The change of name by artistes in Ghana isn't a new phenomenon at all. Most of the time, these name change could be as a result of a change in focus of the career of the artiste, the inclusion of a new member to a group, the coming together of solo artistes to form a new group, break up of a group, change in music genre as well as the need to project an African identity to the international world.
Some years back, Samini used to be known as Batman and due to the fact that he needed to be identified as an African artiste with a distinct name, he changed his name to Samini. The name change from Batman to Samini underwent a gradual process which has yielded good results. He changed his name from Batman to Batman Samini and finally to Samini just to ensure that people don't get confused about the new name.
In the early 2000s, one artiste who released the hit track ''moko hoo'' was then known as Bandana but now he is known as Shatta Wale. It's not so certain if it's the name change that has brought him success in the music industry but it must be emphasized that at one point in time, it becomes very necessary to change one's name.
In the mid 2000s, Batman, K.K. Fosu and Kokovelli came together to do music and they were known as The Trinity. In recent times, we have had VIP changed to VVIP following the exit of Promzy and the inclusion of Reggie Rockstone. Under the Lynx Record Label, we had the group D3 but just because of some issues within the group, the group is no more but then one artiste out of the group, MzVee has kicked-start her solo career. Even with the breakup of Wutah, we now have Kobby and Afriyie. We also had Efya emerging out of Irene & Jane just like Noella Wiyaala with Black 'n' Peach.
We also have Zeal of VVIP's fame but sometime back, he used to be known as Lazzy. Same can be said of Abortion of 4x4 fame. For him, the name change was a step in the right direction especially at a time when most Ghanaian artistes want to be known on the international level. The name Abortion did not really speak well of him and now he prefers to be known as Coded.
In fact, there are so many artistes in the country who have changed their names for obvious reasons and its going to be very difficult mentioning all the names but notable examples are Ayigbe Edem (now Edem), Sydney (Now Barima Sydney), Obomofour (now King Lolo), Christiana Love (now Obaapa Christy) Josh Laryea (now Tse Ataa), controversial Nana Yaw Kumi (now Kumi Guitar), Grace Ashy (now Obaa Yaa), Nat Brew (now Amandzeba),Chase(now Chase Forever) OD4 (now Kofi Marvellous) among others. For your information, Praye Honeho does not want to be known as such as the Praye group is no more. He is now known as Choirmaster as a solo artiste.
I have no problem with artistes who change their names for the right reasons but my observation gives me the impression that some other artistes just change their names for its sake or do not do enough for their new names to be known and used by their supporters and industry players. One typical example is that of Akoo Nana.
Not too long ago, he came out to say that he would no longer be called Akoo Nana but then his new name is Nahna. He even had a song titled ''Nahna'' just to create awareness about his new change but quite unfortunately, it's been very difficult for his fans as well as industry players to stick to Nahna.
To make matters worse, it seems like Akoo Nana himself is glued to the name instead of Nahna. On the Spintex road, there is this huge billboard which reads ''4Rever Rich Records presents Akoo Nana Releases a New Single, Mi Yadaw featuring Castro''. If indeed Akoo Nana wants to be referred to as Nahna, why didn't he use that name on the billboard?
Another artiste worth talking about is Yaa Pono. Once upon a time, he changed his name to Nsemkua meaning Proverb but quite unfortunately, just like Akoo Nana, he is not able to stick to the new name. At a point in time Daddy Lumba also changed his name to DL and just like Akoo Nana and Yaa Pono, the name change hasn't been successful. He is still known as Daddy Lumba.
I sincerely believe that artistes who decide to change their names should have very good reasons to do so and ensure that they put in a plan to roll out the new name such that it makes the needed impact. The issue of name change is no child's play and if our artistes would accept this fact, they would have to be very sure that the name change is really important for their career prospects and have the resources to ensure it`s successful.
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