According to the rapper, the sour past of the music rights body makes it unattractive to young musicians.
Newly sworn in Chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), Kojo Antwi, apart from promising a transparent and accountable leadership, is targeting a campaign to woo young musicians into the organization.
The musician, together with eight other board members, was sworn into office as the new Chairman after he contested the position unopposed in Wednesday’s GHAMRO elections.
About 3,700 members of GHAMRO cast their votes in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale to elect new board members for the music rights body. Wednesday’s elections were the first in GHAMRO’s 25-year history.
Kojo Antwi, who was a member of the GHAMRO board that was dissolved by the Human Rights Courts in July 2014, speaking in an interview with Myjoyonline.com said the new board will bring back the hope that GHAMRO badly needs.
“I think they all need hope and I believe I represent that. We need to find a way to arouse [young musician’s] interest in copyright issues because when they write those songs, someone needs to educate them that this is your intellectual property,” which is their social security, the music maestro noted.
The GHAMRO chair said he will embark on an education campaign to educate young musicians on the importance of copyright to them and GHAMRO as a body. But rapper Edem, born Denning Edem Agbeviadey believes it is easier said than done.
Speaking on News Night on Joy FM Thursday, he said “I’m optimistic but at the same time I have a reason to fear because if there has been inconsistencies for 25 years, it’s going to take a lot to earn the trust of the average artiste. It’s going to take a lot of work to win the confidence of the artiste because this body represents the interest of everybody. This is probably the social security of an artiste.”
The ‘Koene’ hit singer explained that, “If every other industry has structures and this industry hasn’t had any for 25 years and then there is a change, I’m sure people will still have a lot of concerns and it’s going to take a lot of effort, rebranding and a lot of commitment to be able to convenience the average young artiste that they have to believe in it.”
Edem also blamed the lack of interest in GHAMRO on some leaders in the industry who failed to give them the right tutelage as young artistes.
“I don’t know where the GHAMRO office is…if the younger ones like me don’t know where the GHAMRO office is, if the younger ones like me don’t go to GHAMRO meeting,” then there is a problem, he said.
He agreed that “the younger people have to be involved” in the affairs of GHAMRO but warned that “you have to really feel as a young person that they [GHAMRO] have your vested interest.”
A key issue, the rapper noted, was the concern that older artistes were being paid more than the young crop of musicians who are active on radio and are doing well.
“If GHAMRO is really in the interest of the artiste, then it has to make a conscious effort that the artiste gets what is due them to be able to gain their confidence.”
Mark Okraku Mantey, who was also part of the GHAMRO board that was dissolved by the Human Rights Courts in July 2014, believes that the elections should change things for the music rights body. “It is good we are going through some of these processes, it will get better.”
“I expect them to do what people said we couldn’t do,” he urged.