By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
Lynx Entertainment is arguably, no, there is no argument; it is the most recognized and most powerful record label in Ghana and one of the highly placed labels in Africa – and it took 14 years of dedication, consistency, perseverance and commitment to achieve its current status.
It is the most popular label in the country at the moment as the 5 year old music lover plus his 80 year old grandmother know exactly what Lynx is and who they represent.
Interestingly, this label came, saw, conquered and watched on as a couple of labels came through, huffed and puffed and fizzled. With all the industry related challenges, these guys at Lynx still continue to conquer. The time to shout an ode to the hardworking unit at Lynx is now!
There has been no influential record label since Megastar label, the biggest record label in the 90s; which served as the home for the likes of Amakye Dede, Tagoe Sisters, Rev. Yawson, Nana Yaw Obeng, Kontihene, Pat Thomas, Akwesi Ampofo Adjei (A.A.A), the Megastar Band and many others.
Since 2006, Lynx has shaped and controlled the narrative of labels and artiste projection in Ghana and clearly, they surely would be part of the conversation in the next 10 years if they maintain and ameliorate the structure, commitment and dedication to the venture.
Interestingly, in the years of operation, these astute guys at Lynx Entertainment; Richie Mensah, Albert Mensah, Richmond Adu Poku and the venerated Abraham Ohene Djan, together with the legion of partners and supporters – have parlayed the success of the label unto other enterprises including the production of commercials, modeling and Hypernet, the digital marketing agency which provides a premium suite of digital marketing services.
Lynx Entertainment has survived a higgledy-piggledy industry for the past 14 years, maintaining its relevance, dominance and reverence.
Right Haven for Artistes
Since 2006, the stable has officially signed a total of 10 artistes; Richie Mensah, ASEM, Eazzy, Ziggy, OJ Black, Irene Logan, MzVee, Kuami Eugene, KiDi and Dope Nation. Presently, only Kuami Eugene and KiDi remain on the roster and that’s not a problem at all, especially when they are among the top 10 biggest acts in Ghana at the moment.
Most of these names attained relevance, prominence and critical mention under the aegis of the label.
I personally do not believe and subscribe to the ‘Lynx curse’ which is ascribed to artistes failing in their careers when they leave the label. That is not entirely true but what is true is the indisputable fact of Lynx being that stable that accords any artiste the ability to become a star, whether short-lived or long-lasting. That guarantee of getting at least a hit record and a taste of fame and popularity is manifested in every artiste that has ever been signed.
The chaps at the label have the blueprint on how to make any ordinary Joe a star and over the years, experience and tact have solidified their positioning as one of the most reliable record labels across Africa.
Any acknowledgment of merit is welcome by any entity in every sector. Awards are a testament of excellence in any field of endeavor and Lynx and its artistes over the years, have garnered plenty.
In the spate of 14 years, the label has delivered 14 albums via its recording artistes with MzVee having the most albums, 3, followed by Kuami Eugene, KiDi, ASEM and Richie Mensah, who all had 2 respectively. The likes of Eazzy, Ziggy, OJ Black and Irene Logan had 1 each. Clearly, the label believes in a body of work called album, and every artiste who signed to the label, at least had a legacy of an album to gloat about – and if Dope Nation had stayed longer with the imprint, they surely would have delivered an album.
While producing hit singles and albums, the label has also been racking up a deluge of awards via its artistes. Since 2006, Lynx Entertainment-recording artistes have won the most Ghana Music Awards/Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, more than any label in Ghana.
The biggest highlight of their award-winning spree transpired in 2015 and 2016 when a relatively new act in the name of MzVee, got a nomination in June 2015 in the ‘Best International New Artist’ category, an all-new category introduced for the BET Awards 2015. In 2016, she became the first ever Ghanaian female artiste to gain nomination at the BET Awards 2016, for the ‘Best International Act –Africa’.
Lynx is not a big record label like your Zylofon, EMI, Warner, or Sony with all the gargantuan resources and manpower but whatever structure they have works and has been impressive for over a decade. From the wings of production to songwriting to marketing/promotion – that construction has been very effectual.
When you have more than 1 music star on the label, there’s always bound to be related issues; matters on which artiste to project first, what single, album to release first, which act gets what show, what endorsement deal fits who the better etc. There’s always competition among these artistes regardless of how cordial their relationship is under the same label. When egos, emotions and sentiments of these artistes, usually fueled by their ‘advisors’ and hangers-on, are not managed well – there’s bound to be chaos.
In the case of Lynx, albeit having some fall-outs along the line, time and experience have allowed them to manage their structure well, especially in the case of Kuami Eugene and KiDi.
You ever wondered how almost every single released under the label is a hit? You ever wondered how artistes under the label easily get unto the playlist of radio stations and TV stations across the country. Do you ever muse how Kumai Eugene and KiDi have been playing all the high profile shows in and outside the country? Do you ever wonder how these two guys continue to remain relevant since their emergence unto mainstream music?
The answer is simple; the influence of Lynx Entertainment!
The label has become extremely influential with their plug-ins in every department of the industry, from blogs to newspapers to radio to TV to events to corporate engagements.
They also just don’t deliver on the ‘show’ bit of show business, they have such a grasp on the business side of things too, an attribute that have seen them deliver varied lucrative endorsement deals for their artistes, stretching all the way back to 2009 when ASEM was signed on as GLO Ambassador, all the way to KiDi having a partnership with SAMSUNG.
With their level of expertise and business acumen, it is a given that the publishing, licensing and digital publishing of their music are well sorted.
Big Shout Outs
To Richie Mensah, Albert Mensah, Richmond Adu Poku and the legendary Abraham Ohene Djan and all the partners, a big shout to you for your effort and dedication in elevating the narrative of record labels in Africa and giving such hope to Ghanaian musicians and the entire arts industry.