In this series from the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here) we learn about different strategies of artists to fund their music. In short quotes musicians tell from their own perspectives. Today: DJ Black from Ghana.
In Ghana, you don’t make money from selling your songs online or selling them on the market: everybody is downloading or bluetoothing. As an artist you get power from the number of downloads of your songs. If your song has over 10,000 downloads, it means that it is popular. You can then try to push yourself on radio stations and get TV interviews. As soon as the song is on everybody’s lips you’ll get shows. And when you get shows, you get paid. All famous Ghanaian musicians or bands like Sarkodie, D-Black, or R2bees made it because they’ve been able to publicize their work and sell themselves well on the Ghanaian market. Big companies are coming in and supporting artists in Ghana. Sarkodie now has brand endorsements from Samsung, Fan Milk and other global companies. I make my living as a DJ, writing adverts, editing, doing voice-overs, hosting concerts and finally being a brand ambassador for companies like DSTV, Smirnoff, and some clothing lines.
This quote was recorded by Thomas Burkhalter, 26.4.2013 in Accra, Ghana, and published first in the second Norient book Seismographic Sounds