The reigning Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) ‘Artiste of the Year’ is Joe Oscar Mettle – and nobody can alter that fact, regardless of the little cynicism that greeted his history-making win, but unfortunately, the artist is doing very little to depict the command of an ‘Artist of the Year’.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with his artistry but there’s everything wrong with his brand positioning. His nationwide appeal is not encouraging, his marketing drive is weak, his social media presence is overly disappointing and his publicity/PR machinery is shambolic.It’s been months since winning the ultimate, but it seems Joe Mettle needs a jolt, maybe the same light that struck Saul on his Damascus – for him to realize the enormous task and responsibility that rest on his shoulders.Believe or trash it; the fact is – winning ‘Artiste of the Year’ at the VGMA comes with expectations and it does not matter whether you are a highlife artist, hip hop or Borborbor artist; you get judged by the same measure!
The Status Quo Must Change
Yes, we know that Joe is a champion in the urban/contemporary gospel fraternity; cementing his legacy and helping elevate that sector but that narrative became history when he walked up the podium to receive the prize for ‘Artiste of the Year’. Let me humbly remind Joe if he still has not got a grasp of what that title signifies. It means he is the ‘Artiste of the Year’ for Ghanaian music; he is the overlord and champion of all genres of Ghanaian music. He is the reigning King of Ghanaian music, and he must start living up to that billing.
That lukewarm approach and the feeling of contentment he exhibited in the gospel domain must change. He must prove to everybody, especially the naysayers that, his win was no fluke, but he can’t do that, when he decides to release songs and tell of his plans and projects to only his friend.
For the sake of his brand, he must be dominating Ghanaian music and transcending the shores of Ghana – striking international collaborations and hoisting Ghanaian gospel music.
Lack of Urgency
Since winning the enviable prize, the artist and his team, have been tepid in their approach to his brand positioning. The difference between Joe Mettle of February 2016 and Joe Mettle of April 2016 is just one – the VGMA title. Everything else has remained the same – disappointingly.
Right after his win, Joe released what was called the victory single, ‘Yedi Nkunim’ – a very good song, but unfortunately, its play was short-lived and its promotion was handled haphazardly.
Nothing stopped the artist, who was still getting traction for his historic win from premiering it on 10 radio stations across the country and ensuring that the song became No. 1 on the charts. No music video was shot for the song and it never made it to the charts. But wait – it is popular within the urban/contemporary gospel circles, of course!
None of his songs is making any impact after his VGMA win and that is not good enough and what is even more gutting is the fact that, he is yet to shoot any music video to any song after that.
There’s simple no aggression in his approach to the promotion of his music and brand, and in this era of music business, having no form of alacrity in your dealings leaves you in the doldrums.
PR Machinery Is Wobbly
In this age of social media and brand activation plus the fact that, the man is winner of the VGMA ‘Artiste of the Year’ – his social media presence is wonky. His releases and projects are not in our faces like they should be and clearly, some persons in his team have been sleeping.
After VGMA, Joe has been working; performing across the globe and gracing major shows, but only his team and their friends know about such endeavours. How useful will such information be when you keep them in your socks? Unfathomable!
Last week, under the aegis of Vodafone, the artist launched his ‘Praiz Reloaded’ Concert with a press conference and astonishingly, the room was filled by officials of Vodafone, the artist and his team/friends and just a handful of media men. A press conference that does not have press, is that one too a press conference?
As expected, the event did not trend on social media and was not covered by major entertainment portals across the country and this is supposed to be our ‘Artiste of the Year’.
As usual, it was only his friends who were sharing artwork to what is like his self-produced music concert, “Praiz Reloaded’ – a concert similar to what E.L will do for ‘BAR’ Concert, Sarkodie’s ‘Rapperholic’ and Shatta Wale’s ‘After The Storm’ Concert.
Just two days ago, he beat the likes of Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy and LilWin to win EMY Awards ‘Best Entertainer of the Year’ and the news is not all over the place.
The hardworking media personnel in the country have been working for all and are willing to work with and for Joe Mettle, but whatever team he has in charge of his PR are lazy, not focused and has no sense of direction.
Lead By Example
Joe Mettle should realize that his win is a win for gospel music and all eyes are fixated on his maneuvers and progress. How he navigates his music, brand and business skills is being monitored by many, especially the folks in the gospel domain.
How well he manages his reign as ‘Artiste of the Year’ and a beacon of hope for the genre of gospel is under scrutiny. He is expected to make a good case for the sector but the bus stops with him.
He has no excuse and a reason to falter: he has good songs, an appealing persona and lovable character. All he has to do leave that comfort zone of his, make a move and seek help where necessary.
There’s no comfort zone when it comes to having to protect and defend your kingship as ‘Artiste of the Year’. Lead my brother, lead!
He Must Take Charge
The person who has oversight responsibility over the brand Joe Mettle is Joe Mettle and he must take action. Nobody cares more about that brand than he does. If that brand fails, all team members assigned to work on that brand may find other jobs working for another artist, which makes it more essential for the artist to take full control of what happens to that brand.
He is the producer, director, scriptwriter and director of photography for his brand and he must direct how his branding is positioned. He must assume the role of a zealous and ambitious leader who wants to succeed in breaking new frontiers.
He is a good brand and many corporate firms would love to associate with such a brand, help him elevate the music and aid in the soul-winning movement for Christ – but he can’t win if he continues to sit in that comfort zone with such a bewildered team and expect to win. Sit up, guys, sit up!
Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo, www.entertainmentgh.com
NB: The views expressed in this article are that of the author and NOT necessarily that of GHEconomy. If you have different views, you are encouraged to forward your rebuttal (firstname.lastname@example.org).