Until Empire Entertainment and MediaGH prove me wrong next year with another ‘Ghana Meets Naija’ concert which can beat the lofty standard they’ve set this year, I can confidently say the best has been seen—-I therefore pity all those who missed out.
On Saturday-29th June, 2013, Accra came to an unbelievable standstill when all the traffic in town led to once place-the Conference Center for ‘Ghana Meets Naija’.
I’ve attended several concerts and I mean great concerts by international acts in London, Paris, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Malmo and other places, therefore when I say a concert was GREAT, I know the sort of standards I am comparing that concert to.
‘Ghana Meets Naija’ was GREAT and I know I will struggle to put into words the spot on ‘feel’ the concert brought but I will still attempt to delve into it….
I will not forget the few setbacks I honestly think the organizers should improve on and change if they want to prove me wrong and beat their set standard.
I think I am not far from right if I call ‘Ghana Meets Naija’ the highest, the hippest and probably the hoppest concert on the Ghanaian event calendar. It has rejuvenated that special thing about African music—-hitting you hard with no pain.
Without any doubt, the organizers have successful redefined how music and performance should be delivered at African concerts—making it more fun, secured, comfortable and extensively interactive with incredible social media participation.
Quick and ahead of their competitors, they’ve realized the power and meaning of social media interactions.
Making an impromptu trip from London to Ghana to purposely attend ‘Ghana Meets Naija’ was one messy journey but what I came to witness makes me feel, it was worth the stress.
Initially, I was scheduled to fly from London Heathrow on 28th June, 2013 (10:45) by Virgin Atlantic and get to Ghana on the day of the concert-29 June (5am).
However, for the ridiculous reason-we’ve over booked our flight, I could not get on Virgin as planned and after intense confrontation with the airline employees, they put me on KLM via Amsterdam the next morning.
I arrived at Kotoka International Airport a little pass 8pm and since the concert was starting at 8pm, I quickly checked into Golden Tulip Hotel (near the airport) to shower and rush to the venue.
As conventional of Ghanaian events, I was expecting a late start but the organizers violated the entrenched Ghanaian practice and started on time—-setting a new standard with time when it comes to African concerts.
When I finally entered the auditorium, the ‘tiredness’ that was hanging over my head vanished. As locally said; ‘they opened my eyes’.
The Conference Center was fully packed. It was beaming with well layered lightening and stage décor.
Even with multitude of people singing along and shouting with all manner of spine-chilling voices, the quality of the sound that came out of the speakers was undefeated.
As expected at concerts, the sound vibrated but it was not one of those vibrations that mostly compelled some concert goers to block their ears—it was perfectly channeled and distributed.
Whoever was in charge of lightening, stage design/décor and sound-output must go back to the organizers and ask for extra money for the great work done.
Before proceeding to talk about performances at the concert, let me quickly chip in this. I can say with authority that no concert in Ghana has ever received the sort of massive publicity ‘Ghana Meets Naija’ 2013 (3rd edition) received.
I challenge anyone to thinks otherwise to dispute this…
From huge media platforms like TV & Radio to Billboards, Websites and social media platforms, publicity for the event was everywhere and got to everybody.
I think Empire Entertainment has immense understanding of publicity and campaign.
If any political party wants to genuinely win elections in Ghana and really reach voters with their not intending to deliver campaign messages, they should hire Empire to be in charge of their campaign/publicity.
Yeah, it was that good and the impact was greatly felt as the concert was well attended considering the economic situation in Ghana and prices the tickets sold for.
Due to my flight issues, I missed the starting performances but I saw what actress-Nana Ama McBrown, Timaya, E.L, Edem, D-Black, M.anifest , Kwaw Kesse, Raquel, Okyeame Kwame, Obour, Wizkid and Samini did on stage…
Nana Ama McBrown
Nana Ama McBrown was incredible on the giant musical stage. Why is she not doing music full time? If nothing at all, she got the crowd shouting and jumping.
Fused with comical gestures and comments, Nana Ama McBrown sang out her heart to help Ghana beat Naija.
I was enjoying Timaya’s throw back performances, taking us back to those days until his closing act with one of the female dancers came in—very disrespectful and unnecessary.
E.L was also great on stage as patrons responded so well to his songs-Auntie Martha and Kaalu. He has the energy needed to thrill music lovers and he did exactly that.
However, I did not really like what his dancers did…They could have done more magic and pull in great ‘Azonto’ dance when Kaalu was being fully enjoyed by patrons.
D-Black is a hip-hop artiste who has passion for music. He could have made his performance outstanding but that Amakye Dede’s song he attempted to excite the crowd with was a bad pill to swallow…
Okyeame Kwame and Obour
The rap doctor is unbeatable when it comes to lyrics. He understands music and with many years of experience, he was able to get patrons sweating—especially when he dropped his song-Faithful.
Even the unfortunate GREAT FALL which became the most photographed moment of the night could not take away his shine on stage….
Obour’s surprise appearance on stage to perform ‘The Game’ with Kwame was an extra fun patrons enjoyed.
Edem was well received on stage and from his performance; you could see he actually loves music.
He managed to push through his hit songs and got patrons more excited with his fancy throw back moments—-singing bits of Deeba and some of the songs that gave hip-life the legs it has today.
But he was a little disconnected from the crowd as he limited himself to the center stage throughout his performance.
I do not commend all artistes to jump into the crowd as E.L did but coming close to patrons by running your performance along the front stage as Wizkid perfectly did makes it a CONCERT. This was missing from Edem’s performance…
Do people still ask; what is the noise all about when it comes to Wizkid? This guy understands stage performance. He knows when to keep quit and allow patrons to do the singing themselves—without asking or compelling them to do so.
If the performance is good, concert-goers will tag along. Unlike most artistes who had to request patrons to sing along or shout, Wizkid got them doing so without making any request—because everyone was feeling him.
His solid, calm and well rehearsed performance was more than satisfying. His connection with patrons was exceptional.
He stayed off unnecessary remarks and commentaries, and kept to why he was on stage. He was the man of the night.
Every minute that went into waiting for him to perform was worth it.
Neatly dressed, he thrilled patrons with a simple but electrifying performance. He left everyone wanting more—-the true hallmark of great stage work.
Why did Samini have to perform after Wizkid? That was a total disaster.
No matter how good you are as an artiste, you must avoid performing after the headline artistes—especially if the concert is going to take hours as most African concerts do…
Without doubt, Samini is a stage rocker but what is the point in rocking the stage to empty chairs or departing crowd?
Almost everyone at ‘Ghana Meets Naija’ couldn’t wait to see the headline artiste-Wizkid perform.
People sat patiently and enjoyed the performances of the various artistes who they’ve probably seen on stage several times in anticipation for Wizkid.
After Wizkid’s energetic performance, most of the people got up to leave. After all, they’ve seen the best and it was getting late.
The timing was totally wrong for Samini—no one gave him the attention needed!
Even if he was given audience, I am confident he would not have been able to tear down the swag and satisfactory walls Wizkid built on the night….
As a headline artiste, Wizkid did more than enough by thrilling the packed auditorium with back to back hits. I did not even know his songs were that much popular in Ghana, to the extent that everyone out there could sing along…
The truth must be said….D-Black failed with that poor delivery of Amakye Dede’s song. You should never attempt to perform songs from musical legends if you are not that GREAT.
In Ghana, unless you are extremely great, do not attempt to ‘do’ any song from Daddy Lumba, Amakye Dede, Nana Acheapong and the rest—-because you will end up disgracing yourself.
And this is exactly what D-Black did…
Areas To Improve/ Bad Shots
1. Blocking of Patrons’ View By Photographers/Journalists
What sense does it make to have a well decorated and expensive stage for a concert if the patrons cannot fully have a clear view—the main purpose of the stage?
Journalists and photographers flooded the front bit of the stage, blocking the view of those who have paid to enjoy the concert (from the VIP section)….
No where in the world have I been to a concert that the organizers have allowed journalists/photographers to ‘sleep’ in front of the stage, thereby, blocking the view of patrons.
At most concerts, a gallery or designated spot is given to journalists and photographers at some corner.
In this era of hi-tech cameras, you do not have to be in the face of performers to be able to take good shots. It is not about the distance anymore, it is about the lens & power of your camera.
It was really inexcusable to have several journalists/photographers walking back and forth in front of the main stage.
If anything at all, a single (selected) photographer should be allowed to be there to officially capture images for the organizers. The others should be seated or comfortably cornered at the side of the stage—-somewhere
This was my first time seeing KOD do his thing—live. I have read and seen several footage of him handling events and I can say, he is great at grabbing the attention of patrons with his mini dances and commentaries.
However, he seems to have forgotten about those who paid to be there….An MC must build rapport and a strong interaction with patrons (I mean the fee paying ones) not the celebrities who got complimentary tickets…
Instead of constantly trying to give shout out to celebrities who probably paid nothing to be there, he could have gotten the patrons more involved by making them feel important.
Throw the attention to those who are making it possible for you to be on stage…
His interaction with the crowd was not the best…At a point; he was even looking for Fred Numah in the audience when he was not at the venue. He could have surprised one of the ordinary attendees with that minute.
Also, he seems to have lost touch with the performing artistes at the latter part of the show. After Wizkid performed and left, he came on stage and tried to call him back but his calls were ignored…
3. The Songs The Artistes Performed
It was a concert for patrons to enjoy-be thrilled and dance their legs off. It was not a promo campaign for the performing artistes.
Most of the artistes kept killing or interrupting the vibe and the energy at the auditorium by performing their not so popular/unknown songs.
If an artistes have two lovely songs or hits, why can’t he just perform that and leave the crowd excited than breaking the shout, joy and zeal with some unreleased or unknown material?
At a concert, you want patrons to be on their legs, dancing or jamming to your performance. And not to sit down to wonder what song is this?
For instance, E.L could have performed Auntie Martha and Kaalu and leave the stage thereafter…The crowd shouted and joyfully sang along these hits but then in his attempt to promote his other songs (which were of no interest to those at the concert), he interrupted the whole vibe.
Raquel did the same by performing her unreleased material. Who paid to be there to listen to your unreleased material? This is a concert, not an album/music listening session….
In all, it was a great show and I am glad I made it to Ghana to be part of the experience.
Thanks to Empire Entertainment & MediaGH for their professionalism and for setting a standard they will struggle to beat.
I will say, Ghana did well but Nigeria was definitely the winner—Wizkid took the show on his shoulders and perfectly delivered.
Check out Wizkid’s performance below…