By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
The 3Music Awards just concluded with all the aplomb and here comes arguably the biggest music awards scheme in the country, Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).
Typical of every year, the awards scheme is always shrouded in rhubarbs; artistes grousing over lack of nominations, fans agitated over their artistes not attaining what they ‘deserved’ and critics pontificating over ‘flaws’ in the nomination process.
As expected, some artistes and their handlers have already filed complaints over the outcome of the nominations for the awards, including Flowking Stone and Managers of Bisa KDei and Yaw Sarpong respectively among others.
Thus far, fall-outs from the nominations have come from the likes of Flowking Stone and the camps of Bisa KDei and Yaw Sarpong respectively, as well as AY Poyoo – who have all called out the VGMA for their ‘failure’ to nominate their songs.
Flowking Stone is aggrieved for missing out on the nominations, claiming that the scheme is fake. The Manager of Bisa KDei, Bozzah Kay, is agitated, asserting that the VGMA Board has banned his artiste from featuring in the scheme and the Manager for the legendary Yaw Sarpong, Nana Poku Ashis, is livid too, suggesting that the Board did wrong by not nominating his artiste. AY Poyoo is confounded as to how he missed out on the nominations list.
The above examples are just some of much disapproval that has greeted the nominations of the 22nd edition of the awards.
Reaction from Board Members
Like previous years, some Board Members have been going at the aggrieved parties, critics and fans on fall-outs over the nomination list. These Board Members, by virtue of the fact that, they were part of a team responsible for the categorization and nomination process of the scheme, find it convenient to respond to every complaint on the scheme.
The same scenario panned out with the 3Music Awards where some Board Members were all over the place, in a bid to justify and defend every decision of the Board in the categorization and nomination process of the awards.
Is such defense and justification necessary? Absolutely not!
The Board has a mandate and its job is done once the nomination list is out. Its other role is to vote for eventual winners, just as the Academy and the public would do. It is no part of their mandate to be all over social media trying to defend every decision made during the process of nomination.
Every grievance and complaint is supposed to be addressed by the Public Relations Officer and/or the Spokesperson for the Board.
No scheme in the world has ever gone without any form of controversy. In the just ended Grammy, the likes of Drake, Nicki Minaj and The Weeknd, all called out the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for their failure to nominate them and their songs in the scheme.
The phenomenon of complaints, agitations and fall-outs over the VGMA has been prevalent for the past 20 years and it wont quell. Such is part of the entire award system.
In a diatribe, Kanye West urinated on his previously won Grammy awards last year but he still went ahead to annex another Grammy the following year.
Shatta Wale kicked a fuss in 2012, destroying properties at the VGMA main awards night, after losing out to Kaakie, yet, in the following years, he was adjudged the overall winner.
The likes of Flowking Stone and Bisa KDei, who are complaining today have won at the VGMA in the past, so, clearly, this is how artistes behave when it comes to awards.
They would always be joyous when they bag nominations and wins but would also complain when they feel ‘cheated’. It is all part of the process!
For schemes like the VGMA that needs that public endorsement, validation and support, it is crucial that the buzz for the event is on the high.
For artistes who command such massive following, their criticism of the awards should not be seen as negative, but as part of the hype that is very much needed by the scheme. Their applause and criticism of the scheme, in which ever form they come, should be seen as part of a conversation that drives interest and fixation on the awards.
It is therefore not germane to have members of Boards like 3Music Awards and most especially, VGMA, always bantering with artistes, fans and critics over dissatisfaction with nominations and wins.
Members of the Academy for awards like the Grammys, BETs and others are never seen defending and justifying fall-outs from such schemes. The PR section and Executives of the scheme handle every grievance or complaints. Complaints that need attention are duly recognized with a response with a press release.
We need to rise about such proceedings that put the tolerance of the scheme and its members in such bad light and aspire to reach standards that can be emulated.