Following the introduction of a one-week provisional window for dispute resolution for this year’s awards scheme, broadcast journalist and Academy member of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, Austine Woode has petitioned the organizers, Charterhouse, over the inclusion of Jay Bahd in the Best New Artist category.
In his argument, the journalist pointed out why Jah Bahd did not qualify to be nominated in the said category.
Citing the category definition of Best New Artist, Austine made reference to the nomination of the popular song Sore in the Best Collaboration in the 2021 VGMA nominations which he automatically qualified Jay Bahd for a nomination.
He also drew inferences from similar situations and the organizer’s stance on such situations years ago.
Read the full petition below.
PETITION TO ORGANIZERS OF VGMAs TO CONSIDER THE NOMINATION OF JAY BAHD IN BEST NEW ARTISTE OF THE YEAR
I am Austine Woode, a tomato farmer in Akomadan and an academy member of the VODAFONE GHANA MUSIC AWARDS
I have seen the official nominees list released by the scheme for the 2023 edition of the VGMAs for works done from January 2022-December 2022.
I have also read the official release by the scheme giving a one-week window for well-meaning people to submit any issues they find with the nominations in a bid to make the awards better, credible and error-free.
One particular category I have seen which has warranted this petition is the BEST NEW ARTISTE OF THE YEAR which has the following as nominees as officially presented;
Best New Artiste Nominees
* Malcolm Nuna
* Jay Bhad
* DJ Azonto
* Chief One
The official definition by the organizers of the VGMAs for BEST NEW ARTISTE is;
“The Best New Artiste is the Artiste(s) adjudged by the academy, board and general public as the most promising and talented emerging artiste(s) who released a single/EP/album that establishes the public identity of the artiste(s) within the year under review.”
From the above definition, Ewurabena released a song produced by ace gospel producer Naacee in 2009 but PRO of the Board, Robert Klah in his response on a Joy99.7 FM Twitter space organized on 22nd March 2023, said a key factor which the board considers is; “the said artiste(s) should have not had a nomination before at the Charterhouse organized Ghana Music Awards”
This brings into focus my petition citing all these official sources to draw the attention of the scheme to the fact that in 2021, the official nominations by the scheme had;
Best Collaboration of the Year
* ‘Take Care of You’ – Adina ft. Stonebwoy
* ‘Inna Song’ – Darkovibes ft. King Promise
* ‘No Dulling’ – Keche ft. Kuami Eugene
* ‘One Man’ – KiDi ft. Adina
* ‘Ekorso’ – Kofi Jamar ft. Yaw TOG & Ypee
* ‘La Hustle Remix’ – Medikal ft. Joey B & Criss Waddle.
* ‘Happy Day’ – Sarkodie ft. Kuami Eugene
* ‘Sore’ – Yaw TOG ft. O’kenneth, City Boy, Reggie, Jay Bahd
Amongst the nomination is “Sore” which featured Jay Bahd and per earlier press conferences and public pronouncements by the organizers, it qualifies Jay Bahd to have had a nomination previously so nominating him in 2023 for BEST NEW ARTISTE goes against the principle the scheme has put out.
In 2006, in the Contemporary Highlife Category, “Otoolege” by Ofori Amponsah ft KK Fosu, Kofi Nti and Barosky won over “Rakia” by Kofi Nti ft Ofori Amponsah, KK Fosu and Barosky.
But in the Best Collaboration category where both songs with the same 4 artists found themselves, Rakia won over Otoolege.
Public and media pronouncements made on LUV FM in Kumasi by board members of the awards gave the reason to include; the board found out that, the performance of KK Fosu on Rakia outweighed his performance on Otoolege.
This they said accounted for Rakia winning over Otoolege even though the latter was more popular than the former.
This also gives credence to the assertion that the award scheme values the contribution of artists featured in a song.
This also informed the decision of the organizers to publicly declare that in the Best Collaboration category, each artiste on the song will receive a unique plaque to show appreciation for their contribution to making the song win the Best Collaboration of the year.
Again in the area of Best Collaboration of The Year, this is the 2023 definition;
“The collaboration of the year is the song adjudged by the Academy, board and general public as the song released through the collaboration of two or more artists, or the featuring of one or more artists.
The song must have been released and generated the most excitement during the year under review.”
The above definition shows the premium the scheme places on each artiste that joined in making the song. So the assertion that someone who is featured on a song and the song getting nomination hasn’t had a nomination because it wasn’t his/her own song is not supported by the evidence adduced above from official sources.
Also, the point about Jay Bahd refusing nomination and asking to be out of the nominations in 2021 hasn’t been confirmed but that assertion is even moot.
This is because, after Shatta Wale and Sarkodie’s decision not to go for the awards in 2013, Shatta Wale threatened the organizers not to use his image and brand to market their events and awards.
The board came out officially to state that in order to avoid legal suits, the board was ending the practice of nominating songs and works which were not submitted but the board through its research team found out deserved nominations.
So from that time, anyone nominated and officially announced is considered to have agreed.
How then can someone in 2023 be telling us Jay Bahd opted out and hence seen as not getting nominated for “Sore”?
If that is the case, didn’t the organizers breach their own protocol by including Jay Bahd’s name in the promotion of the voting process and event?
I am of the firm belief that the Board and everyone associated with the VODAFONE GHANA MUSIC AWARDS will consider my petition, assess its merits and officially come out to clear the air on this matter.
All this is to help grow the scheme and make it more better.
Hoping to hear from the scheme on this.