Stage performance or stagecraft is crucial if not imperative, to the
career of any musician. It is definitely not enough to have that velvet
voice, not enough to command the number one hit song or album. You
won’t be given the accolade ‘A consummate artiste’ if you lack the
craft to be a ‘show stopper’, the ability to wow a crowd. If you can’t
excite or ‘move’ an audience, then your ratings go down as a consummate
Artists are always called upon to grace entertainment shows, parties, rallies and yes, funerals, and they are paid appreciably, so you can always grouse whenever you pay to see a show and any artiste fails to deliver. We are approaching Christmas and therefore shows would abound which makes it necessary to know who you pay to watch. Here are your top ten artistes that leave you awe-struck whenever they perform on stage, and of course, the lousy ten stage-performers in Ghana.
1. Batman Samini
What’s his name again? Is it Batman, Samini, or Batman Samini or SaminiBat? This guy’s confusion over his own use of name doesn’t take away the fact that he tops the chart of best stage performers of all time. His ability to handle a live band with ease and his dexterity with freestyles is commendable. He always has that element to get any audience to sing and dance along with his performances and even on a bad day, he still beats out many of his colleagues. Congratulations, BatSami, sorry Batman Samini.
2. Kwaw Kesse
Undoubtedly, he is the hottest guy around, the one you need to give your show a life. He will resuscitate your show at any given day. People go gaga over his sounds blaring from their stereos and when he is present to dish out his hit tracks, he does it even better and makes the crowd go um...crazy. Yes, the only artiste to get showbiz icon, Grace Omaboe aka Maame Dokono to yell “abodam”.
Coming from his back-to back hit albums “toffee” and “comm. center”, Da Destroyer takes the number three spot with the kind of energy and exuberance he brings on stage. He handles any stage with such urgency, moving from one side of the stage to the other, he never tires. And he gets the crowd energized, standing and moving along with him. He’s definitely a ‘show stopper’.
I remember he was almost like a nerd when he came out with the acclaimed ‘Pae mu ka’ album anytime he mounted the stage. The man had incredibly stepped-up his stage manners over the years, he’s led a TIGO sponsored tour nationwide and a Coca-Cola nationwide tour as well. He is your undisputed king for branding. Want to sell your brand, just call on him and his dancers, and feel the results.
I can feel you complaining as to why she’s here, but hate or love it, if she headlines 8 out of say 10 shows, and then of course the highest-selling female artiste (circular) deserves to be here. Mzbel may not be your quintessential stage performer, but her seductive apparel and exotic dance moves always gets the crowd yearning for more and with those sultry backing dancers, partygoers never regret paying to watch her on the bill.
6. Christiana Love
The gospel diva does not only have a strong voice, she also wields a strong personality when it comes to stage performance. With the kind of energy she brings on stage you’d think she’s a man. She’s so energetic and animated she gets the crowd in the Praising-God mood always. Keep it up, Christy
7. Tic Tac
A young and innocent looking Tic Tac with his maiden “Philomena kpitinge” wept backstage at a show at Trade Fair Center in Accra when he was sidelined by then rap heavyweights like Lord Kenya, Rockstone and co. But now, a matured Tic Tac has the swagger to rock shows and his headlining performance at the Big Brother Africa 2 was a good promulgation for himself and Ghana.
8. Praye and Wutah
Okay, we have a tie between these bands and interestingly, they were all discovered at the Nescafe African Revelation Talent Hunt show, no wonder they have a comparable style of stagecraft. Praye and Wutah complement their chart-topping songs with good stage performances. At a typical Wutah / Praye show, you sure would have the ladies screaming their names whiles the guys enjoy the show with envy.
9. Kwaku Gyasi
The Elder Mireku sound-alike can’t be left out on the top ten. He rarely disappoints anytime he mounts the stage to Praise the Lord. He gets you in the mood all the time and like Batman, he is very good at free styles he is capable of turning shows around.
10. Becca and K.K Fosu
The top ten is complete, thanks to Becca and K.K. She has not been in the business for long, she delivers on stage like she’s been doing this ten years. Her stage manners are a delight to watch, not to talk about that model body of hers. She is classy with live bands and if you are able to control a live band, then you are game. With only Mzbel seriously dictating the pace, we all hope Becca won’t be a one-hit wonder. K.K Fosu, the self-acclaimed Ghana’s R Kelly cannot be compared to the original King of RnB, but he sure can be when he comes to stage performance. K.K. is one of a small number of contemporary highlife guys who can turn a show around.
THE LOUSY 10 STAGE PERFORMERS
From ‘odo e sisime’, the duo takes my money as the most consistent hiplifers around, but they are so inconsistent on stage. Whenever Pharaoh is on fire, his brother Culture is dull and whenever Culture is in his element, Pharaoh is a waste of time.
He is one of the best Ga lyricists in the game but in recent times he hardly gets any crowd moving. The crowd just gawks at me him whiles he tortures them with his boring stage performances. His lateness prevented him from opening the act for John Legend and Luciano in their performance in Ghana, but that at least saved the crowd from such boredom.
8. Reggie Rockstone
If you don’t know what we’re discussing, please scroll up and check the title and by the title, Reggie is a lousy stage performer. Oh yes, he is the Grandpapa of hiplife but when it comes to stagecraft, call him the “little kiddie kiddy” of hiplife, especially with DJ Rab not around on the turn table. Sorry Reggie, but makaa maka.
With their hottest single African gurlz on urban radio and a beautiful music video, you’d expect these Adabraka lads to wow you with their performance, but they are a disappointment most times. Guys need to perfect their act.
6. A Pluz
I don’t get agitated when A Pluz is unable to have a good performance on stage because of his kind of music and instrumentation and I don’t see how it could move even a bunch of kindergarten kids. He should not sway from his kind of music but he can do something about his stage manners, at least improvise with his performance.
He featured talented lady rapper Ras Nigga on his two hit songs and the lady lyrically outshines him on wax, and on stage she still outshines him. Without Ras Nigga on stage, OD4 looks mundane. Maybe next time, he shouldn’t feature her in his songs then he will not be compelled to feature her on his stage performances. And then he may learn to have a good show without Ras Nigga
Yes, he is Bola Ray’s brother so he gets to perform every now and then but the guy virtually puts you to sleep with his kind of performances on stage. I won’t comment on the guy he usually brings to the stage because I don’t know whether to classify him as a dancer or backing vocalist. Come on Ebo’o, do your brother proud and add some bite to your stagecraft.
3. Kofi B.
He may be branded as one with the smoothest voices in Ghana, but his performances on stage are not that smooth. He has got such a quirky way of stagecraft, you feel like throwing him off stage because he can’t even put you to sleep.
2. Daasebre Gyamena
It’s good to have him back but his stagecraft is a disaster. Probably, jail time took away a lot from the man, but he wasn’t even a great performer before. He is an effigy of himself whenever he performs on stage.
1. Ofori Amponsah
Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s raise our glasses to the lousiest stage performer: Ofori Amponsah. The record award-winning artist would leave you aghast with that kind of performance. At a Peace FM organized show, ‘The Search’, his performance was so woeful, people did run for cover and at the Ghana Music Awards show, he was virtually booed off stage. He still can have the awards, but his stagecraft really sucks.