By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
I stand for correction but I do not have any vivid recollection of multiple albums produced by Ghanaian musicians on the same day. Such occurrence may have happened some longtime ago but since I had enlightenment in this creative industry, I am yet to witness such a phenomenon.
History beckons us!
Sarkodie announced few months ago that he would release his 8th studio album on 11/11/2022 and that date was locked in. Out of nowhere comes Wendy Shay, who postponed the original date for the release of her new EP, ‘Enigma’ to 11/11/2022.
While we were contending with two releases on the same day, then comes Kwabena Kwabena, who has also announced the release of his new album, ‘Fa Me Saa’ on, you guessed right – 11/11/2022.
In the past, albums identify an artiste. Musicians were extoled and appreciated for their ability to release albums, so, the number of albums released by an artiste tells of the level of work and effort he/she has put in his career.
The music industry tilted for a period and there came the fixation on singles – a norm which was gradually accepted albeit not recognized by the true music heads, who still believe the making of an album is an integral part of the making of a consummate artiste.
The validation of singles is probably the reason a Kofi Kinaata has no album to his credit despite being one of the most-sought-after artistes from Ghana.
Thankfully, in the last couple of years, the appreciation for albums/EPs is being felt and although the young guys are not releasing albums like Nana Kwame Ampadu and Daddy Lumba, they are embracing the attitude that goes with making an album.
It is not an easy task making an album, a quality album. It takes time, dedication, commitment and precision. From the process of writing songs, rummaging for the right features and requisite clearances to studio sessions to post-production to the pruning of songs; the making of an album can be a stressful one.
What makes the process quite enjoyable is the fact that, it is their (artistes) job. They are mandated to produce music, sell music and the making of albums forms part of that trade, so, it has to become a fun ride for most of them.
In order to come up with a chart-topping, quality album – artistes need good songwriters, good collaborators to good producers etc. to put in the kind of work that would ensure that the album (s) get rave reviews, garner patronage, make the charts and eventually annex laurels.
No ‘King’ In the Space?
Some years ago, one dare not attempt, no wait, one dare not mull over releasing an album the same day a heavyweight artiste is releasing, no one. But here we are, in 2022, and artistes are simply not petrified to release albums/EPs the same day a ‘huge’ artiste is also releasing.
Sarkodie is one of the biggest artistes in the region, the most decorated artiste of all time in Ghana and has one of the biggest followership in the region. He is ‘King’ of all he surveys so; wanting to go toe-to-toe with him takes guts.
Interestingly, Sarkodie was first to pick the date and he chose that release date months ago. The fact that, the likes of Wendy Shay and Kwabena Kwabena are willing to release on the same day means – they are obviously trying to get into the attention game and bite off Sarkodie’s chosen day, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.
With their decision, it means they have such a strong conviction in their respective brands and are willing to put their popularity to the test.
By deciding to go at it with Sarkodie, Wendy Shay and Kwabena Kwabena do not really care about any force called Sark Nation and have belief in their own support base and are willing to bank on it.
It is very refreshing to see other artistes have such faith in the fact that, the industry is a big one and can easily accommodate everybody whether one artiste commands a bigger fanbase or not. We wait to see!
Having 3 different projects by 3 different artistes is an unprecedented move and the anticipation to how such an episode pans out is tickling.
Will the release of the other projects affect Sarkodie in anyway or he shrugs them off like dirt off his shoulders, believing that Sark Nation, a group he has trusted all these years, would go out there and make him proud again.
Will Wendy Shay’s conviction that the space is big enough to accept and validate several projects on the same day be fulfilled or she would face some reality check? Will Kwabena Kwabena’s advisors laugh to the bank with the decision to release the same day as Sarkodie and Wendy Shay?
The anticipation to witness how all the albums would be received across the world is building and history would be made come 11/11/2022.
Support Is Key
The move to have projects released by 3 different A-list artistes on the same day is a good one but essentially, they would need support. The support of inundating our timelines with artworks of the album covers, the support of playing singles off the albums and ultimately, the support of streaming the albums on all digital platforms.
With such multiple releases, it would be enthralling to have these projects top all the relevant charts and see Ghana music win.
It takes immense support from us all to ensure that none of the albums ‘tank’ and all would be properly received and patronized.