The alternative music scene in Ghana has gained great exposure in recent times partly due to social media and also due to the work that Benewaah Boateng and Barima Effah have put into establishing Harmattan Rain.
Harmattan Rain highlights the work of alternative artiste in Ghana who want to show off and express their culture artistically.
Before Harmattan Rain, a lot of alternative artistes had to rely on their small communities to share their music. Through Harmattan Rain, they get exposed to the world.
However, underlying Harmattan Rain’s success is their use of social media.
Social Media Week Accra, engaged in a lit conversation with Benewaa and we were happy to have been a fly in the room.
SMWiAccra: What inspired you to start the alternative music blog?
Benewaah: I love music! And before, I just used to share music I like (which happens to be mostly alternative). I linked with my friend Barima Effah to create playlists, do interviews and generally document the growth of music from here.
SMWiAccra: That’s nice but why the name Harmattan Rain?
Benewaah: Harmattan Rain represents a diamond in the rough. That which is both common and uncommon at the same time. That’s how the music now feels in my opinion.
SMWiAccra: Did social media influence the setting up of Harmattan Rain in any way?
Benewaah: Definitely! Social media exposed Harmattan Rain more. It made me realize a lot more people liked this music other than myself. It connected us to not only music lovers but also musicians and artistes from well… from Everywhere!
SMWiAccra: Social Media made it rain! In your opinion, how is social media changing the way people interact with music?
Benewaah: People have more access to music from across the globe. People know who’s popping and who’s not and from which parts. But people are also easily manipulated and also lose interest. If the coolest person says it’s not hot, it’s not. Songs come out every day.
SMWiAccra: What about the creative community, has social media influenced the new face of the creative community in Ghana?
Benewaah: Influenced… not really. More like exposed. I believed the creativity was always there. People just have the avenue to showcase it now. Others coaxed out of their shells to share when they see others do so and some are also birth from motivation. Some are also introduced to new styles and art forms and can grow and mature, join or grow a community, etc. it’s beautiful.
SMWiAccra: What other avenues on social media can be used to enhance media like yours?
Benewaah: Twitter, Facebook for sharing and interacting. Instagram for events and updates. Facebook or Instagram live, Snapchat, Periscope for interaction too.
SMWiAccra: That’s some great insights. You just need to know what works well with what you want to do on social media.
SMWiAccra: We love your initiative for alternative music blogging and using social media to break barriers.
Benewaah: Thank you! You should check out my brother Biishville. He’s doing amazing with food and internet. weird mix ain’t it?
SMWiAccra: Definitely weird but it won’t stop us from checking him out. Can’t wait to see you during Social Media Week.