Justify your high charges - Kwesi Ernest to musicians

By: Kofi Duah
Kwesi Ernest charges artistes to give value for money
Kwesi Ernest
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AS the Ghanaian music industry has grown and artistes have come into their own and recognised their value, their charges have gone up, a situation that can sometimes frustrate event organisers.

Now some of the A-list acts can charge up to GH¢60,000 for a performance but for artiste manager and CEO of Media Excel Productions, Kwesi Ernest, a lot of acts don’t justify the rates they charge.

In a recent interview with Graphic Showbiz, Kwesi Ernest said some musicians charged huge amounts only to appear on stage and deliver very poor performances.
“I have billed a lot of top artistes for shows and the money they asked for was too much but they gave very poor performances, we hype some musicians in this country for nothing.

“I can’t pay an artiste GH¢ 40,000 only for him or her to come and jump on stage and get tired after 15 minutes. For crying out loud the fans pay huge money to come and watch a real performance and not something boring,” he said.

Citing an example, Kwesi Ernest said he was very disappointed in some of the artistes he paid for his Bliss On The Hills show up the Kwahu Mountains last year.
“Some of the fans of these musicians get disappointed seeing their artiste put up a poor performance and that goes to prove that musicians are just interested in the money for their appearance.

“This has to stop if we want to go international. Don’t our artistes see the kind of performances the foreign artistes put up? Recently American rapper Cardi B put up a great performance and I was so impressed,” he said.

In Kwesi Ernest’s view, artistes should invest in their craft and stop the hype on social media.

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“An artiste today can be popular but will not even know how to hold a microphone on stage because we have reduced the arts to just trends, hype and popularity.

“The technical aspect of the music seems to be missing so most of the musicians I see today will find it difficult to compete globally on big stages due to most of these deficiencies underlined,” he said.

Kwesi Ernest explained that Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Amakye Dede, Afro Moses, Atongo and Wiyaala are making it out there due to their good stage craftsmanship.

He praised the likes of Lilwin, Samini and Kwabena Kwabena for always wowing audiences whenever they hit the stage.

Kwesi Ernest also tasked musicians to dress well and not jump onto the stage with just any costume.

“The dressing of some of these artistes is nothing to write home about and I wish they would do something about it. They must dress as real celebrities and not wear T-shirts and any dirty jeans,” he added.