Sarkodie’s "Mary" album launch, Akwaboah and matters arising.
I had a brief conversation with a staunch fan of Sarkodie last night and the guy was so furious about my plenty criticism of the management style of SarkCess Music. Well, at least I’m not alone and even Kwasi Aboagye’s confessed media boycott of Sarkodie on Peace FM Entertainment Review proves that my tantrums are not empty when it comes to the way communication is handled in the camp of Africa’s fastest rapper and the BET Award winner. So brace yourself, I’m about to complain more.
First lets talk a little about "Mary" album launch. According to Sarkodie, this album is a dedicated piece to his late grandma which inspired him to do live music and therefore the entire album was recorded live. That’s a big deal but unfortunately ‘the live recoding’ bit totally got lost in their pre-launch media communications at the Westhills Mall in Accra.
What do I mean by it being a big deal? Sarkodie is a Hiplife artiste, a genre whose performers are mainly known for anything not live. For a Hiplife album to be recorded live is therefore a record worth stressing on repeatedly, yet it was somewhat absent in the pre-launch interviews. So the launch came on successfully at the Westhill Mall with conflicting reports on the number of album copies sold. Some reports say a total of 3,000 fans were at the mall with 1000 copies sold. However, other news recorded a total of 4,000 copies of albums being sold. Whichever the case is, my only qualm is how copies of CDs started selling before Sarkodie arrived at the Mall to launch the event. Apart from that, the event was ok. Akwaboah was around but none of the other featured artistes on the album was available to support or interact with fans.
Signing Akwaboah To SarkCess
Let me poke my nose again into the issue of SarkCess Music attempting to sign on ace Highlife and Afro-pop performer and record producer, Akwaboah. I strongly believe it is not necessary and Sarkodie should let the Akwaboah be. Akwaboah is one of the finest musicians we have in Ghana with the exceptional ability to write, produce and sing good songs.
What sort of management is Sarkodie looking forward to give Akwaboah with his less than two-year-old label? Its not news that the media had repeatedly complained bitterly about accessibility to Sarkodie or any of his management team when news about the artist comes up. Getting a publicist or PR person to respond to news about Sarkodie is simply impossible.
Does Akwaboah need a good record label to invest in his craft? Yes, but the investment must be dedicated and big. Because Akwaboah’s craft cannot be subjected to the frustrations and business tracking of profit angry investors or ill manned record labels. That’s not to say that SarkCess Music is a bad label but in their attempt to help Akwaboah they must come to the table with better offer, bigger deal than the usual and I don’t see that happening.
In fact Sarkodie hinted in one of his interviews that Akwaboah is being reluctant about the deal. That goes to prove that, there are elements in the offer that are not in Akwaboah’s favour. What experience has an ace rapper like Sarkodie got in managing a talent like Akwaboah who doesn’t rap but writes and sings Highlife songs? The combination is not right for me and I want to plead with Sarkodie that even though he might have good intentions, he should let Akwaboah be because the time is coming when Africa will know the creative prowess of Akwaboah.