There’s no denying the fact that, in the Ghanaian music industry, only a handful of the chunk of relevant artists can boast of a good live performance; the rest just suck on stage!
In that era when highlife music and gospel music were the most popular and most patronized genres of Ghanaian music respectively, music enthusiasts and consumers never fretted over live performances when they attend various concerts.
Now, the complaints over the lack of showmanship and abysmal stagecraft in live performances by this generation of relevant Ghanaian artists are deafening.
Audiences attend shows or concerts for very basic reasons; to be captured, engaged, get interactive and to be entertained – ultimately.
Audiences deserve better from our musicians especially when patrons dole out hard-earned money to pay for tickets in anticipation of seeing and enjoying good live performances.
Here, is a guide to some of many ‘tricks’ on how Ghanaian acts can actually put up stellar live performances;
One of the reasons most artists falter on stage is their tepid attitude to practice. They fail to comprehend that the audience are discerning enough to know what good performance is. If your band isn’t rehearsing, your band isn’t improving – simple as that!
The most important thing artists can do in preparing for a gig is to focus on playing their songs consistently and doing it well.
To improve, artists must practice songs in a wider variety of environments and situations; play standing, walking, in the dark, under lighting, while talking and also without looking at the band. The key point is to practice playing consistently well in all those different scenarios.
- Stage Fright
Every performer is said to feel a little twitch of nerves, minutes before hitting the stage; from Kojo Antwi to Kwabena Kwabena to Samini, they all feel it. When the nerves become excessive, it is called Stage Fright and that is simply a ‘career-spoiler’.
Stage fright can mess up any artist, up regardless of how well you have practiced like Efya or how great the band is like OBY Band. To eliminate such an albatross – artists must firstly – not to put unnecessary pressure on him/herself to perform at a very high level. He/she must enjoy the music and have fun.
Secondly, an artist should have a mindset of not being on stage to impress the audience like Stonebwoy but to give them an experience, a moment where they get to enjoy the music, like Samini will do.
If Ghanaian artists want more music fanatics to consistently come out to pay to witness their gigs, they must develop great stage presence. When you play live, your music is only 50% of what most people in your audience care about. The other 50% is what they see.
The artist must communicate well with the band, even without gesturing or giving them a stern look. They should have control and a good command of the supporting cast.
The artist must be engaging, highly interactive with the audience by talking sensible stuff in-between songs like Becca and must let the audience participate in the performance.
- The Band
In live performances, there are two critical elements; the artist and the band. The two elements need to gel and be in-sync to be able to attract a standing ovation. The artist must focus on making the band better in the practicing of his/her songs for a gig.
Band rehearsals should be about the band playing the songs rhythmically, matching dynamic levels in various parts of the songs and developing great stage presence.
Band practice is not about holding people’s hand through the process of learning the songs which should have been learned at home. If a band mate cannot play the songs flawlessly during rehearsals, send him/her home to learn the songs or replace him/her.
- Recordings Of Rehearsal & Main Shows
It is important that artists record their rehearsals, just to help them make critical changes in preparing for the main act and it is even more essential for them to study the recordings of the gigs they play – to help them improve for the next gig and the next!