Kwame Dadzie writes: 4 things that can ruin the Shatta-Zylofon deal [Article]
“How is Zylofon Media going to manage individual preferences of some Zylofon artistes by certain key elements in the company?”
This was the question I prepared to ask at the unveiling of Shatta Wale at the Zylofon Media head office at East Legon in Accra.
Unfortunately, I had to leave to continue my work at the office after waiting for 2 hours at the conference room of Zylofon Media. Later, I got to know the press unanimously agreed not to ask any questions.
Well. I’d have insisted to have asked my question if I had ‘wasted’ more time to wait for the ‘Dance hall King.’
But how important is this question?
There are some people at Zylofon Media (like Willi Roi) who has publicly professed his undying support for Shatta Wale over Stonebwoy on several platforms.
In 2017 when Stonebwoy was nominated at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) awards, this man went all out haranguing on social media and other radio platforms to discredit Stonebwoy’s nominations, alluding that Shatta Wale does not need BET. When everybody was happy that a Ghanaian in the person of Stonbwoy had gotten that nomination, Willi was rather badmouthing the achievement, roping in a Shatta factor when the issue was not about Shatta Wale.
According to him, Stonebwoy is a B -List Artiste and Shatta Wale, a grade A artiste who he describes as the best artiste in Ghana and the solution to Ghana’s music. This happened before he was employed at Zylofon as an Artiste & Repertoire manager – but it was after Shatta Wale had dashed him 1,000 at Pluzz FM studio.
Everybody has their choices so it is not wrong for Mr. Kwesi Wilson (his real name) to endorse Shatta Wale. But considering the fact that he has been in music business for Methusela’s age and has patented a keyboard that has never been used by himself or keyboardist, one would have expected him to wax fatherly in dealing with the dance hall rivals.
He has been inciting the two against each other.
Even after Stonebwoy was signed on to Zylofon Media, I thought as a manager at the company, he would change his ‘key’ a bit; he rather kept on hailing his ‘King’ Shatta Wale at Stonebwoy’s expense.
Then bingo! Shatta Wale was signed – and since then, the old ‘musicologist’ has been besides himself with joy that his favourite act has also joined his not-so-enamoured-of acts on the Zylofon label.
(1) I see Willi Roi fomenting trouble for Stonebwoy and Shatta
Even though Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy have recently been extending gestures of camaraderie to each other and appear at each other’s shows, there is still a big rivalry between them, and this is evident among their fans.
Shatta Wale’s statement at the ‘press concert’ which was organized at the forecourt o Zylofon Media affirms this: “when we come to Zylofon we are brothers, we go out, we are enemies.”
He may have said this in jest but it is a fact that no doubt can erase.
In the wake of this, it will be dangerous for Willi Roi, who is not just a music fan but now a manager at Zylofon Music to go on radio or social media to either pitch Shatta Wale against Stonebwoy or project one over the other.
He must be warned to desist from that, or else he’ll break the colony they are forming.
(2) Prioritising Shatta Wale over the other signees
After zeroing in on the ‘old’ man Willi Roi and how his talks can topple the record label, I need to broaden the scope a bit.
There is no gainsaying that Shatta Wale is a huge artiste but treatments to each of the signed acts should not be gaping in prominence.
I have been to almost all the unveiling sessions of Zylofon and I must admit the special treatment and activities surrounding the signing could make the other artistes feel ‘inferior.’
The management should make sure the artistes are not discriminated against. Shatta Wale has done a lot for himself. There is a lot of work to do on Obibini and Kumi Guitar. These guys are still struggling to make it. So, the temptation to make Zylofon Music a Shattta Wale affair should be killed before it grows.
Giving the artiste a lot of money is good for the pocket but it doesn’t necessarily work the magic in putting the artiste up on the music scale.
(3) Can Bulldog work with Shatta Wale again?
Let’s not behave like ostriches; Bulldog and Shatta Wale are not on good terms. The two fell out when Bulldog stopped managing Shatta Wale (or was he sacked?).
I vividly remember the incident of Shatta Wale sharing some nude pictures of Bulldog’s wife – and that is not an experience anybody will easily forget.
Bulldog used to manage Shatta Wale. In fact, Bulldog did a lot for Shatta Wale’s career. He was the only manager in Ghana who was able to live the life of his artiste and fight for him even at ‘gun point.’
Today, Bulldog is the Artiste & repertoire manager of Zylofon Music, which means that he’ll take charge of all the administrative activities of Shatta Wale’s career. To wit, Bulldog, by fluke is going to manage Shatta Wale again. Yes! Life is in circles.
I know Bulldog can ‘act’ his role well and play along by just doing his work. So can Shatta – but we are human beings. We have emotions. We have the ability to remember experiences.
My fear is that Bulldog may not give Shatta Wale the kind of love he gave him when he used to manage him in the past.
Bulldog doesn’t own Zylofon Media but as a manager he has power to execute tasks that can make or unmake an artiste. This is clearly a harbinger of doom for the Shatta-Zylofon marriage.
(4) Shatta Wale is a trouble maker
Except if you just landed from Mars, Shatta Wale has over the years earned himself the tag of being a ‘trouble maker.’ His CV in causing trouble is luxuriant and impressive to the trouble making theory.
He will create confusion, come out to apologise and go back to do the same thing. The controversy has kept his brand active till now.
So my other fear is that Shatta Wale may do his thing at Zylofon again. When that happens, it will worry the other artistes on the label.
Any mischief he makes against a colleague on the label will help his brand but may shatter the fortunes of whoever is involved.
But there are some positives
The investment Nana Appiah Mensah and his Zylofon Media are making in the entertainment industry is commendable.
There has not been a single entertainment company in the history of Ghana which has cared for almost all the fields of the creative arts like Zylofon Media is doing. They are godsent and should be supported to achieve their objectives.
Despite the afore-mentioned factors that can weaken Zylofon Music record label, I believe Shatta Wale is going to give the company some mileage. He’s huge, he has a large fan base and his influence can propel the record label.
One thing I like about Shatta Wale is that he is very close to his fans and knows how to interact with them on social media. One of the things that has kept him more relevant and loved by his fans is how frequent and consistent he updates his fans on social media.
On the other hand, Zylofon with the wherewithal, will definitely push Shatta Wale to a higher level in his career. Honestly, he has achieved a lot by his deeds. What he needs now is a good production of his songs and marketing onto the international scene. I trust Zylofon to do that.
I pray Zylofon to be strategic in dealing with their new relationship with Shatta Wale and reign in on the music artiste signings for now.
They should work harder to put Obibini and Kumi Guitar up there before they add more artistes onto the label.
One step at a time.
By: Kwame Dadzie/citifmonline.com/Ghana