Music publisher Enock Agyepong has added his voice to the debate going round that payola discourages musicians from promoting their music.
He declared that any radio DJ or presenter who takes payola from a musician before airing his or her song on radio should be condemned.
He condemned the host of Hitz FM’s Drive Time programme, Merqury Quaye, for saying that Ghanaian DJs will continue to take payola from musicians before they promote their (musicians) songs on air.
Speaking in an interview with BEATWAVES yesterday, Enock Agyepong who is also the chief executive officer of Speech Music Productions disagreed with Merqury Quaye that payola is a way of promoting music and, therefore, cannot be said to be something bad.
Merqury Quaye who had earlier stated that he sees payola as a way of promoting music through radio, stressed that Ghanaian musicians are solely responsible for the promotion of their songs and they must pay for it.
He added that Ghanaian DJs will continue to take payola from musicians if they want their songs to be promoted on radio.
Commenting on Merqury’s statements, the music producer said the presenter should feel ashamed for openly endorsing payola which has contributed significantly to the collapse of the Ghanaian music industry.
According to the music producer, it is morally wrong and a crime to encourage the payment of payola which has also forced a number of musicians and producers out of music business because they could not afford it.
To support his argument, Enock Agyepong disclosed that last year July, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) sacked one of its presenters on Ukhozi FM, DJ Vukani Masinga, also known as Chilli M, for taking payola from South Africa music group, Street Boys.
He said the termination of DJ Masinga follows an investigation into allegations of payola. Mr Masinga admitted to accepting some form of enticement in exchange for playlisting music of the people who enticed him.
By George Clifford Owusu