UNTIL the advent of social media and the second coming of Dancehall artiste, Shatta Wale, with his Shatta Movement, the idea of fanbases in Ghana was not a familiar one.
However, today, having a loyal fan base has become something of a key requirement for an artiste and the popular ones are riding on their huge numbers of supporters to promote their works.
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While the likes of Sarkodie (Sark Nation), Shatta Wale(Shatta Movement) and Stonebwoy (Bhim Nation) are reaping the fruits of having strong fanbases, Afro-Dancehall artiste, Afro Ages, says that is not the way to go since the practice is not encouraging fair competition.
Speaking to Graphic Showbiz last Tuesday, December 31, the graduate of the Ghana Telecom University College said such groups stifled the progress of new artistes since they only concentrated on promoting the works of their icons.
“I’m not against these groups but I’m only stating my observations about the vibrancy of these fanbases, which even hinder unity in the industry because the groups champion solo artistes instead of the collective interests of the whole industry.
“Any artiste who undervalues the importance of fanbases does that at his or her own risk because its positive impact was felt in Kelvyn Boy’s career. Even though he is very talented, his career shot up because of his association with the Bhim camp where he had the full support of Bhim Natives.
“But the case might have been different, if he had been on his own from the start of his career despite his huge talent. He would have struggled to get the attention he earned on a silver platter by his association with Stonebwoy.
“Apart from finding ways of getting recognition for your talent as a young artiste, you have the burden of proving your worth to these fanbases whose only aim it appears is to promote the works of their music icons. It is always a difficult situation and doesn’t encourage young talents,” he stated.
Afro Ages, who was previously known as Ages Africa, explained that despite his misgivings about fanbases, he wouldn’t mind having a loyal group supporting his brand.
“If it will support my cause as it has done for my seniors, then I have no choice but to follow the trend,” he stated.
Afro Ages made a bold statement on the music scene with his debut World of Love album in 2015 which had songs such as Colour of Love, African Smile and Good Luck. He has gone on to release a number of songs including Make Me Sing, Hold Me, Slowly and Edukromu Nsuo.
The artiste, whose real name is Awoonor W.G Selorm, said his new name, Afro Ages, was part of rebranding himself for greater exploits in 2020 and beyond.
“Under the new brand, Afro Ages, I will be releasing a double Extended Play (EP) in a few weeks while I also intend to embark on projects in areas like Year of Return, Global Warming and Child Protection,” he said.