 2010s have faded off.

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The likes of Tic Tac, Tinny, Wutah, and Guru were once powerhouses on the music scene. But they do not pull the same crowds as they used to.

It is not easy to pinpoint what might have caused the artistes to lose their grips on their fans but it is always a combination of factors except for Wutah whose breakup as a duo (Wutah Kobby and Afriyie) brought them down.

Even though the slumps of the above-mentioned artistes and many others like them are curious, one artiste whose tumble is most intriguing is Ofori Amponsah, also known as Mr All4Real.

Great start to music career

Introduced to the limelight by Daddy Lumba through their Wo Ho Kyere duet album in 1999, All4Real started on a good note.

He built upon his duet with Lumba with the release of Asew in 2001, Meprawo in 2002, and Sardine in 2003, which were all top-performing albums.

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By the mid-2000s, Ofori Amponsah had established himself among the elite artistes in Ghana with a duet album with Kofi Nti in 2004 titled Rakia and his super hit Otoolege album in 2005.

Dominance on the contemporary Highlife scene

He even stepped up the gear by releasing three more albums in 2007. Emmanuella, Odwo, and a duet with Kofi B titled The Return Of Kofi B.

After a very successful 2007, Ofori Amponsah released four albums in three years. While some of these albums were not as good as the previous ones (considering the standards he had set), they were very big in their own rights.

At this time, All4Real had the Ghana music industry under his feet. He was headlining every major concert in Ghana and beyond with gigs in Liberia and other African countries.

All4Real was also winning numerous awards including six wins at the 2006 Ghana Music Awards including the Artiste of the Year award. In all, he won 14 awards during his peak period and remains the second most awarded after Sarkodie.

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With this stellar record, Ofori Amponsah was on his way to becoming a legend on the contemporary Highlife scene.

Dwindling career in the 2010s

After dominating the music scene in the mid to late 2000s, Ofori Amponsah's career took a nosedive by the start of the next decade.

The drop was so steep that by 2013, All4Real had announced that he was leaving music to become a pastor and even founded the Family of Faith and Love Ministries.

He released a gospel album in 2014 titled The Gospel According to Ofori which did not get much traction.

Return to secular music and Pastor Alewa saga

After failing to hit on the gospel scene, Ofori Amponsah made a u-turn and announced his return to secular music, claiming he would save souls through his love songs.

In 2015, he released a single titled Alewa which featured award-winning rapper Sarkodie. He followed it up with an album Songs of Solomon, which featured songs like Not Falling, Serious, and Wonkoaa.

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Even though Alewa was good enough to earn him two nominations at the next VGMA, it was not enough to propel him to his old heights.

By 2016, Ofori Amponsah had become known as Pastor Alewa because of the u-turn from pastoral work to secular music and had virtually lost his relevance.

Possible reasons for Ofori Amponsah's fate

According to Quarps Hansen, the Head of Music at YFM, there are many factors that come together to take away from an artiste's relevance.

These factors include the timing of releases and the relationship with other industry players including the media.

I think it [loss of relevance] depends on a number of factors...like how often they release music, interaction and relationship with fans and industry players," he told YEN.com.gh.

In Ofori Amponsah's case, Quarps Hansen believes there were are too many releases from his camp and it was such that he was competing with himself leading people to get fed up.

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He added that just like Ofori Amponsah's case:

"...sometimes some artistes fail to evolve with the times when new sounds emerge."

Possible ways to remain relevant

For artistes to remain relevant, Quarps Hansen suggested that they [artistes] should work on their relationships with their fans and the media.

"[They should] work on their relationship with fans and consumers of their music and try to create a strong fan base.
"Also, [they should] have a healthy relationship with the media and embrace new sounds and new waves," he advised.

Source: YEN.com.gh

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