Where’s gospel music gone?

In the history of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, there come some years when a drought hits some categories and organisers are hard put finding enough deserving song nominations.

It has happened in the highlife category before as it has in the reggae category. But never has  the drought hit the gospel music category until now.

Reliable information reaching Showbiz ,ahead of the grand launch of the biggest event on Ghana’s entertainment calendar, suggest  that unlike prevoius years when the Nominations Board was spoilt for choice when it came to gospel music, this year, the  Board is struggling to fill the gospel categories. 

The VGMA Board is made up of music industry personalities representing the various sectors of the industry. The Board is responsible for categorising and collating the entries submitted as well as shortlisting the final list of nominees per category.They contribute 50% of the votes scoring for the industry awards categories and 30% for the public awards categories.

Insiders tell Showbiz that, the situation of the scarcity of deserving gospel nominations was observed at the categorisation stages of of VGMA but it was hoped that as the days went by, more nominations would come in. 

Problems of quality in terms of production, lyrical content and originality, Showbiz learnt, were some of the problems that were encountered.
This year’s nominees, organisers say, will be revealed at the Grand Nominees Party on Saturday March 1st at the Golden Tulip Hotel.

It follows weeks of researching, short listing, categorising, verifying and confirming the various entries submitted for nomination.

In previous years, the VGMA Board, citing issues of sexually explicit and somewhat violent lyrics have disqualified among others, songs like Linda by Samini, and Agyei by R2Bees.

“We are not here to stifle creativity or dictate to our artistes as to what kind of content they should express in their songs. No. They can sing about anything.

Music is a creatively inspired art and no one should attempt to stop that. But once the music will also be consumed by children and some sensibilities may be affected, our plea is that our talented musicians always give us radio edits of those songs they themselves agree have some ‘adult’ themes lyrically and also to ensure that the radio DJ’s play the radio edits.

That’s all we’ve been saying…” Nii Ayitey Hammond, VGMA Board Chairman.

The strictly by invitation event starts at 8pm with performances from some of the finest talents in the industry. It is expected to host most if not all of the players in Ghana’s music industry with a huge representation of the press.

Information on dates, venues, formats, hosts, performers, etc. on the various festivities including this year’s nominee’s jam, the industry awards and other forum as well as the much anticipated main event will all be disseminated at the event.

The 14th Vodafone Ghana Music Awards is a Charterhouse Ghana Event supported by GHOne TV and sponsored by Vodafone.