IN the last few months, conversations about female artistes have been about their lack of longevity and what could account for why they are unable to go far.
For international Jazz musician Stephanie Benson, the reason why the ladies were unable to stay at the top for long was because their growth was stunted. She said they were being forced to be who they were not.
In an interview at the Graphic Showbiz offices last Thursday, she said, “The growth of the female artistes in the industry is stunted. These ladies are told what to do, what to wear and how to be who they are which is not good. It’s not giving them the chance to be themselves so how do we expect them to go out there and make things happen?
“Let us take how they dress, for instance, many of them are doing things that you can clearly see is not them. I have had the chance to see some of them perform and you can see what they are doing is not who they are.
"Instead of them being allowed to be themselves and do what will make them comfortable, they are pushed into a certain shell,” she said.
Continuing, Stephanie added that, “What the industry has not realised is that they are artistes and should be allowed to be that.
“Let’s take a look at the guys; they do what they want to do, dress any how they want, some perform with their trousers down their butts and still get applause. But when a lady shows some skin, she is tagged a slut. How can they grow.? she queried.
Stephanie Benson also criticised the kind of songs the female artistes do which do not propel them to the top.
“Look, whatever you are doing here, you cannot do that better than the original people who brought it so why don’t you do something different from the usual? They need to broaden their horizon and do songs that can be enjoyed by everyone irrespective of where they are from.
“Some of them go outside Ghana and perform to their friends and say they are touring; basically, it is like you performing ‘from Ghana to Ghana’. How do you expect to cross over?”
Stephanie Benson said she was ready to work with anyone who approached her and was willing to share her expertise with them.
“I am ever ready to work with anyone who comes to me but then, the issue is that, I think some of the up and coming female artistes like to go to the ones who are grounded here in Ghana. I get the male artistes come to me more.
“I have this at heart so I recall about a year or so ago, I organised an all ladies dinner where every female artiste was invited so that we can bond and do great things together.
“Honestly, it was my dream to do that every year but unfortunately, I had cancer and had to stay away for a awhile. So on my part, I am trying to bridge that gap between the up and coming ones and the old in the industry,” she said.
Stephanie, who is known for music, had her first movie role in 40 Looks Good On You and she told Graphic Showbiz it was a great experience.
“The movie was good and the character was something I loved. For the past eight years, I have had scripts and I always turn them down but this one was different. Someday, I hope to feature in a comic movie,” she disclosed.
Stephanie also hinted that very soon, she would drop a song and video with her sister Akosua Adjapong called Odo and indicated that Ghanaians would see a different Akosua Agyepong in the video.