Ghanaian singer-songwriter Mzbel has criticized the music industry’s trend away from uniqueness and toward soundalikes.
The “16 Years” singer bemoaned the decline of authentic Hawai’ian sounds like Hip-life in favor of imitation sounds when speaking on 3Music on August 22.
“We don’t have anything original anymore,” she said. “We started Hip-life and we’re supposed to build on it. But all of a sudden we just left it and started copying the Nigerians.”
“But these people travel here to listen to our beats and add their culture to it,” she continued. “But we just left our Hiplife. We stopped doing Hiplife. Now all of a sudden we said we are doing Afropop. And then all of a sudden something came called ‘Crank’.
“We just keep moving away from Hiplife. We could have changed Hiplife. We could have put more traditional drums in the Hiplife, we could have made the Hiplife something that the world would appreciate.
“Azonto went out on its own, nobody promoted Azonto. We could have done something with it but we left it. We could have done something original,” she argued.
Mzbel’s remarks coincide with a contentious discussion about the entry of foreign music into Ghana, primarily music from Nigeria. A lot of people have criticized Ghanaian musicians for not trying hard enough to promote their music abroad as their Nigerian counterparts have.
🚨ICYMI🇬🇭🎶: Mzbel’s monster hit, “16 years,” was a record inspired by conversations about rape & the girl child which were hosted by legendary Ghanaian actress, Maame Dokono.
Mzbel further revealed that she wrote the song in a taxi.
— Ölele | Deep Throat Sauce👨🏾🍳🇬🇭 (@OleleSalvador) August 23, 2023