GH music industry not business-minded — Singer Zakia

BY: Delali Sika
Singer, Zakia

GHANAIAN music is on the rise and our artistes are getting global attention; but for some players in the industry, getting recognition alone is not enough when there is nothing to show for it by way of financial rewards.

One of such players is singer Zakia who has told Graphic Showbiz that the industry has lost focus when it comes to the business aspect of doing music.

According to her, the industry was yet to acknowledge the power it carried and how much money it could make.

“West Africa is the powerhouse of African music, and Ghana has contributed enormous talent to music through Highlife, Azonto and Afrobeats. No one can take that away from us as an industry.

“However, I feel we have lost focus, we haven't quite mastered how to make money from the great talent that we have,” she said.

Zakia said the inability of the industry to take the business side of music seriously had contributed to a lack of investor confidence.

“There is low investor confidence in our music industry because we haven't been able to prove to the business people that there is money to be made from Ghanaian music. A lot of the people with money still don't believe music is a viable business investment, so it's hard to convince them to come on board.

“Without the financial backing, a lot of talented artistes are struggling and might never get heard by the world, unfortunately. Of course, a few artistes such as Sarkodie, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale have been able to break the glass ceiling, but they are the exception, not the norm,” she stated.

The Ego Bee singer added that with the great talent that abounded in Ghana, the industry should have had more global superstars than it currently did, adding that, “I'm hoping to change that with my music.”

There has been a lot of talk about how the Ghanaian music industry needs structures to become more competitive globally, but for Zakia, functional labels are also very important to the growth of the industry.

“When the industry you operate in doesn't have strong structures, everything you do is trial and error. We have very few correct and functional labels in Ghana, so almost everyone is an independent artiste.

"What this means is that there's no formula, there's no team, no money and no one to guide you on how to properly develop and sell your talent.

“Under these circumstances, of course it will be hard to blow. And the few people who can help are also not willing to do so because of bad experiences they've had with some artistes.

"So instead of presenting one united front, the industry currently looks like ‘each man for himself, God for us all’. If we get past some of these things, the industry will be much better,” she stated.

She also raised concerns about how female artistes were treated, saying it was appalling. “People who have the ability to help you will often not do so unless they can take advantage of you, especially if you're a female artiste,” she added.

Zakia, who has been doing music for the past five years, has released a new EP titled Purpose and she is optimistic it will catapult her to the top.

“It's my first-ever project, it is made up of six songs and I’m super proud of it. I’ve been doing music for some time now and through the highs and lows, I had to take some time off to rediscover myself and my passion for music.

“I finally came to the realisation that music is my purpose in life. It is what I was born to do and I am determined to give my best to my audience. The EP has something for everybody, there are songs about motivation, love and of course heartbreak,” she said.