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Ignorance robs musicians of revenue — Bob Pinodo

BY: Elorm Kojo Ntumy
 Bob Pinodo

Veteran highlife musician and educationist, Bob Pinodo, has said it is worrying that many Ghanaian artistes are unable to make appropriate financial gains from their works in spite of their amazing talents.

In an interview with Showbiz last Friday, Bob Pinodo, who has been a lecturer at the University of Education at Winneba in the Central Region for over 10 years, said  lack of education about the music industry as a whole has resulted in many Ghanaian artistes earning peanuts from their hard work.

“There are many talented young people in  music in Ghana  but they are unable to market what they do. Many of them are only concentrating on putting  songs out there but not really concerned about what  structures are in place to bring them respectable income for their toil,” he said.

Bob Pinodo, also known as Show Master of Africa,  told Showbiz that  he would organise seminars nationwide, in collaboaration with the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), to educate artistes about the business aspect of the industry.

 Some of the key issues to be tackled at the seminars include  how to compose hit songs, copyright and intellectual property registration and artiste marketing  on the local and international fronts. 

“The seminars will be held in all the regional capitals  because artistes everywhere need to be educated. Many people, for instance, still  do not know the basic difference between a producer and an executive producer.

“Some think a producer is someone who finances and markets your music commercially, but this is erroneous. That is the duty of the executive producer. A producer prepares the required logistics for recording and the artiste involved even has to  pay the producer,” he said.

Bob Pinodo, one of Ghana’s foremost  showmen in music, was honoured with the Arts Council of Ghana award in 1969  as the country’s most talented musician.

 He recorded his first album in Germany in 1977 and became well-known for songs like Disco Dance, Yesu Me M’agyenkwa, Love is Love, Girl with the Guitar Shape, Come Back Love, Africa, Darling and Peep To See.  All those songs were on his  Show Master of Africa album  released on the  Essiebons label  in 1978.

The album got airplay  on the BBC and won  Pinodo more laurels from the Entertainment Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana (ECRAG) and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).

The experienced musician pointed out that most of the music we listen to in this country comes from only a few geographic locations such as Accra and Kumasi, but there was a wealth of talent across the country that needed to be tapped.

“We have instances of foreigners coming into this country and repackaging our indigenous music  to make hits. That’s something we should be able to do easily with fair bit of education,” he said.