Among other items of debate, public relations officer for Charter House, George Quaye, disclosed that there’s been a constant call to scrap from the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards the Gospel Album of the Year category, with many proposing that it simply be absorbed into other categories. Speaking to Hitz FM, Quaye said:
One category that came up strongly was, for instance, the Gospel Album of the Year category, which most people have agreed that if they are that good, why don’t they join the Album of the Year category where everybody else competes?”
Others argue that gospel music is the only genre in which musicians consistently produce albums, therefore it only makes sense that it should have its own award category for album of the year. As evidence, Quaye pointed to popular secular musician Shatta Wale, who is said to have about 93 singles without an album.
Another item some have a problem with is Reggae and Dancehall being lumped together in one category. Touching on that, Quaye said there are very few artistes when it comes to reggae, unlike dancehall, so until Ghana has a significant number of artistes who produce reggae songs, the two genres will be treated as one category.
Yet another point of debate is whether or not the song Telemo by Gasmilla should be included in the 2015 awards. The song was released in 2014 but didn’t become a hit until 2015. On that issue, Quaye said, “The VGMAs have also nominated remixes as new songs before.”
Nominations for this year’s awards opened on January 1, 2016. One thing different about this year’s VGMA is that some radio presenters have been given the chance to file forms. On this, Quaye said:
Because media houses interact mostly with music and musicians all year through, they also know the songs that are trending, so they will also file some of these forms. We’ve tried to broaden the research bracket so that we’ll try to make it as nationalistic as possible. Eventually, when we have all that, during the cut-down, you’ll see the song that has appeared at many of these places, that will give you an idea of the strength of that song as far as the national preference is concerned. So it means that when an artiste’s song has been entered by the research team or by some radio station, but the artiste has not filed a nomination, the research team based on recommendation from the board can approach the artiste and tell them.”
Charter House’s year under review ran from 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2015. Any song produced during this period qualifies to be nominated.