Hiplife artiste Kwaw Kese (Real name: Emmanuel Botwe) has sent a straight forward message to event organizers and promoters, stating emphatically that from now he will not take anything less than $10,000 before he mounts any stage in Ghana, adding, that if the event is outside Ghana, he may charge about double or even more.
In an exclusive interview with Peacefmonline.com, the Abodam crooner said event organizers in Ghana do not treat artiste well professionally. He said aside the fact that most of them refuse to provide most of the things they ask for to be able perform well, they also dictate how much they want to pay artiste. “Event organizers must allow us as musicians to charge and stop imposing their prices on us at their own convenience.
They always expect us to put up world class performance but they refuse to pay us what we deserve. I think Ghanaian artistes deserve at least 50% of the amount event organizers pay foreign artistes to perform in Ghana”, Kwaw Kese stated.
He told Peacefmonline.com that before he gets on stage he has to pay his DJ, his bodyguard, his hype man, dancers, buy new clothes and if the show is outside Accra he has to provide accommodation and transportation for all these people but the amount organizers pay now cannot take care of all these people, so most often only the artiste comes on stage but professionally, the artiste alone is not enough.
The “Nonsense” hit maker believes that as an artiste $10, 000 will be enough for him to get everything like costume, props and stage craft right. “$10,000 is not too much it is a considerable amount that will be okay for me to put up a great show and perform from my heart. So from now it is $10,000 or no show”, Kwaw Kese emphasized.
He said most of the Ghanaian artistes perform better than artiste from other African countries but when event organizers bring other African artistes to perform in Ghana, they pay them huge amount of money.
Asked if he is aware that because they (Ghanaian musicians) are not united, if he insists on the $10,000 charge, some of his fellow musicians in Ghana may go behind him and take about half of that to perform on the same shows, Kwaw Kese said “Oh yes I know that some Ghanaian musicians who are reigning now may even take quarter of $10,000 because they are hungry and that is how they want to sell themselves. My fellow musicians shouldn’t just think about their stomach today and sell themselves cheap”.
Abodam stressed that other Ghanaian artistes who are on top now like Sarkodie, 4X4, Samini, VIP, Tinny, Castro, among others, equally deserve to be paid the same amount or more for performance but if they don’t sell themselves like that nobody would be ready to pay them that much. “This is the only way we can develop and brand ourselves like other African artistes who are going international”.
He said he is only speaking for himself but if his fellow musician follow his movements it will help grow the music industry, develop the musicians artistically and improve on stage craft in Ghana.
When it comes to stage craft and audience appeal in Ghana, Kwaw Kese stands tall. He has appeared on stage in different ways over the years including; A Santa Claus, he has come stage on bicycle, in a giant microphone, he has appeared on stage sitting in an ancient carriage, he been on stage with a donkey, in a Zoomlion apparel, as a soldier, as a king with crown among others and he said it take money be able to achieve all that.
Kwaw said anytime he mounts the stage, the crowd love him not because he is an extraordinary human being but because he is doing something right on stage but as time goes on he needs to up his game and improve. “I believe I need to be paid even more than that but for now it is just $10,000 or no show”.
Kwaw has being nominated for “Album of the Year”, “Artiste of the
Year”, “Hiplife/ Hip Hop artistes of the year” and “Hip Hop Song of the year” for the upcoming Ghana Music Awards 2012. Asked what his chances are, he said deserves to win all four categories but he will be very surprised if he doesn’t win the artiste of the year.
Source: Eugene Osafo-Nkansah/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
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