Music groups break up not unique to GH — Industry players
NOT too long ago, Ghanaians were spoilt for choice when it came to music groups which were a force to reckon with in the music industry.
As if it were a competition, groups such as Akyeame, Akatakyie, 4X4, BukBak, 5Five, R2Bees, VIP, Keteke, FBS, Wutah, Rana, Dobble, Ruff and Smooth, Keche among others, hit the limelight and dropped big hits after hits.
But lately, one can even count the number of Ghanaian music groups on one hand and still have some fingers left.
This is evident in award schemes such as the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards(VGMA) where music groups have been missing from nomination lists for the past two years. So what could be the reason for so many defunct music groups in Ghana?
In a chat with Reggie Rockstone, a member of the defunct VVIP, he told Graphic Showbiz that groups breaking up was not peculiar to Ghana, and that it happened all over the world.
“This is not peculiar to just Ghana, it seems to be the whole world over because globally there are lots of groups which have fallen apart, and the truth is that groups are harder to manage than solo artistes.
“Especially today, with modern technology, people can individually express their artisteticness very easily, people have studios on their phones so you know what I am talking about. It is a bit more difficult managing groups and that is a fact”, he added.
And when it was pointed out to him there was no Best Group of the Year category at this year’s VGMA, he expressed shock, saying, “I have been busy with other things and until you mentioned it, I didn’t even know there was nothing for music groups this year. I tell you, it is not very easy to keep a group together.
“People really have to applaud groups which have stayed together for long like VIP to VVIP etc. Even the Jackson Five who were family broke up, talk of the Commodores. I think it is just a wave and a time will come when the groups will pop up again. As I stated earlier, it is not peculiar to Ghana,’’ he said.
Artiste Manager, Nana Poku Ashis, shares Reggie Rockstone’s views, adding that “It is not a Ghanaian thing, it is a global thing. All over the world, groups are very difficult to manage— talk of Boys 2Men, Beatles etc. Eventually, you see people going their separate ways.
“Individually, everyone has their own mind and how they want their future to look like. When you come together initially, you see that you are part of something great but as time goes on, you realise your vision and ideas are different from those of your colleagues.
“It could be money, it could be women, it could be so many things that tend to break the group up. Individual idealogy makes group members think their vision is different from the others.
“Some may also feel that they are bigger than the group because after all, they are the ones everyone calls when they want to reach out to the group. That has caused so many groups the world over to split up so it cannot be said to be just a Ghanaian thing.
“However, when it comes to Ghana, I think it has a lot to do with the fame which actually gets into their heads and people tend to feel that they are bigger than the group so they decide to leave. This is what has messed up many of the fine groups we have had in Ghana. As at now, we only have a few such as Keche and R2Bees, all the others couldn’t survive the test of time”, he said.
According to him, R2Bees have probably survived because they are family. “So their understanding is different from all the others while Keche are town boys who grew up together and are childhood friends.
“Managing people’s egos and understanding is very difficult. Lastly, what family and friends put in the heads of these individuals also play a role, making them feel they are bigger than their group members etc,’’ he concluded.