Zylofon Media, a relatively new media outlet in Ghana has been on artists signing spree, backed by this hovering conception that they are rich—without any clear evidence of capability or success.
While Zylofon Media’s signing of Stonebwoy a few days ago to handle his “management, productions and promotions” came with excitement for his fans, I am unenthused and even worried as a spectator.
A week or so before signing Stonebwoy, Zylofon Media signed Becca to join a management/record label which started on the back of Kumi Guitar.
On the face of it, because Ghanaian musicians are in need for services Zylofon Media claims to offer, the multiple signings may seem like a right path for these artists and the many to come.
But apart from words probably backed by a huge bank balance, Zylofon Media has no success story known to any of us—even the first artist they signed, Kumi Guitar, does not make a good case for the outlet.
And yet, two well respected and talented artists, Stonebwoy and Becca, have followed suit by buying into whatever they are selling which we should hope it’s not the usual Ghanaian bullshit.
There’s enough evidence from our Ghanaian musical landscape to suggest that when an entity, even if backed by huge funds, signs several artists, it ends in disappointments and the success promised is never seen.
A clear case in point is Lynx Entertainment which was successful at signing a tall list of artists, from Asem to Eazzy, who complained bitterly when the success story could not match the projections and eventually had to leave—leading to the “collapse” of Lynx.
Empire Entertainment, even though owned by my good friend-Bola Ray, a hugely successful media mogul in Ghana has had its fair share of the artists signing disaster—and today, Empire is left with no popular artist’s name on its books in good standing. Okyeame Kwame, Ruff & Smooth and even Juliet Ibrahim were once reported to have signed “million dollars” deals with Empire.
A little slide outside the artists’ management and record companies’ quarters will cheerfully land you on the borders of Glo, a telecommunication giant sitting on huge continental bank balances that made a magnificent entry into the Ghanaian market and promised heaven but has been unable to even deliver hell.
Let’s leave Glo’s operational ruination to those who may be interested and take a minute to evaluate the huge uplift it claimed it was going to bring to a bunch of Ghanaian entertainers when they were signed—and the “cosmic nothingness” it has left them disappointedly residing in.
Every Glo signed artist I’ve spoken to in the past has been filled with letdowns, made worse by the fact that the contracts signed with Glo had several clauses which restricted their ability to deal with others, and Glo’s non-delivery turned these clauses into unhealthy restrains on their progress.
Of course, Glo gave out a lot of money to those who were signed just as Zylofon Media is said to be doing. But whatever they promised after the initial contractual payment is not what we’ve seen over the years.
Interestingly, Glo has had a success with doing this in Nigeria and yet it woefully failed in Ghana. Even with a success story from a different country to serve as a persuasive precedent which must have pushed a lot of Ghanaian entertainers to buy into Glo’s offer, it still turned out to be an unanticipated disaster.
Without any known success story from Zylofon Media, especially when their first artist-Kumi Guitar has not made any huge impact except to flaunt a car which was supposedly given to him as part of his signing deal, what’s the motivation for our big artists such as Becca and Stonebwoy to sign unto such a label, except the cash that was obviously thrown at them?
A friend said, “probably Stonebwoy needed some quick cash for his wedding” and I told him not to be silly. But his assertion captures the difficulty in establishing what motivated Stonebwoy and even Becca to take such a high-risk gamble with their careers.
I do not wish for Zylofon Media to end up in the pot of those that came before it but I am worried that our artists as of today seem not to have learnt a lot—and are still signing such deals even when the company at the center of it all has no track record of success with what it claims to do.
Even if Zylofon Media is in a position to deliver, the probability of individual artist’s success diminishes anytime a new one is signed–as these artists will have to compete for reach, attention and for the unlimited resources of Zylofon.
Already, I am told Zylofon Media has signed an unpublicized deal with Ghana Movie Awards’ Founder-Fred Nuamah and several other companies, taking onto its small and untested shoulders more commitments–as usual, promising these signees big returns.
They say “time will tell” but to be frank, I do not have a good feeling about all these signings–and I hope I am not the only one. Because talk is cheap and even far cheaper when you come to our side of the world.