In October 2018, a relative of mine outside Ghana called me late in the night asking if I could provide the title of the song and artiste name, he was about to sing to me. This relative tried as much as he could but I could not get even the rhythm right. He was poor at singing portions of the song to me. A digital app could have helped make this very easy for him, but most Ghanaian artiste(s) are not taking advantage of it.
Then I asked him, is the song from a Ghanaian artiste, to which he quickly said yes. I continued with other questions just to narrow the “music puzzle” but to no avail. Then I told him, next time the song plays on the radio where you are “Shazam” it.
He preceded to laughing on the phone which I found very surprising. His pronouncement afterwards was that, “Ghanaian musicians are not serious”. Apparently, he has tried days before to Shazam this song anytime he hears it on the radio, but to no avail. Feedback he got was “no results”. He left the line disappointed. I just could not help him.
To make matters worse in recent times, disc jockeys do not introduce songs they present on radio all in the name of “mixing”. It is music presentation hence I personally hold the view that, details of the music should be inclusive. If a disc jockey wants to mix, go to the club. Period!!!
HOW SHAZAM WORKS
For those of us who might not know what Shazam is, it’s an app bought off by Apple from Shazam Entertainment Limited on 24th September 2018.
The application can identify music, movies, advertising, television shows. The app has a database of audio fingerprint based on a time-frequency graph called a spectrogram. (source: support.shazam.com)
What this means is that when a song is playing, you activate the app which can recognize the song title and other details based on the acoustic fingerprint in its database. In recent times, the app has been modified to provide lyrics of the song as well as links to the video.
For me as a lover of music, my issue is with the fact that, Ghanaian musicians do not know what such apps and related digital apps can do to their music gains. Not only does it increase your fan base on YouTube (revenue generating platform) due to the video link shared on Shazam, it also allows for other downloads which brings you income on a monthly basis. This is cool money with no sweat of walking on the streets typically in the name of selling CD’s.
Shazam further has links to iTunes stores so when I shazam your song and its available, I just go on the store and purchase either your entire album or that song. Just imagine over 1million people on these various digital platforms across the world purchasing. There is definite some cool cash to be made on the digital global market and it beats my imagination, that even the “enlightened” Ghanaian musician has not discovered this. How are we really hoping to compete on the global stage?
Ghanaian musicians should really read around the art of making money in music and not only take joy in producing songs. I am saddened with the way most of our entertainment legends die poor and its about time they take their destiny into their hands.
HOW TO SUBMIT SONGS
To submit songs on the platform, it can only be done through distribution services affiliated and recognized or given the rights by Shazam to do so. Some of these distribution services are CDBaby, DistroKid, Fuga, Ditto Music, Ingrooves, The Orchard and many more.