The nomination for the 14th Edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (#VGMA14) has been released by the organizers, Charter House. The list didn’t provoke much uproar (compared to previous years); where some artists and managers have been livid for not making the list.
Despite this good work by the board, I was one of those people who criticized them for ‘spiting on the floor and licking it back’ per some of the nominations. Charter House have for some years excused popular songs from its nomination list for what it called ‘explicit’ content. Artists such as R2Bees, Asem, Obuor, Samini have had their songs banned because of explicit lyrics.
R2Bees had their song “Ajeii” banned in 2012
So for us to see songs such as Adult Music and Tonga, which carry some of the most explicit lyrics making it onto the nomination list leaves one wondering what has changed. Has Charter House effaced the code on admitting songs?
But thinking of it more, one can see the quagmire Charter House finds itself. They are trapped between a hard rock and the devil and
they needed to make a decision and damn the outrage it may court.
Here is what I consider the difficulty: Charter House as an event organizer needs the hottest artists to thrill the fans who will be paying hard cash to attend the Vodafone Music Awards. It is therefore logical to feature artists with hottest records and whether we like it or not, some of the hottest artists have songs that have lewd and suggestive lyrics.
And how do you invite an artist whose song is loved by all (and most of the attendees may want to see him/her perform) and not nominate that artist? The artist can turn down the opportunity to perform if he wants to be belligerent as R2Bees did two years when their hit song Ajeii was disqualified on grounds of having ‘explicit contents’.
Charter House, being guided by the R2Bees experience, won’t wish that to happen again thus bending the rules to accommodate songs which ordinarily (as their own rules specified) wouldn’t have made the cut.
Nnamdi Azikwei of Nigeria’s ‘only a fool doesn’t change his mind’ refrain applies here. I believe Charter House has had a change of heart and mind. The best Charter House could do is to censor the lyrics of the songs during the live performance for TV audience. But again the question remains: who hasn’t heard these songs?
PS: Charter House may I know why M.anifest wasn’t nominated for Songwriter of the Year Award? Have you guys listened to his APAE EP? NO? But I trust you’ve heard some of the singles off that EP. And you still considered his songwriting skills not good enough to make the short list? Wonders!