Yaa Yaa concerned about 'neglect' of other genres

Eclectic highlife and Afro-soul musician Yaa Yaa, whose real name is Bertha Bridget Kankam, has reiterated that the Ghanaian music industry and music lovers only focus on a few genres, which is detrimental to other artistes who do alternative music.

The ‘Kae’ hitmaker, who was the winner of the music reality show Stars of the Future in 2009, said this in an interview with Giovani Caleb on Showbiz 360 on TV3 on Friday, March 19.

The Afro-Pop and Neo-Soul singer, when asked about her opinion on what discourages her about the current Ghanaian music landscape, pointed to “the lack of versatility”.

“Because I grew up knowing that there are different kinds of music. I think in Ghana we focus on a few genres, that’s where our focus is, but there are so many beautiful talents around us that do different kinds of music and they are really great at them but because they want to blow, they tend to join the masses to do what is trending but I think we should allow for all the talents to explore so that we can get something out of the ordinary.” 

When asked who to blame for the marginalization of other genres in the music industry, the songstress answered thus: “The media is part of it, the artistes are part of it, the industry needs structures so it’s everybody. We can’t put the blame on just one person. I think if we want change, we need to be the change we want to see, so from industry players to the government, to artistes, we need to have a change of mindset to build the right structures so that artistes can be comfortable working and it can even push us to go further but right now it’s as if there’s hunger so everyone is doing what will trend to get their money back and I don’t think that’s the way to go. If you’re just working for the money, you won’t push to do more.”

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Yaa Yaa expressed her opinion on the recent Grammy award-winning Nigerian artistes Burna Boy and Wizkid.

“Other Ghanaians have won (the Grammys) while collaborating with other musicians so I think we should just encourage more of us to show appreciation for the big steps that we take. It might seem small to us but it’s huge so we should appreciate what comes and then work towards the greater ones.”

The ‘Dumb drum’ singer also debunked the claims that alternative music doesn’t rake in the right amount of money lucrative enough to make it attractive for other musicians to pursue as a career.

“It depends on where you’re performing so if you understand the target that you want. I do corporate shows and if you want to do alternative and then compete on the main stages with the mainstream artistes then you’ll have a problem with the fee because that stage demands for that kind of music but corporate and the award shows and stuff like that, they value what we do so the payment actually depends on where you are performing and your team and your rate card. If your rate card says you charge less, that’s what you’ll get.”

Yaa Yaa further pointed out that language is not a barrier whenever she performs to the international audience because for them they don’t pay attention to the language per se, but it’s the melody that they look out for and enjoy the most.

The award-winning songstress is an alumna of the University of Ghana School of Performing Arts, majoring in Theater Arts with a minor in Music, mastering many musical instruments like the guitar, xylophone, and others.

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She entreated all her fans to follow her on all social media platforms and music streaming sites for her music and videos.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana