The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry in collaboration with the Creative Arts Agency and some stakeholders of the music industry on Thursday, launched the #PlayGhana initiative.
This initiative aims to promote Ghanaian music across the country ahead of the Christmas ‘detty December’ activities where there is an influx of diasporans spending their holidays in Ghana.
Speaking at the press briefing, The Director of the Creative Arts Agency, Gyankroma Akufo-Addo, noted that through the Christmas season, a time when the creative community shines, Ghanaian culture, including fashion, arts and food, travels to other parts of the world courtesy of diasporans. However, music always lags.
“Today marks the day that we are pledging to push Ghanaian music to the forefront of our audiences, starting at home. The Creative Arts Agency will collaborate with stakeholders and players of the music industry, film and broadcasting to review our local content regulations,” she noted.
Miss Akufo-Addo added that “both the Cultural Policy and the Broadcasting Bill must be amended and enforced. Our Nigerian cousins have implemented 70% local content law, within music, film and broadcasting, Ghana must do the same.”
Also at the #PlayGhana press briefing, musicians Smallgod, Samini, Reggie Rockstone and Black Sherif were present to help push the initiative.
Samini noted that it was high time Ghanaian music was given at the front seat stating that the consistent play of foreign music over local songs has greatly affected the promotion of the industry.
“We’ve always been advocating the fact that we need to hear more of our music when we are in our own territory. Because that’s what we see when we go to other territories. If you go to Kenya, for instance, you hear strictly East African music. Yes, of course, we have the Nigerian invasion, which is inevitable, which is not the competition here.”
“That’s not the complaint here. That’s not the target here. What we’re talking about is that, especially for the fact that we have beyond the return, which has become like an asset to Ghana, should anybody travel here and listen to 70% foreign music and 30% Ghanaian music, then what music have we sold to those who returned,” Samini added.
The ‘My Own’ hitmaker stated that Ghanaian music is underrepresented on streaming platforms explaining that continuously feeding the public foreign music has introduced them to other singers rather than the country’s own.
“It has to be a deliberate approach. It has to be strategic and deliberate, without malice to any other force or any other group. Let’s make sure ours is ours, and let’s make it appealing to the masses,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, Black Sherif stated that they are not apportioning blame to anyone but rather hoping for a united front to push Ghanaian music.
“You know, this is not a blame game. We are not blaming DJs. We are not blaming artists. We are not blaming consumers. It’s a step in the right direction for us all, our music and our culture. So play Ghana. Blessings.”
Meanwhile, Smallgod stated that this was not to stoke competition with anyone or country but a project to garner support for the music industry.
He hoped that every stakeholder and the general public support the agenda.
“We’re not saying don’t play other music, you could play other music but let the people feel Ghana and feel us,” Smallgod added.
By: Nasiba Yakubu