By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
Every week comes with that trending topic that gets almost everybody talking and this week has been inundated with intense chatter on highlife artiste, Ronald Kweku Dei Appiah, also known as Bisa KDei.
Bisa has garnered some well-needed attention with his tweet and that’s what every artiste needs. Regardless of its positivity or negativity, the most important thing is – almost every arts aficionado and every entertainment show discussed him and in doing so, they play/played his song(s).
Maybe it was not deliberate, maybe it, was but the fact is; if you attack the media, there’s a high possibility you would become the talking point for the ensuing days; because, for some strange reason (s), the media finds it quite difficult to accept any form of criticism, whether genuine or misplaced.
The Infamous tweet
It has almost become a norm, where the celebrities, in this time of Corona virus and less activity – have been engaged in a ‘Questions & Answers’ session with their fans on their respective social media platforms.
Bisa KDei tagged his session, ‘#AskBisakdei’ and during the period, a fan queried him on the reason his songs are not being played. The response;
“It’s an agenda, they have taken money to do that. If you love my music, keep doing that. The media is fake.”
Within seconds of the tweet hitting the platform, all hell broke loose, as media men, bloggers, entertainment journalists, entertainment critics and music fans – all descended on the artiste with all manner of invectives.
The backlash was instigated not because the artiste fingered the media, but for his generalization of the fact that the media is fake and also for the preposterous comment that, some media personalities have taken money to stifle the play of his music.
Clearly, the severe reaction he got was stemmed from the obvious fact that, his assertions could never hold water, considering how he was once the toast of the industry, once touted as the ‘King of Highlife’, by, guess who – the media.
That tweet was unfortunate and it seemed as though there was no way an apology was going to come from the camp of Bisa Kdei. This is due to the lousy excuses his team feverishly tried to come up with to justify the tweet.
At one point, one of his Managers defended the sentiments of the artiste and at another point, the Personal Assistant (PA) of the artiste was made to take the fall. The flippant excuse was; the P.A. was at some point, commandeering the ‘Q&A’ session and sent that tweet. The attempt to pin the faux pas on the PA was aggressively rejected by critics and discerning followers of music.
At this point, the only honourable thing left to do was render an apology.
Speaking for the first time on the subject, Bisa, on Hitz FM’s ‘Daybreak Hitz’ said; “It was a mistake that we are trying to rectify…if I offended some people I plead that you forgive me.”
Considering how Ghanaian artistes find it quite difficult to apologize whenever they err, the apology from Bisa was bold and a very necessary move.
He Is Not Close to Failure
In responding to Bisa’s tweet, quite a number of media personnel and critics came at him, some, very hard. One of such was film maker, Kofi Asamoah (KOFAS), who stated on Peace FM’s ‘Entertainment Review’ that the artiste was suffering from post-traumatic failure. That was cold!
First of all, since attaining prominence in 2013, Bisa has been soaring and has never been close to failure. From 2013 to 2017, the artiste was on a pedestal of Ghanaian music – achieving a high level of audience appeal, fame and popularity. Within that stretch, he won close to 30 Awards, from the VGMA to AFRIMMA to MOGO to Ghana Music Honours.
The actuality is; Bisa is one of a few Ghanaian artistes that have such impressive grounding on the international music market. His music is highly appreciated outside Ghana and his popularity is remarkable.
On the low, he’s been touring outside Ghana for years, collecting bountiful revenue and signing deals that put him as one of the most successful artistes in the last decade.
Aside everything else that comes with music, he has built houses, has cars and is living comfortably off music, Ghanaian highlife music. He is nowhere close to failing!
The Core Problem
In 2016, Bisa Kdei was the leading man of Ghanaian music, as he topped the charts and graced almost every high profile concert. He was heavily touted as the ‘Hope of Highlife’ as his popularity skyrocketed.
At the 2016 VGMA, he was the first highlife artiste to be nominated for the topmost category, ‘Artiste of the Year’ since Ofori Amponsah in 2006.
Unfortunately, he was beaten to it by rapper/singer/producer, E.L., but he still went home with the ‘Most Popular Song of the Year’.
Now, here is where the problem was!
Instead of consolidating his grip on the local scene while pursuing acceptance and prominence on the international front, Bisa and his team decided to fully focus on the international market and relaxed their fixation on the local dominance.
Credit to his team, as the objective of gaining international recognition paid off and still reaping dividends, unfortunately, he lost his hold on the local market and he’s been floundering to get it back.
The likes of Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Shatta Wale, and even Kidi and Kuami Eugene, all have such impressive international appeal, but they still command influence on the local front. Bisa, unfortunately doesn’t and that’s a fact!
Frustration and depression can build when one, who used to enjoy all the popularity, acclaim and recognition loses all these plaudits and has and is still trying everything in the book to reclaim such glory.
We Need Each Other
Bisa Kdei is still Bisa; he is still producing the same quality songs and complementing them with quality videos. Artistically, he never fell off. His ‘grind’ never stopped.
He needs the media to do as it did from 2013 to 2017, projecting his brand and music and making him one of the most influential figures in Ghanaian music. He needs to do whatever he did that got his songs on constant rotation, whatever he did to get his news item on blogs, websites etc. He needs to get back to whatever endeared him to the media and music lovers across the country.
Bisa is a top artiste, a quality artiste that projects Ghanaian music in such a positive light. The media needs to support his music and his brand. He is our responsibility and we must act right!