It’s almost three weeks into the opening of nominations for the 2016 Ghana Music Awards and the controversies surrounding the awards are heating up.
Gospel musician OJ, born Michael Oware Sakyi, is asking organizers of the awards, Charter House, to scrap the Gospel Album of the Year category from the award scheme if they think it are not important.
He said, “If they think gospel is not doing well enough and they don’t want us to be part of it, they should be bold and tell us”.
The 2014 Gospel Song of the Year winner was reacting to suggestions by some entertainment pundits that the Gospel Album of the Year category should be scrapped. They were analysing the awards on Hitz FM’s ‘Showbiz This Week’ with MzGee.
George Quaye, Public Relations Officer of Charter House in a recent interview with ‘Showbiz This Week’ revealed that some entertainment pundits are calling for the category to be scrapped and joined with the album of the year category but according to OJ, it would not be fair since gospel musicians only have three slots on the scheme.
According to the ‘Maye Se Mo Pen’ singer, the awards has only three slots for gospel musicians out of over 28 categories and so scrapping one will mean that they will have only two slots making them insignificant.
“Over twenty-something categories and we have only three slots for gospel music and you want to scrap one out of it so it means the entire awards, we only have two slots for gospel music, then it means they don’t want us to be part of the awards”.
OJ alleged that because gospel artistes do not have any representative on the award’s board, they are often denied many opportunities.
“Already we don’t have the voice, we don’t have anybody to do that for us on the board. How many gospel musicians are on the board? There’ve been several times that my song has come up for Song Writer of the Year but because I don’t have any voice on the board speaking for the gospel genre, sometimes when it comes to voting, they’ll vote against the gospel people so already we are at a disadvantage,” he said.
He echoed again that “if we have only three slots for the entire awards scheme and you want to take one out of it and give us two, then you might as well tell not to come there at all.”
On whether gospel artistes could compete with the other genres in the album of the year category, OJ said, “they should put us there. Are they not in control of the awards scheme? But at the end of the day we’ll still stand at a disadvantage, whether they put us there or not, nobody is going to vote for a gospel musician against a secular artiste.”
He, however, stated that the argument that it is only gospel musicians who have that category cut out for them and that other music genres do not have same, a reason for which some pundits are calling for it to be scrapped, is flawed.
“Nobody is telling the other artistes to release only singles. If you don’t have the songs to make an album and you think you’ll release only singles then it doesn’t mean that the one who have a lot of songs who can put it on an album is making a mistake,” he added.
OJ nevertheless advised artistes who do the other music genres to also release albums instead of singles.
“Why don’t you compile the songs and maybe get a five track song or eight track song and just do it an album because at the end of the year if you come out with eight songs within the year and you release them as singles, you might as well put it on one CD and make it an album.”
Credit: Joy News