Veteran Ghanaian Highlife musician Gyedu Blay Ambolley won’t work with any artist, especially the young ones, if they don’t live up to his standards, even if they are promised a fortune.
This is because he has established a solid reputation, and Ambolley will keep declining their calls for collaboration as long as those musicians do not recognize and uphold the standard of preserving Ghana’s unique musical heritage.
“I am not looking at the money. I am not going to say because they have money, I am going to charge them and do it. It has to be what I believe in and the substance of the music must have a positive impact on listeners.
“In our time, we learnt what music really was and the rudiments of music composition, arrangement and all other elements that make good music. That is not available to the young ones lately. All they do is to depend on the computer and after that give themselves all kinds of titles,” he stated.
Ambolley, whose music career spans more than four decades, claimed that most of the new crop of artists prioritized trends and rapid gratification over creative integrity and cultural preservation in an interview with Graphic Showbiz on Tuesday, September 12.
The ‘Simigwado’ hitmaker suggested that the new artists would benefit greatly from putting an emphasis on developing their talents rather than looking for quick ways to success.
“Many of them want to do music with me but they are not at par with what I expect. And if you are not up to that, I am sorry, I won’t team up with you.
“I have been approached several times by some of the young ones, they want me to endorse their stuff, but I decline because whatever work I put my mark on has to be real music. Most of them are doing what I call ‘sharp sharp’ music which has a very short shelf life.
However, Ambolley recognized that there were some extremely brilliant young musicians making waves in the field and he would not be hesitant to train them and open his doors to them for partnerships and sponsorships.
“There are a few exceptional ones who have the potential to make a significant impact on our music scene and we know them, and these are the ones I will not hesitate to work with,” he added.