Rapper, Edem, alias Danning Edem Hotor, has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s manifesto promise to build “ultramodern” music studios in the country if it is re-elected is a misplaced priority as far as the needs of musicians is concerned.
According to him, what musicians urgently need is the structuring of the industry so that artists can make a decent living out of their crafts because as for music studios, they abound in the country already.
“For underground artists, coming from there and still relating to them, I feel we need systems and structures to be working instead of studios. My reason is very simple, studios are everywhere now. Underground artists are recording in their bedrooms, hotels everywhere. But when they hit, what system is there to ensure they get their revenue for and even their children and their parents, when they pass away? And so I feel that that one is a better investment for the government to look at rather than studios,” Edem said.
The “Heeba” hitmaker added that the investment the NPP is talking about is not just a touch-and -go area as buying equipment and putting up a studio are only the initial investments which will bring in recurrent expenditures once the studio starts running.
According to him, given that studios will need electricity, maintenance and other overhead costs to run, a government-built studio for the public sounds rather suspect in terms of feasibility, as the high cost of running the equipment, might ultimately mean the studios will be forced to charge more money to keep in business, a thing that will not inure to the benefit of underground artistes.
“Because if the studio is even a Ghc100 or Ghc50 for booking, honestly speaking, how many times will an underground artiste who is not working be able to pay for that. And if it is an ultramodern studio, can the studio also take care of its bills from Ghc100 sessions; from light bills to utility bills to workers in the studio? So I feel they have to relook at it and look at reinforcing the systems and structures and venues for performances and all those things that will enable us make money from our craft,” Edem said.
An “ultramodern” studio could cost a million dollars to put up, minus maintenance which will have to be provided by specialists from abroad when the console breaks down.
However, if what the government is looking at is a digital studio, then there really is no need to bother because most musicians are owning their personal digital studios. The evolution in music technology has meant that a computer can be used as the centrepiece around which a studio runs and this has made digital studios very affordable and accessible.
Already, Ghana’s music recording culture is digital-based. Analog technology tends to provide superior sound but is expensive to run.