Talk less and put in the work, Samini
SAMINI is all over the place – and that’s a good thing. Seemingly, he’s done with his well-touted schooling for a degree and is now back to serious music business, hopefully.
Congratulations to him for graduating with a Degree in Project Management after four years of studying at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). Since accomplishing that feat in July, Ghanaians have shown him much love, admiration and appreciation for his ability to stay in school for four years to garner the honour – but it’s enough. The narrative of bagging a Degree has been played out and it’s time to focus extensively on the music.
Samini is granting interviews, speaking on all manner of subjects and making the headlines. That is the way to go; make the interviews, make the headlines and get your name out there but after all is said and done, there must be something to back up the plenty talk.
In his most recent interviews, he seems quite impetuous; bragging about having the biggest song in the last four years among the likes of Sarkodie, Shatta Wale and Stonebowy, branding them as kids, and his ability to single-handedly sell out the O2 Arena, among other attention-grabbing remarks.
Legendary Status Intact
Samini’s position as a true legend in African music is indisputable. From working his way to become the most featured artiste in the early 2000s to becoming Ghana’s most prized asset in music in the late 2000s and beyond – Samini broke barriers, elevated his music and brand to greater heights and hoisted the flag in terrains that were not reached.
Aside producing hit songs; he hosted some of the biggest concerts, shared the stage in Ghana with several high profile international artistes as an independent artiste and showed the way in how to manage a structured fan base.
He signed the most lucrative endorsement deals and raised the bar when it comes to celebrity endorsement and partnership with corporate entities.
In his prime, any Samini-assisted track was a guaranteed hit and if he should ever mount the stage to do Ghana’s version of ‘Verses’, he would have no competition especially with musicians in his era. He was that guy!
It’s refreshing to have these young guns clamour and relish getting nods from international awards but it must be told that, before all that, Samini went, saw it all and conquered. From MTV EMAs, the MOBOs, MTV Africa Music Awards, Headies, and Channel O Music Awards to many others – his footprints are etched!
Stop Living In Past Glory
Listening to Samini talk in recent interviews is quite bewildering as one is not sure if he is just being boastful, trying feverishly to make the headlines or he actually means whatever he says.
Yes, Samini has really achieved alot but to still gloat about such in this age when those who came after you have equally made enormous gains and have surpassed those achievements is something else. You need to humble yourself and know your place and be appreciative of how far the others have come.
The fact is; Samini still believes he is the Samini of 2006 who won a MOBO. He talks with such swagger as though he is still the Samini that won the MTV Award in 2009 or that guy who won the Headies in 2011. So, he speaks in 2023 and refers to the likes of Sarkodie, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale as kids. Slow your roll, boss!
In one of his recent interviews with Berla Mundi on TV3, he confidently asserted that when it comes to hit songs, none of the ‘big’ artistes, namely Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, surpass his hit track, 'My Own', which was released six years ago.
Samini is really telling the rest of the world that, in the last six years, none of these artistes, who have dominated the scene in the best form possible, – did not produce any song that was/is bigger than his song? Ridiculous!
Let’s assume the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards(VGMA) is a true testament of the performance of songs and artistes in terms of popularity and audience appeal in the year under review and Samini’s My Own’ was in contention for the 2018 edition. His song could only make it to the Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year category and couldn’t even make it to the Song of the Year slot.
The following songs were, according to the metrics of the VGMA, more popular than My Own: Ebony’s Sponsor, KiDi’s Odo, Kuami Eugene’s Angela, Shatta Wale’s Taking Over, Fancy Gadam’s Total Cheat, Wutah’s Bronya, Sarkodie’s Painkiller, King Promise’s Oh Yeah, Magnom’s My Baby, Captain Planet’s Obi Agyi Obi Girl, Joe Mettle’s Bo No Nii and guess what, Patapaa’s One Corner.
Fix Your Fan Base
In the Berla Mundi interview, the host prodded that some critics are saying his career has dipped and Samini repudiated the claim, acting all appalled and wanting to show that he is still that Samini, the Batman.
The truth is; Samini is still a force to reckon with but his dominance has dipped, no relevant shows in the past years, no hit songs in the last years and no critical mention all these years – yet he sits there thinking the Samini of 2010 is still that guy in 2023. Get real, brother!
High Grade Family as a fan base was such a formidable unit; an envy of many and served as a blueprint for others to follow, yet his inability to sustain and elevate that support group saw even the core fans join other recognised fan base.
Support is crucial in this business and the likes of Sarkodie, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy have been able to remain consistent and relevant all these years not only for their hard work but most predominantly, having such dedicated and committed fan base that are willing to support every move.
The talk about completing school and now coming back to music is good but the first thing he needs to do is re-galvanize that fan base; that group that would stream his new songs, pay to watch his concerts, support every corporate entity that would partner him and would be willing to defend his cause regardless of how outrageous it looks or sounds.
Samini makes a post, a statement on social media and you hardly get any true member who identifies him/herself as a member of the High Grade family defend him and his legacy. That’s sad!
Let the Work Do the Talking
Talk is good for show business but also in this business, the work counts the most. If truly, he wants to compete with these guys, especially the ones he refers to as kids, he must step it up because these kids do not sleep. They have been ‘grinding’ for years, staying consistent with major moves and carrying their fan base on that stretch.
Listen to him;
“By myself I will fill it, with the right investment, I will fill it you are talking to Batman before I became Samini. Batman, the MOBO Award winner. Kenya King knows Batman. You are talking to people who know that brand. They know that act from that time, it is thriving and still functioning.”
It is interesting to see how Samini is relying on past glory to prop himself up in his talk of selling out an Arena like O2.
The only Africans to sell out the O2 are Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy and most recently, Asake. In the last five years since Samini ‘went to sleep’, Wizkid produced two albums, collaborated with the likes of Beyoncé, Justin Beiber, H.E.R and others; and got nods from the Grammys, BET, NAACP Image Awards, Soul Train Music Awards and many others.
In that span, Davido released three albums, connected with the likes of Popcaan, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Baby, Young Thug and others while getting critical mention at MTV EMAs, MOBO and the Billboard. Burna Boy, during the period of Samini’s inactivity also released three albums, connected with the likes of Diddy, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and a deluge of other international stars.
Simmer down with the talk and show the work, please!