The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) has warned radio DJs and presenters to desist from taking money from musicians before playing their songs on air.
MUSIGA complained that the practice has become so rampant in the Ghanaian music industry that the musicians and producers are forced to actually include payola in their promotional budgets.
According to the union, it is illegal for DJs and radio presenters to collect money (payola) from musicians before playing their music on radio, adding, “The union finds the call for musicians to make such payments unacceptable and unfortunate.”
For MUSIGA, that is an injustice which is killing the music industry gradually and, therefore, everything possible must be done to stop it at this stage.
In a statement issued in Accra, MUSIGA disclosed that payment of payola is an endorsement of corruption which is a problem the nation is vigorously struggling to battle and kick out.
It further said radio DJs have manipulated the music industry to the extent that the musician has no option than to pay payola before his or her music could receive air play. That, the statement said, has really crippled the music industry, forcing a number of music publishers to quit.
The statement, however, said the Ghanaian industry could be rescued through a concerted effort and also correcting existing mistakes within the industry to prevent the increase rate of payola.
“In that regard, there is the need for a regulation of local versus foreign content on our airwaves and we look forward to parliament passing the appropriate laws to ensure that our local content gets maximum exposure on our airwaves,” it added.
By George Clifford Owusu