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    A songwriter is not an artiste

    by Kwame Dadzie, flexghana.com
    posted Friday, 28 March 2014 14:10| 0 Comments

    A songwriter is not automatically an artiste. A songwriter may not be a performer if he is solely a songwriter.

    Therefore, if songwriter Akwaboah had won awards in the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards for Songwriter of the Year before when in fact he had not done any vocal performance on any song, he was not an artiste.

    According to the VGMA operational definition, "The New Artiste of the Year is the Artiste(s) adjudged by the Academy, Board and the General Public as the most promising and talented new artiste(s).

    The award goes to the artiste(s) who made the most impact with his/her FIRST release (Single/Album) during the year under review."

    'Artiste,' as defined by the Cambridge International Dictionary of English is "a skilled entertainer especially dancer, singer or actor." An artiste is a person who works in one of the performing arts, as an actor, dancer or singer, or a public performer.

    This means an artiste must be a performer, not just a musician. There is a difference between a musician and an artiste.  We have artistes who are not musicians and we have musicians who are not artistes, even though there are some who qualify for both.

    A songwriter who doesn't perform his lyrics or written music is only a musician, not an artiste and that is why Akwaboah qualifies for the New Artiste of the Year category in this year's VGMA. It was in 2013 that he came out with his first vocal performance on his songs.

    Yes, he has won VGMA awards as songwriter before but the category description for new artiste doesn't bar him from getting nominated just by his mere win of the songwriter awards. The underlying word is ARTISTE.

    His case is different from Joey B or Kumi Guitar who had composed and sung their own songs in 2012. Those two musicians don't qualify for the new artiste category but Akwaboah does. Having now established the chasm between 'musician' and 'artiste,' Joey B and Kumi Guitar should be taken off this category but Akwaboah should be maintained.

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