GH musicians in Europe seek closer ties

BY: Kouame Koulibaly
Mama Tina, interim president of JMA
Mama Tina, interim president of JMA

Musicians of Ghanaian descent are scattered all over the world but some of them in Europe are now making efforts to come under one umbrella to celebrate and encourage each other on a regular basis.

The urge to bind to cooperate and promote their music, no matter what genre it falls under, is what has prompted Belgium-based singer/songwriter, Mama Tina, to push for the formation of the Joyful Music Association (JMA) which she says will work hard to forge closeness between Ghanaian musicians in Europe.

“No matter what style we do, we speak the same language through music. That’s why I have been working tirelessly since last year to get the association off the ground,” said Mama Tina who is the interim president.

She launched her nine-track ‘Aseda Ben’ album in Ghana on Christmas day last year. The collection was produced and recorded in Holland by Kweku ‘K Mens’ Mensah with Martinson Larbi helping with arrangements and backing vocals.

“We need to appreciate our musicians in Europe for the good work they are doing. So some of the plans on the cards include an awards scheme and an annual get-together to exchange ideas and generally network for each other’s benefit.”

According to Mama Tina, the initial thought was to push for the creation of a Europe chapter of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) but some European states didn’t seem comfortable with the idea of unionism so the grouping had to be referred to simply as an association.

She said the JMA would have working links with MUSIGA and other viable music-related organisations in Ghana to ensure that there was adequate bonding and creative synergy between Ghanaian musicians no matter where they were based.

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“It has not been easy spreading the word about JMA across Europe but we are making some headway.

Social media has been helpful and many Ghanaian musicians have been in touch asking for more details and how they could join the association. We know we will grow, albeit slowly.”

According to the JMA interim president, the association was open for membership to instrumentalists, singers, producers, engineers, disc jockeys and all others working in the general arena of music.
The association will be formally launched in Gent, Belgium, on June 29.