Ghanaian-born Grammy Award winning producer, Paul Yebuah popularly known as Jazzwad has advised Ghanaian artistes to incorporate some amount of English into their songs to enable them hit the international stage fully.
The producer, who won the Grammy for his productions on Damian Marley’s 2006 Best Reggae Album Welcome To Jamrock which included Hey Girl and Beautiful which featured Bobby Brown, noted that it is important for artistes to do songs that their audiences and listeners understand and appreciate.
Speaking in an interview with Myjoyonline.com, Jazzwad noted that while it is good to do songs in local languages, the key to breaking into the world stage is to do songs in internationally known languages especially English.
According to him, “It’s good when the artiste sings in the local dialect but I mean if you want to go out into Europe, America, Canada [and] different parts of the world where it is only English they speak, then you have to make sounds with English words or [else] you [are] just going to have it limited to Ghana, Nigeria and certain places in Africa, it doesn’t go further.”
He stressed that, “If you want to be bigger than just being an African act you have to make your music accessible to be played anywhere in the world where that radio presenter or TV presenter or just a regular listener understands your words…it is key that you have your songs in English unless you want to be known only as a Ghanaian or African artiste.”
Asked what he makes of the argument that an artiste like Sarkodie, who sings in a local dialect, won a Black Entertainment Television (BET) award last year, Jazzwad noted that while the rapper must be commended for the award, the award was for his exploits in Africa.
“What BET Award did he win, wasn’t it a BET Award for African music? [He won] Best International Act for Africa and that is great for him to win that award but wouldn’t it be even more great if he won the Hiphop award overall?” he quizzed.
“When he won the award did he go on TV, was it televised that we could see that Sarkodie pick up the award on TV?” the producer further quizzed.
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