History was made at the recently held Vodafone Ghana Music Awards when, for the first time in eighteen (18) years, a gospel artiste won the ultimate award in the VGMA.
Prior to his win, I had earlier outlined reasons gospel artistes had not won the award before and why they may never win that award. In my article dubbed ‘Why Gospel Artistes May Never Win VGMA Artiste of the Year,’ I pointed out apathy, poor management, weak branding, Christian doctrinal constrictions, Board bias among others as factors to this phenomenon.
However, on the night of the event, a lot of people had the shock of their lives when Joe Mettle was announced winner of the overall Artiste of the Year in VGMA 2017. This is not the first time a gospel artiste has won the Artiste of the Year award but it is the first time ‘they’ are winning the ultimate award. Until 2008, the highest award was the Most Popular Song of the Year. The very year a gospel artiste won Most Popular Song award, the most prestigious award was changed to Artiste of the Year – that was the year Kwaw Kesse won it. But for that change, Pastor Lenny Akpade, who won the Most Popular Song of the Year with ‘Most High God’ in 2008, would have been the ultimate winner in that year.
Already, some people have started raising eyebrows as to why Joe Mettle should win the award at the expense of artistes like Sarkodie and Stonebwoy while those on his side are celebrating.
Who wins Ghana Music Awards ‘Unsung Category’
This year’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards Unsung Category promises to be the most exciting edition yet, as Closeup toothpaste, the iconic youth brand, partners Charterhouse to provide a more rewarding and exciting experience for underground acts seeking to break into mainstream music.
This great news was first revealed at the nominees’ announcement party, where the six finalists of the unsung category were unveiled. According to the Unilever Closeup Brand Team, “for years, Closeup has been giving people the confidence to get closer.
This year, the brand is giving young and upcoming artistes the chance to break barriers that hold them back and get closer to their dreams of making it big in showbiz. The Unsung category of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards is a natural platform for us to achieve this. So with this partnership, Closeup is essentially giving young people a chance to break the barrier into main stream music.
According to Charterhouse, this partnership is greatly desired as it will enable a richer experience for participants. The Unsung acts will have the unique opportunity to put up their best acts before a 10,000+ audience at the Nominees Jam, to win public votes. This will show live on TV3, Ghana Music Awards facebook page, and the Closeup facebook page.
The winner will have a performance slot at music’s biggest night, the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards night, showing live on TV3 in Ghana, across Africa on DSTV, and across the world on social media live. For the first time ever in the history of the award, the Unsung category will receive a special Awards Plaque sponsored by Closeup, and a performance slot on Closeup music activation platforms.
It is no surprise that the Unsung Category of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards is catching the eye of corporate Ghana. The success stories of past winners is a testimonial to the program’s relevance, and its ability to help underground acts break the barrier into main stream music.
MzVee won the 1st edition with an exceptional performance; Dark Suburb won the 2nd edition by selling their uniqueness; Adomaa won the 3rd edition fighting equally talented artistes; and Kuami Eugene won the 4th edition with dexterity. Clearly these names have broken the barrier into main stream music, and soon, a new act will join the Unsung hall of fame.
So who amongst the six talented and ambitious nominees will win the number 1 spot? Will it be Kelvin Boy with his dancehall stamp? Dope Nation with their urban rap swag? Dhat Gyal with her Afro Pop appeal? Royal Chris with his anointed gospel tunes? Real MC with his locally blended hip-hop swag? Or O’Bkay with his contemporary rap feel? These nominees are literally one step away from breaking the barrier into main stream, and come Friday the 23rd of March at the Jubliee Park in Cape Coast, each artiste will have the unique opportunity to demonstrate to Ghanaians why he/she deserves a spot on Ghana’s most coveted music platform. Till then, the one question worthy of asking, is who will be number 1?
As always, the public has a say in pushing the right talent through. The public is thus encouraged to have their say by voting for the best Unsung Act by visiting their social media pages, Charterhouse media pages, and Ghana Music Awards social media pages for instructions. The public is also notified about live event shows on Closeup, Charterhouse, and Ghana Music Awards social media pages.
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