Everyone’s view of who is the biggest export for Ghana in terms of music will differ based on the facts each person has.
Now before we proceed let’s look at the definition of export.
The term EXPORT means to sell good or services abroad or internationally. Our keywords here are ‘sell’ and ‘internationally’
The Afromusicon account on Twitter asked this question a few days to the VGMA. They listed four musicians and asked Ghanaians to vote for who they thought was the biggest Ghanaian music export.
Which Ghanaian artist is the greatest export of all time? #AfroMusicon
— #AfroMusicon (@afromusicon) April 12, 2018
Now after 1,116 votes, Sarkodie came up as the prefered choice, receiving 54% of the total votes. Osibisa followed with 28%, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale had 9% each.
Let’s pick the international achievements of the first two and see if tweeps were actually justified in choosing Sarkodie as Ghana’s biggest export in terms of music.
- In 2012, the Rapperholic album earned Sarkodie his first BET nomination and subsequent win. He was nominated for the same award in 2014 and 2015. Sarkodie was also featured on the BET Hip Hop Awards cypher alongside Talib Kweli, Jean Grae and Ab-Soul. He was the only African act featured on the cypher.
- After releasing the Sarkology album, Sarkodie released the official remix for “Adonai”. The remix became an instant hit across Africa and was featured in BBC’s Capital Xtra Top 35 Afrobeats Songs.
- In June 2014, Sarkodie collaborated with Mi Casa, Lola Rae, Davido, Diamond Platnumz and Tiwa Savage on a song for DSTV’s Africa Rising campaign, which was designed to inspire Africans to partake in community-based social investment projects. The music video for the song, released on June 24, 2014, was shot and directed by South African production house Callback Dream.
- On February 27, 2016, Sarkodie spoke to a group of Harvard Business School students themed “The Art of the Hustle”. His speech was primarily about the challenges associated with being an African musician. Sarkodie also performed at the event following his speech.
- He was ranked 8th on Forbes and Channel O’s 2013 and 2015 lists of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artistes.
- In August 2012, Sarkodie kicked off his tour in the United States. He performed in several cities and states, including New York City, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland, Atlanta, Chicago, Texas and Massachusetts.
- On 7th July 2012, Sarkodie kicked off his tour of Canada.
- On 27th August 2012, Sarkodie performed at the Africa Unplugged Music Festival, which was held at the Wembley Arena in London. He performed alongside R2Bees, Fally Ipupa and Iyanya.
- On 7th June 2014, Sarkodie joined Miguel on stage to perform the latter’s single “How Many Drinks?”, at the MTV Africa Music Awards.
- On 8th August 2015, Sarkodie performed at the Sarkodie History In The Making concert, which was held at New York City’s iconic Apollo Theatre. The sold-out concert was supported by EL, Kwaw Kese, Banky W, The Composers, Bisa Kdei and John Dumelo, among others.
- Sarkodie has also performed in several African countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, Gabon, Kenya, Benin and Liberia.
- On 10th October 2015, Sarkodie started his European tour in Modena, Italy. As part of the tour, Sarkodie performed four times in Paris. He also performed in Bordeaux, France, as well as in Frankfurt and Dortmund
Osibisa is a Ghanaian Afrobeat band, founded in London in 1969 by four expatriate African and three Caribbean musicians. Their music is a fusion of African, Caribbean, jazz, funk, rock, Latin, and R&B.
Osibisa were one of the first African-heritage bands to become widely popular and linked with the establishment of world music as a marketable genre.
They had close to 10 of their albums making it to the Billboard, UK and Canadian Charts
- 1971 – Osibisa – (Billboard Hot 200 No. 55, UK No. 11 and Can.No. 49)
- 1971 – Woyaya* – (Billboard No. 66, UK No. 11 and Can. No. 61)
- 1972 – Heads – (Billboard No. 125 and Can. No. 86)
- 1973 – Superfly T.N.T. Soundtrack (Billboard #159)
- 1973 – Happy Children (Billboard #202)
- 1974 – Osibirock (Billboard #175)
- 1975 – Welcome Home (Billboard #200)
They recorded a couple of live albums at the following places:
- 1977 – Black Magic Night: Live at the Royal Festival Hall
- 1984 – Live at The Marquee
- 1998 – Live at Cropredy
Looking at all of these facts and the impact that each of the achievements has made globally, the question still remains……