Kwame Asare Obeng, known in show business as A-Plus, a controversial hiplife artiste who takes great interest in rapping about politics and social issues, has said that the current state of the Ghanaian music industry requires the services of knowledgeable and competent persons to handle the affairs of the industry in order to generate job opportunities for the players.
"The creative industry in Ghana has a lot of problems which need urgent attention from both the government and stakeholders," he added.
The controversial hiplife artiste whose songs have made a lot of impact on the music scene in an interview with BEATWAVES explained that, some of the many other ways in which stakeholders and the government could help musicians and composers in the industry would be to organise workshops and showcases, establish website and publications, and put in place an exclusive tailor-made benefits packages like health and instrument insurance, a credit union, discounts on musical accessories, travel and much more.
He called for drastic measures to be taken to weed out all selfish individuals whose activities have contributed one way or the other toward the collapse of Ghana's music industry.
Kwame Asare Obeng stated that the players in the creative industry need to also put in place good structures for a smooth flow of music business and also create more jobs for the musicians.
He was of the view that if the government would endorse the musicians in the country by counting the creative sector as a great source of huge revenue for the country that needs to be tapped into; then, the industry would be able to create more jobs.
"The plan here is to get the attention of the government fully, then that first structure will build all other structures to fall in place. People will begin to take the business seriously than they are doing now because we have the support of the government," he disclosed.
A-Plus noted that the creative industry needs leaders who would promote greater participation and transparency as well as involve all the players in decision-making.
"Sooner or later, the creative industry will move from the days of ignorance and oppression into a period of transformation and empowerment, where its operations would be guided by principles of good governance, accountability and transparency to enable them to contribute their quota to national development," he hinted.
A-Plus released an album entitled, 'Freedom of Speech I' right before the 2000 elections in Ghana, 'Mesuro Mpo Na Merekeka Yi O' and 'Yen Ara Asase Ni'.
A-Plus' style in 2000 was a novelty to the hiplife landscape in Ghana. Other than his political songs, he also has a lot of socially-conscious songs, pitting him against the likes of Sidney, Obrafour and others.
After ex-President J.A. Kufour took over the mantle of power from J.J. Rawlings in 2001, he released 'Freedom of Speech II' in which he criticized the wrongdoings of the NPP government and implored them to do better, lest they get voted out of power in the next election (2004). The New Patriotic Party (NPP) won another term in office, but this did not prevent A-Plus from releasing 'Agye Gon', which took a swipe at the 2004 campaign promises.
He has so far, released a number of singles and collaborations with some of the hiplife artistes in Ghana, and currently working on a number of singles to be released soon.
By George Clifford Owusu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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