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We are endowed with a wide array of artistic tools; unique traditional elements like language, music/musical instruments, landscapes & locations, folklore, dances, Griots–to the modern elements that aid in boosting the economic viability of the aforementioned elements.  How about exploring these before strangling ourselves with award schemes that seek to elevate egos and not necessarily improve our artistic being and economic standing?

I will not bore you with winding narratives on how we manage to stifle our growth with the numerous award schemes. Admittedly musicians are just like any other brand and so every aspect of their being must be to perfection or at least close to it. This requires a careful retrospection and also analysis of whom your target audience is albeit you want to be a global celebration.

As subjective as defining a good brand can be, we will agree there is a common ground when we seek to compare impactful artistry, and that is where our self entitled attitude could further derail us from the path of glory.

Today’s music business goes beyond the local champion syndrome; so one must seek to get same or similar acclamation wherever they exhibit their artistry. This requires thinking outside the scope of pleasing your townsfolk or people in your immediate region. I’m not in anyway suggesting that using your indigenous language in composing music is defeatist, because language can be as effective as any of the elements one employs in creating a masterpiece.  The artistic use of language can actually be the selling point of an artiste.

The onus is largely on the artiste and management to fully understand the nature of what makes good music and not just stick to one element which may get them a small following. One needs to go beyond language, and pay good attention to instrumentation & the quality of production of all musical pieces. The introduction of traditional elements of music can also be a major feature in creating a unique artiste in the quest to dominate the global scene.

Stay humble; humility is a virtue that continues to aid the soaring of artistes like Stonebouy; I’ve known Stonebouy for a while and we can all attest to the force with which he is dominating the music scene in Ghana, he could have laid back and enjoy the street disciples’ praise but no, he values and knows who will actually label him a star hence he paid the price by staying humble in dealing with his peers, media and even fans. This has made him a toast of many.  Can that be said about the numerous acts that adorn the savanna? From experience I will emphatically say NO, and by that I’m not bundling all artistes together, but if front liners are not humble, how do we expect the younger ones to be humble.

The sacrifice and investment; Music as we’ve come to know is a full time business that requires a lot of sacrifice and investment; both time and finances. We’ve heard people say “talent is not enough”, how we relate to that phrase actually can impact our success as musicians. From the image of an artiste which involves the quality of photography, artworks, quality of videos, to investing in vocal performances, studio recordings, live instrumentations and even self improvement programs that can help in interviews and managing your persona in the corporate world, we need to consciously dedicate resources to ensure the aforementioned are at the apex of quality.  These will set-up any artiste for every market that appreciates hard quality work. The above is also one thing artistes need to really take seriously, friends and family will do you favors but the bills they have to foot inform how much they can do for you for free.

A key element in this life is loyalty, however when this is misplaced one is sure going to face the repercussions associated with it. Many artistes form cliques and movements, which really don’t have anything in line with improving musical worth, but rather creates the impression of a following. This births paranoia as artistes find themselves making music to please the few people in these cliques; most of who will never pay to attend a show or purchase an album. Usually most members of these cliques are personal friends and family who would would rarely give objective criticism on works. If you believe objective criticism is a much needed fuel in improving your artistry you should be reexamining where you place your loyalty.

Crowning of mediocrity in all aspects of this multi faceted industry;

In as much as I have no problems with putting together award schemes, the sectarian nature and limited number of artistes creates a situation where mediocrity is crowned.  The recent Upper East Awards is a good case to cite here, a good number of demo songs actually found their way on the nominations list and even went ahead to win some awards. Are we then celebrating amazing music or just trying to crown some people? No serious artiste will enter a demo song in an award scheme neither wills any serious event organizer accept entries that don’t meet a certain standard of quality. However, given the small operational zone of the scheme, it is easy for such to happen. We therefore need to look beyond our small enclaves and aspire to be part of more competitive schemes, after all whether Navrongo, Tamale or Accra, every artiste wants to be seen as the ultimate when it comes to good music.

Unguided trend following; Whilst artistes will swear to forever stay true to the kind of music they represent, the temptation not to follow trends is far more daunting hence they succumb. Whilst others argue that an ability to adapt to styles and trends is proof of versatility, I believe an ability to walk unchartered zones and still stay you is actually proof that you mastered your craft and control of your audience. Succumbing to trends can only destroy the originality in style of an artiste thereby creating genres like Reggae/Dancehall when both are very different genres. Our artistes therefore need to stay true to themselves, their styles and not just hop from genre to genre. Don Sigli is one of current crop of artistes who has stayed true to his kind of music and maintained relevance no matter which stage he is on.

Lack of ingenuity. (Your native language is not enough); Music lovers are constantly looking  for out of the box performers and musicians, this is because as humans we constantly strive to experience same or similar things in varied ways. This when brought into music can be a massive selling point for an artiste. King Ayisoba is busy travelling the world with his beloved Kologo and unique brand of music. How is he different from the many “world” artistes that the we’ve listened to? Well, he brought a unique musical instrument, fused it with a lot of other instruments and offered something different from all the other artistes. His collaboration with Mobeatz on the song “Me ka” is proof of his ingenious superiority. This then suggests that, our artiste need to adopt relevant elements of their various cultures to create a unique sound in their chosen genres. I would wanna hear an rnb tune over a xylophone, I would love to hear some dondo in our reggae songs. Yes, just be ingenious and you will reap fruits sweeter than mangoes.(lol…You get it right?)

We’ve allowed rivalry to gain roots in an industry that can only be said to be in it’s infantile stage. Many would cringe at the word infantile but that’s my assertion. Recently fans of Fancy Gadam and Macassio clashed resulting in broken windscreens etc. Why would two talented artistes be subject to such damning rivalry? If we do not have any immediate memories of the results of these “gangs” we might have to revisit the era of Tupac & Biggie, Game and Gunplay, and the many great artistes we’ve lost to unnecessary rivalry to understand the repurcussions of these rivalries often employed in an attempt to create hype. First off, there are enough fans for everybody to reach so there’s really no need to make play rivals when artistes are uniting to do amazing musical works.

An artiste who lacks the ability to fully comprehend the import of criticism is definitely bound to fail since they perceive anyone who critics as an enemy. Some of us have a penchant for looking beyond the surface of issues and works and so we would continue criticize hoping that it helps shape the arts in the savanna. Artistes and their management therefore need to desist from making enemies out of all who criticize and rather look at the issues presented. Your enemy doesn’t want you to succeed, but your critics urge you to reach higher and prove them wrong.

The numerous award schemes has created a career killing mafia since organizers accord themselves a god status because they covertly have an influence in deciding who deserves an award, a situation that has spread even to deejays and radio presenters. Deejays and radio presenters play a vital role in promoting music, so when they suddenly take sides, a number of things manifest–sidelining and continuously running down the efforts of acts they don’t support. This is done with concerted efforts so much so that it becomes evidently clear to the entire public. If indeed we want to see our music and art industry develop, we would need to stop playing God and give equal opportunity to all artistes we encounter.

We can do what we want to fit but that will not make us stand out yet we all agree standing out is the through case of master atistery.

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Savanna Music

Dr. Pushkin’s ‘Forgive Them’: A Inspirational Journey of Self-Belief and Empowerment”




Forgive Them by Dr. Pushkin features Aggie, a Texas-based American rapper. The song is more of a story an overcomer with a pure heart would chant. While being people, we often misunderstand ourselves to be God. But, when we acknowledge our beliefs by appreciating what we can and what we can’t do, in the sincerest of prayers, we would ask God to show mercy on all who have offended us. Expressing thoughts like the above in music, particularly rap, has always placed the genre at the front of activism.

Forgive Them By Dr Pushkin

Being different has always come with being unappreciated, unwanted, and sometimes outright hatred. However travailing it may seem, as we desire to break through in life, the results can be most fulfilling. Forgive them By Dr. Pushkin is an expression of how he overcame the stereotypes, bullying, and several human attitudes that could have tampered with his views on life. However, like the good adage, “make lemonade when lemons are thrown at you,” the rapper has gone on to win for himself in several spaces.

In all of the struggles, Dr. Pushkin, like most people, can know the very things people did, said, or wished for them. To avoid playing fake God, the Bonsam Mc rapper chose to offer a prayer for all naysayers.

As we grow and encounter the realities of life, we are faced with understanding detractors or paying back. But “Forgive Them” by Dr. Pushkin reminds us that we cannot waste energy on hate; we should win by chasing for us.

Once again, conscious rap scores a mark as music truly exudes a message for listeners.

The music video for Forgive Them By Dr. Pushkin was Directed and Edited by Directed & Edited by Daniel Castillo, one of the finest music video Directors in Texas. It featured Ghana’s own Budukusu in some scenes.

If you can’t forgive, ask God to Forgive Them. This song is from the Outlandish Album released on the 26th of January 2023.

Stream the entire Outlandish Album below.


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Savanna Music

“SXSW Music Festival 2023: Ghana’s Dr. Pushkin & Crew Set to Perform”




The SXSW Music Festival is a major event in Austin, Texas that brings together over 160,000 music fans for a variety of performances, conferences, film premieres, and other art-related events. The 2023 festival will take place between March 10th and 19th and will feature an exciting lineup of musicians, technology innovators, and other industry leaders.

One of the artists confirmed to perform at the festival is Ghanaian rapper Dr. Pushkin. He will be joined on stage by fellow Ghanaian musician Budukusu, Aggie from Texas and Aza. These artists have collaborated with Dr. Pushkin on several songs from his latest album, “Outlandish.” Together, they will be thrilling audiences with their unique blend of conscious rap and tongue-twist flow.

In 2019, the SXSW Music Festival had a special focus on Africa, with the theme “Africa to the World.” Ghana was represented by artists Jojo Abot, Stonebwoy, and Efya. Dr. Pushkin is honored to continue this tradition and represent Ghana at this year’s festival.

SXSW has a rich history, starting in 1987 with 177 artists and 15 stages. By 2019, the festival had grown to feature 1,964 showcasing artists and 94 venues and stages. Some of the notable artists and personalities who have participated in SXSW in the past include Former US President Barak Obama, Tonny Bennet, Black-eyed Peas, Cypress Hill, Jean Grae, Chamillionaire, and Lady Gaga.

SXSW is not only about live musical performances, but also includes conference sessions, film and television screenings, exhibitions, networking events, professional development opportunities, art installations, and much more. This year’s festival runs from March 10th to 19th, with the musical festival component taking place from March 13th to 18th.

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Savanna Music

Ofori Amponsah Blesses Bolgatanga



Dr Pushkin & Ofori Amponsah
Dr Pushkin & Ofori Amponsah

Ofori Amponsah has added his voice to Dr Pushkin’s Outlandish album, scheduled for release in the next week. Mr All 4 Real, who has been on a music hiatus, once again delivered his ever-captivating, infectious hooks on a song titled “you make me wonder.” Typical of Ofori Amponsah’s style, the song is a love tune, in this instance, enquiring about the lady’s loyalty. Performed by Dr Pushkin, Ofori Amponsah, and Jerry Kanjarga, an emerging artist from Tamale, “You Make me Wonder” is a representation of Highlife on the album.

Getting collaboration with one of Ghana’s finest Highlife musicians definitely would be no mean feat. Thus, for Dr Pushkin to score one with Ofori Amponsah, aka Mr All 4 Real, fate and belief in the craft would be the major.

In the last year, Dr Pushkin has worked hard to piece together an album that resonates with the realities of life. The Texas-based Ghanaian Rapper has released music based on several perspectives. From eulogizing Harriet Tubman and highlighting great men like Dr Nkrumah and Nelson Mandela to hitting at the conscience of all with “Wake-Up” and “Lies,” one would expect a slowdown. However, following the hint of an album, “Outlandish,” scheduled for this year, the artist wasn’t ready to rest.

Aside from working with Teri Wiizi and Kwadwo Spiri in 2022, Dr. Pushkin linked up with Budukusu, formerly Quata Budukusu, for a stellar love ballad, “Need You.” The song and the accompanying video received much attention and even cranked up the YouTube Accra charts. This collaboration was a major introduction to the general Ghanaian music audience.

Dr Pushkin’s Outlandish is scheduled to be in music stores on the 26th of January, 2023. Featuring several artists from Ghana and the USA, this is a good way to start the new year officially.

The work must have been arduous for a person who works as an entrepreneur, robotics engineer, author, and AI specialist.

Dr Pushkin is multi-racial with ties to Russia, Ghana, and America. However, the generous man loves to uphold his Ghanaianess everywhere he goes. In academic circles, he is known as Dr Paul Azunre.

Presave the album here.

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