Modern music promo; social media made easy

Pulse music editor David Mawuli remembers running out on to his street in the 80s to listen to the latest hit record played through a van’s loudspeakers, but fast-forward a few decades and times have truly changed. Musicians are no longer bound to radio stations to get their work listened to. He explains the journey from gramophones to Twitter hits.


Once, before we all had access to the world’s music literally in our pockets, we were stuck with a cumbersome machine called a gramophone. And the only way to get tracks played on that gramophone was to get that large disc called a vinyl record. Those things are probably considered an antique now - as the musical and technological journey went on, radio and cassettes were introduced which were portable and convenient to use.

For artistes’ who wanted to get their music out to the masses, they were forced to rely on distribution companies to push their music for them through targeted locations in Ghana.

I remember when I was very young in the 1980s distribution vans came around my town playing loud music through loudhailers just to attract music lovers’ attention to new releases. Those who failed to buy the cassettes had to tune in to the only nationwide radio, GBC Radio, to listen to the latest music.


In the late 1990s more radio stations emerged, so some musicians had to get in line to submit their music to radio DJs and convince them and sometimes pay them to get their songs aired.

Then came CDs – another easy tool which helped distribute music in the twinkle of an eye. Musicians stored their songs on the compact disk which they then gave to fans, presenters and DJs in a bid to help popularize their songs.

But technology had more to offer. Internet became more accessible and cheaper in the 21st century and a new aeon of promoting music with ease was born. Artistes with no music promo adroitness took advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Reverbnation, Instagram and video streaming platform YouTube to get closer to fans and promote their music.

They were able to cut out that middle man - the distributors.

And because of the internet, Ghanaian artistes don’t need to travel outside to get their songs aired on international radio. All they have to do is to upload their songs with a nice cover artworks to their social media fan pages or audio streaming platforms like Hulkshare, Soundcloud, iTunes, Deezer, Tidal and others, and just share.


Artistes have stopped chasing DJs with their CDs. All they have to do is to make an announcement about their new song release date and when the day is due, they upload to the audio streaming sites and share on their social media pages. Modern DJs go online to find new songs and albums to download and air them for free.

Bisa Kdei, the first Ghanaian artiste verified on Facebook got his songs to go viral through social media. His second major hit track “Me Tanfo” hit the international music market through social media. Italian internet sensation, Kofi Filippo, even recorded himself singing to the hit track and uploaded it to his Facebook page. This got the media talking and Bisa even uploaded Fillipo’s video to his Facebook and Twitter pages which gave it even more popularity.

Another hit track by Bisa Kdei titled “Brotherhood” got Manchester United star, Memphis Depay singing to it through social media.

Fuse ODG, another UK based Ghanaian Afrobeats star promotes all his works through social media. His major hit track called “Antenna” had almost one hundred parody and dance videos uploaded to social media platforms.

Stonebwoy’s“Go Higher” became an instant hit when a parent recorded his kid singing to the song and uploaded the evidence to Facebook. Stonebwoy shared and it went viral. Since then, others have tried to use the same social media promo strategy.


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Even when songs trend on Twitter, they are considered instant hits – just forget about radio airplay. Last year, songs like “New Guy” by Sarkodie featuring Ace Hood, “Nyame Be Tua Woka” by Guru, “Pepper” by Lil Shaker featuring Sarkodie, “2 Raw” by Pappy Kojo featuring Edem among others have been considered hit songs, yet they have the least radio airplay.

Aside from just sharing songs with the aim of going viral, artistes can make huge revenues from sales on audio streaming platforms.

Today, music promotion is as easy as Mr. Eazi’s hooks, courtesy social media platforms.


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