Ghanaian musicians have chalked a number of successes both on the local scene and on the international stage but this statement is only true when we are referring to A-list musicians.
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Rising musicians however cannot boast of such successes save the very few like Black Sherif and J. Derobbie who managed to break the chain - even this was with influence from some top musicians.
The artistes above have their instant fame and acclaim to the push from global stars like Nigeria's Burna Boy and Er Eazi.
Even though some A-list Ghanaian musicians and some industry players have pushed for some of our burgeoning artistes, it appears they are not doing enough to bring them up to a certain level.
Generally, burgeoning artistes in the country face many challenges from struggling with management teams and having to cough up huge sums of money just to promote their songs.
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These struggles have seemingly been the bane of many talented artistes who crumble under the pressure and force them into oblivion.
Owing to this glaring challenge and huge gap between the A-list artistes and 'underground stars, YEN.com.gh reached out to JWusu, a musician in Ghana to speak to him about the subject.
25-year-old Joshua Owusu known by the stage name JWusu is a growing Ghanaian musician with massive talent. Starting music at a very tender age, JWusu has some 39 songs to his credit.
"I started doing music professionally when I was 16 after meeting Hydraulix Fonye at Tema. I have 39 songs in total I have only worked with Hydraulix Fonye and Cyche Tunes and so far it has been amazing. Hydraulix Fonye has become family and he handles everything when it comes to producing music. He owns a recording studio and does not charge a penny for everything" I am really indebted to him for holding me down throughout all these years, JWusu introduced himself to YEN.com.gh.
"One main challenge is financial support. I do everything with Hydraulix Fonye...video shoots, recording, music promo and the like", JWusu highlighted one of his challenges," JWusu noted.
JWusu was not keen on talking about the music industry in Ghana and the role it can play to support growing acts like himself but maintained that a lot had to be done.
"The state of the Ghana music industry is a very controversial topic I won’t like to touch, we are doing our best but we can do better", JWusu noted.
He went on to note that he had met a number of mainstream acts but it was not on a professional level. He added that he intended to work on himself to gain prominence and then see if any collaboration could come out of the recognition.
"I have met Kwesi Arthur and Sarkodie before. Kwesi Arthur was my senior in Tema Secondary School so I know him from way back. Sarkodie was at a video shoot and I also happened to be there. However, I have not reached out to any mainstream act so far, I am just trying to push myself up there. Once I am in the limelight, I will get their attention and can work with anyone that connects with my sound", he noted.
According to him, branding and social media presence were two "keys" that could unlock many doors for burgeoning musicians in the country.
"Both branding and social media are very essential if an upcoming artiste wants to get into the limelight. It’s very key. We all can agree that social media really helps an upcoming artist get the needed exposure. A couple of success stories have emerged in the likes of Fameye, Kwesi Arthur, Jhay Bhad, Reggie to mention but a few".
Speaking about his future aspirations, JWusu noted that he envisioned himself breaking into mainstream music in the next three years and also become a household name.
"In the next three years I see myself as a mainstream artist, world recognized and richer than I am today," a rather hopeful JWusu told YEN.com.gh.
"I will also like to meet Sarkodie again and ask for a feature. Just one feature that’s all," JWusu added.
However, the road was long, could be tardy and full of challenges which were listed by JWusu but he indicated that he was working hard to scale some of them.
"It’s only music I do for now so I have to struggle to raise finances to support my craft. I used to pay payola [ money given to radio presenters and djs to have one's song played on shows]. But I stopped in 2019. I just upload them on digital platforms and submit them for them to be playlisted on Apple Music and Spotify. Then I send it to dc leakers Joojo", JWusu added.
Speaking about why he is not able to drop songs as often as possible, JWusu linked that to finances.
"Honestly, I don’t have funds to do more promo that’s why I haven’t been releasing constantly"
Speaking about music videos, JWusu noted that directors were slowly 'killing' rising musicians with the amount they charge for music videos
"Video directors' charges are outrageous. GHC5,000 cannot even get you a decent music video. Any director you call mentions GHC12,000 plus. If you are an upcoming artist with no label, how you fi fund am? Unless you b fraud boy or plenty money dey house", Josh complained.
Touching on support from family with his decision to pursue music full-time, Josh said:
"My parents are okay. They just wanted me to finish university which I have now. So they are okay with my decision to pursue the music".
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