Ghanaian Reggae and Dancehall artiste Jupitar, also known as Michael Okine, has recently spoken out about what he perceives as a limitation in the promotion of music within the Ghanaian media space. The acclaimed artist asserts that many musicians are unfairly overlooked due to their inability to sing in Twi, one of Ghana’s widely spoken languages.
In a candid revelation on the “Uncut with D Black” show, Jupitar expressed his concern about the narrow linguistic scope within Ghanaian media houses. According to him, the dominance of Twi and Pidgin in music promotion creates a challenging environment for artists who choose to express themselves in their native languages.
Jupitar contends that talented musicians from other regions of Ghana, especially those who rap in languages such as Dagati or Sissala, face significant barriers in gaining airplay in the southern part of the country. He lamented the disparity, noting that despite their musical prowess, these artists struggle to garner streams when their music reaches the vibrant music scene in Accra.
The artist pointed out that this phenomenon extends beyond language preferences and has tangible consequences for the careers of musicians who operate outside the mainstream linguistic norms. Jupitar highlighted an imbalance in the promotion of artists, emphasizing that deserving talents may not receive the recognition they deserve simply because their chosen language doesn’t align with the dominant narrative.
Drawing a parallel to the international music scene, Jupitar spotlighted artists like Focalistic from South Africa, Phyno from Nigeria, and Asake, all of whom create music predominantly in their native languages. He emphasized that despite linguistic diversity, these artists receive widespread appreciation across different regions and ethnicities.
Using Fancy Gadam’s hit song ‘Total Cheat’ as an example, Jupitar noted that songs with a significant portion in Pidgin English tend to fare better on radio stations. However, he advocated for a more inclusive approach, suggesting that the Ghanaian creative space should embrace and appreciate songs in various languages to foster diversity and unity.
Jupitar’s candid insights bring attention to the need for a more inclusive and diverse music industry in Ghana, where artists are celebrated for their talents irrespective of the language in which they choose to express themselves. As the conversation gains momentum, it prompts a critical examination of the factors influencing music promotion and recognition within the country.