Music Awards are occasions to take stock and accordingly recognize hard-working musicians, producers, record labels as well as contributions of other industry players.
Western Region’s version of the music awards, the Western Music Awards (WMA) is equivalent to the 3Music Awards and the VGMAs in the country but it seems the WMA which ordinarily should be means of boosts is shamelessly bestowed on friends and cronies who don’t deserve such awards.
The 2023 edition of the WMA was particularly blatant soul-sucking and manipulative event. The 7-year-old music awards could have been a step forward for Westline Entertainment (organizers of the awards). Instead, it turned out to be the most disappointing awards show in recent history.
I was really shocked last year with some of the results I sew especially the “Gospel song of the year” going for Corbena Saah’s “NYAMINLI NDWOMI” song and Gospel Artist of the Year which also went to KDM.
A category which had Emelia Baidoo’s Mehwefo Song, Life by Vincent Nyarko, It Is God by Morris Makafui, and W’ayeyie by Georgia & Georgette.
I decided to enquire from other sources how come Corbena Saah‘s song which was unknown to majority of the people in the region could sweep that award from artistes who really deserved it. I was told the same old story, the board voted massively for him because its 40% for the public and 60% for board.
Per Westline Entertainment definition of Best Gospel song, the song must have enjoyed a lot of patronage and generated the most excitement during the year.
Unfortunately, this song was not even immune to the myopic watch of the board and the Academy. Surprisingly, the board and the Academy which had 60% votes were not even unanimous and miss the boat to the extent that they failed to honour a piece of work that’s truly transcendental and widely popular. How can you award a song that is only known in some parts of the region over a song that was all over the region. I am not really concerned about the public votes, because votes can be bought. Anybody can buy loads of credits and get people to vote massively for him/her even if that person does not deserve the award. That’s why the WMA gets it wrong all the time.
Why the WMA gets it wrong all the time
For an institution that claims to reward artistic ‘excellence’ in the music industry, the WMA sure get a lot wrong. Westline Entertainment has over the years revamped the way it organizes and awards prizes in an effort to improve the results, only to draw the same old complaints.
I believe this is not the first time Westline Entertainment has been accused of rigging awards. The board and the Academy who have been put there to sanitize the system miss the mark so frequently that the WMA is losing its credibility.
First and foremost, the board and the Academy, which are made of industry professionals, have allowed personal interest to override technicalities. The board and the Academy practically are made up of seasoned DJ’s, radio presenters, musicians, engineers, producers, artiste managers, executives etc. Some of the members on the board and in the Academy will vote for musicians they have some business link with instead of voting on technicalities.
A gain of the biggest problems with the WMA is that most of people on the board and on the Academy restrict themselves only to Takoradi.
That is why sometimes they get it wrong. Famous musicians tend to get more votes from clueless Academy members, regardless of the quality of their work. For example, if the board and the Academy had done their homework well KDM wouldn’t’ have won the Gospel artiste of the year award.
In conclusion, it’s not as though the WMA have never recognized deserving artists. But I believe more need to be done to clear all doubts.
Story by: Maxwell Owusu