VGMA: A decade of empowering artistes transforming the music industry
When telecommunication giant, Vodafone Ghana took over as the title sponsor of the Ghana Music Awards, observers, as well as industry people, were not sure how long the union would last.
However, given that the union is in its 10th year, it is safe to say the mutual respect between Vodafone Ghana and organizers of the Ghana Music Awards, Charterhouse has waxed stronger yielding many fruits for the partners, Ghanaian musicians, and the entertainment industry at large.
Vodafone has delicately nurtured the union and fulfilled its financial obligations for the yearly VGMAs to celebrate deserving Ghanaian and African musicians.
Since assuming the reigns of the VGMAs, the awards celebration has been characterized by innovation, creative concepts, and unique programs designed to empower Ghanaian artists, enhance their craft and project them onto the world stage.
From Vodafone powering seminars where professionals with requisite knowledge share insights for the artists to make compelling music, get abreast with the technical side of the business such as royalties, copyright, and protocols for sampling to general investment tips to avoid squandering wealth, it’s clear the telco giant is keen for artiste empowerment which is integral for the transformation of the music industry.
National Dialogue on Music
One of such initiatives is the VGMA Music Summit, which has become one of the highlights of the celebrations. The summit forms part of efforts to foster a national broad-based conversation towards the growth of the local industry.
It is a stakeholder engagement, drawing on musicians, managers, music producers, distributors, promoters, and others. With Ghana’s music industry still facing the phenomenon of artists unable to fully commercially live off their craft because of a poor ecosystem, discussions focused on the route to redemption. A communique that captures the insights and recommendations is presented to the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts.
Bridging the Music Gap
In bridging the gap that exists between the arts and academia, the organizers created the VGMA in schools project. The project seeks to work with schools, offering students interested in a career in music, an opportunity to dialogue with professionals. Artists including Camidoh, Epixode, and Kuami Eugene are some artists who have mounted the entertainment stages of various Senior High Schools, performing and engaging the animated students.
Rewarding Music with Purpose
Vodafone has also demonstrated a commitment to supporting music with real depth and purpose. The telco introduced the Green Awards to celebrate artists contributing and using music to drive awareness of the need to save the environment.
This is in line with Telco’s purpose-led agenda to promote a sustainable music industry, the company sought to significantly help minimize the insidious impact of the VGMA despite inevitable ecological footprints being left behind at its large music events.
A number of eco-friendly initiatives including properly recycling plastics from the tonnes of waste the event produces and promoting e-ticketing were some of the initiatives introduced ahead of the pandemic.
Red Lounge Experience
Besides the glitz and glam of the red-carpet reception and awards ceremony, one key aspect of the celebration that patrons anticipate each year is Vodafone’s Red Lounge. The Red Lounge is a unique display set-up at the foyer of the event venue which provides a rich experience for all customers and stakeholders.
The set-up also provides an opportunity for patrons of the event to interact with artists on a personal level before the show begins and the party continues after the show.
A Strong Online Presence for Artistes
Continuously committed to bringing value to Ghana’s music space, Vodafone Ghana has availed its new creation ‘Your Business Online’ to enable musicians and industry players to own a personal website. Designed by Vodafone Business, the platform provides all the elements required to build a special brand and grow one’s business online.
The platform will create a digital space for artists and industry players to promote their works online. With as little as GHC99, experts will design, build and maintain your online presence – tailoring it exactly how artists want it and helping them reach a much wider customer base.
The VGMA22, slated for June 25 and 26, 2021 sees Adina, KiDi, Diana Hamilton, Kuami Eugene, Medikal, and Sarkodie battle it out for the Artiste of the Year category.
From 2011 since Vodafone Ghana became title sponsor, the Artiste of the Year trophy has been lifted by VIP (2011) – Hiplife, Sarkodie (2012) – Hiplife/Hip-hop, R2Bees (2013) – Hiplife/Highlife/Hiphop, Shatta Wale (2014) – Reggae/Dancehall, Stonebwoy (2015) – Reggae/Dancehall, EL (2016) – Hiplife/Hiphop, Joe Mettle (2017) – Gospel, Ebony (2018) – Dancehall/Afropop, No winner (2019) and Kuami Eugene (2020) – Highlife.