It’s a trend for the majority of the urban music acts in Africa to get on stage and scream the now famous words “DJ play track 2” and lip sync or “mime” their own songs like their are in cheap bar with a karaoke machine.
This trend is that is killing the creativity of artistes all over the world (not just Africa) was dealt with by renowned Professor John Collins, a Lecturer at the Music Department of the University of Ghana, who warned Ghanian musicians against miming their songs while on stage.
Professor John Collins posited in an interview with Joy FM Ghana that if musicians keep up with this trend, their careers will remain stagnant.
“I don’t think you can go anywhere if you have a band that mimes. I think it started with the burger highlife musicians and it continued with a lot of the hiplifers. I know some are now begging to perform live.”
He said, for example: “If you go a program in America or Europe and you put on your record on stage and mime to it, there is likely to be a riot [and] people will just throw their chairs at you.They will demand their money back because when they are going for a live show, they don’t imagine you can go to a show [where] people are miming.”
Excess digitalization of music
Aside from miming, the music professor expressed concern on the use of “too much effects” in Ghanian music which he said wasn’t making their sounds more balanced.
“In the West, a lot of people have reacted against the over computerization of music. They want to have live music. I think you have to have a balance of these things,” Prof John Collins added.
Professor John Collins just said something a lot of Ghanian musicians are guilty of and it doesn’t seem like stopping anytime soon.
As mentioned earlier this trend is something that is prevalent amongst the continent’s urban artistes which is a criminal offence to me (although some western acts are doing it too). It doesn’t make sense for anyone to pay his or her earned cash just to see their favourite artistes mime the same songs they can easily listen to in their closet.
While it’s a little bit understandable for hip hop artiste to mime occasionally, it’s inexcusable for a singer to do this. The promoters also have a role to play as they need to ensure that artistes perform live and provide the necessary tools for the artistes to display their crafts “properly” on stage.