The Effect of a Broken Listening Culture
When Gyakie tweeted images of her trip to Nigeria, with shots including Omah Lay, Teni, and Mayorkun, you’d think we would embrace it with support and love. But working on the remix of ‘Forever’ which was the chief aim behind her trip, featuring hit song maker Omah La, descended into chaos after she dropped the record. Frankly, it didn’t even make sense the reaction she was getting online.
Many couldn’t figure it out, whether people didn’t like the remix or just wanted to hate on the young lady. But the result was Gyakie having to apologize for an earlier tweet that said that the song is for those who it is for, and not everyone has to enjoy it.
For people who were going off about the Grammys and how unprogressive Ghanaian artists have been, this was the height of the broken listening culture within the audiences.
A young up-and-coming artist makes a trip to collaborate with another Nigerian hit artist, and what we’re concerned with is how the song didn’t satisfy us as we thought it would. Wow. It’s like we sort of knew this cycle would end exactly this way, which is why it was probably best to let all the dust settle to analyze the issues within the culture.
How do you bash an artist for making moves that are beneficial in their career because you don’t approve? It’s not like she went to Nigeria and dropped a horrendous album. She merely just had a remix with a Nigerian artist and got in touch with other Nigerian artists.
And then we turn our backs and blame the artists for catering to our wants and not being adventurous. Let’s not even talk about the troll culture which runs high during award shows or the comparisons that are done every day concerning streaming numbers and YouTube views.
The Artists’ Behaviour
Moving swiftly on from the toxic culture of the audience, let’s talk about our artists. What you have to realize is, everyone has different goals for this music thing. So as a fan you might think that someone deserves global recognition, but one of the ideal questions you should also ask yourself is does the artist want that?
I think if you critically look at the way some artists carry themselves and the music they produce, you’ll be able to find out what they are trying to achieve.
Now one of the other notable things that came up during this whole grammy conversation is when Stonebwoy tweeted about it only to be attacked by Samini, online.
The Artist’s Accessibility
First, there’s accessibility that artists have created for themselves online, especially on Twitter, where they behave as though they are one of us. That shouldn’t even be the case. Yes, you want to engage and maintain a semblance of friendliness with your fan base, but being rare is also part of the marketing process.
Our artists lose sight and focus of the ‘don’t mix business with personal issues, hence they are always online, always interacting with fans – that usually leads to one or two issues cropping up for themselves. The reply Samini gave to Stonebwoy wasn’t needed. There was nothing that stopped him from calling him and talking it out with him.
But the online world has thrown dust into the eyes of artists, and they think clout and trends are enough for them to gain attention in the limelight. Meanwhile, they aren’t injecting the same energy or passion into their music-making.
It’s sad, and it’s why the listeners seem to have power over the artists on platforms like Twitter. Accessibility like that will always breed problems and Gyakie, unfortunately, was the latest scapegoat.
The sad thing is she’s not even the kind to interact as much online or start anything aside from when she has to announce new music, but even she has suffered from it. It’s mainly because of how the listeners view the artists.
The Artist’s infatuation with Beef
Going back to this Samini and Stonebwoy issue, it was clear what Samini wanted to do. Beef has become a dumb go-to for most artists to gain clout online, probably to drop a single or two or gain traction on a previously dropped project. For the past two years, we have had more beef in the industry than BET nominations.
Beef is part of the music game. A lot of artists wouldn’t be where they are if not for beef, but when our artists do it, it’s just pathetic. And it usually ends in both of them coming together to drop a record. But I do not know why the artists take the bait repeatedly, especially when they know some people are just provocative online and are out to just make noise online.
This comes down to the accessibility problem. When you’re seen to be online as an artist, that’s the problem it creates. Anyone feels they can say anything they like to you and get away with it. Because if they get to you enough, you might come and respond. Kwadwo Sheldon and Shatta Wale, a very recent example.
We’ll take a breather here and touch on the artists and the producers and the toxic relationship between those two and finally end it with a few thoughts and suggestions for both the listener and the artist in the future.