Monday, 9 April 2012
By all standards, it certainly is a good time for Ghanaian music star Elorm Adablah, popularly known as EL; his videos are making constant rotations on Channel O and he has bagged 3 nominations for this year’s Ghana Music Awards.
EL has been nominated for the Best New Artiste of the Year, the Best Rap Artiste of the Year and the Best Collaboration of the Year for his duet with Sarkodie titled ‘You Go Kill Me’.
As if that is not enough, NEWS-ONE has picked reports that EL is about to release a 20-track album- quite unprecedented for any Ghanaian musician.
EL is about to accomplish that feat courtesy his management company, BBnZ Live; a relatively new multi-purpose entertainment cum media company seated on the topmost floor of the Flore Heights Towers on the Ring Road Central in Accra.
NEWS-ONE (NO), out of sheer curiosity, decided to find out about this relatively new but enviable company called BBnZ Live. The paper spoke to two of the company’s four directors- Kwame Blay (KB) and Alvin Bekoe (AB).
NO: What does BBnZ actually stand for?
KB: BBnZ Live is an acronym. It is actually an abbreviation of the surnames names of all the directors of the company. So you have Bekoe, Blay and Zinney. There is actually a fourth partner, Michael Jaba and he brings the ‘Live’ bit. He is our UK partner and works with OH TV.
NO: Aside the studio works what else do you do?
KB: The studio is actually the smallest aspect of what BBnZ Live does. We are a complete marketing firm and we provide a range of media-related services including account management, media planning, indoor and outdoor events, commercial printing and visual marketing. We are also into creative media, advertising and we are a management agency. Aside that, we also do brand management. We have artistes, artists, sound engineers, music producers, clothing lines; we have about six different brands which we manage under BBnZ Live. Ian Isigo is a Nigerian clothing brand which we manage; Sons of Elizabeth is a Ghanaian clothing brand we manage; we have EL the musician.
AB: We also want to focus on improving the quality of entertainment in the country and this is one of our major priorities. We came up with all the concepts in EL’s videos and for real they are raising eyebrows on Channel O. We are also doing a lot of productions, as in actual shows, which we want people to come to.
KB: We have a show on TV now which is ‘Pamper Your Mum’, with Anita Erskine; we have a new show with Gzigbodi, the Allure lady and it’s called the ‘Gzigbodi Show’. We basically want to focus on Ghanaian entertainment but doing it at international standards to prove that despite the fact that this is Ghana and we started later than the Nigerians and the South Africans, we still have a lot to offer the music, entertainment and branding industry.
NO: How long have you been around?
KB: BBnZ is a new company. The directors are not new to each other but we incorporated the company last year and started operations in August 2011 as a full-fledged company. I believe we have gained a lot in a few months.
NO: You seem to have avoided the Ghanaian media
AB: Well that was strategic. We believe in letting our works speak for themselves. We want to be behind the scenes at least for the first year or two. So far, people call us and ask what exactly we do and when we tell them what we have done, they get surprised.
NO: Is artiste management lucrative in Ghana?
KB: If you are serious about it and you plan properly, it can be a very lucrative venture. I mean in any market, it is all about proper planning. Yes, Ghana is smaller than Nigeria, South Africa etc but at the end of the day, there are still shows that can be planned properly in this country. There are a lot of high schools in Ghana and there are times EL plays 30 shows per weekend.
AB: There is a fundamental issue with artiste management in Ghana. This is basically the image of the artiste. It is not just about walking into the studio, drop a track then off you go until there is a show. This is a full-time job so we would ensure the artiste gets the best image and this is about branding and when you brand your artiste properly, the right sponsorship deals would follow with the endorsement deals and mouthwatering deals. The two are inseparable. So we are careful of what our artistes wear and how they carry themselves; when they release a song and all the little little things that others miss.
NO: You mean to say you determine what your artiste wears?
KB: Yeah. The clothes, the shoes, the perfumes and everything just have to be right.
AB: We have a tailor-made modus operandi at BBnZ and when you go to our site for instance and we say we are about to go live, everyone knows it means we are about to drop a song. Both of EL’s videos were dropped on the net at 12 midnight for instance and yet people stayed awake in wait of them.
NO: What’s the future like?
KB: Well, the prospects are bright and we say we are about to go live. That’s the catch phrase. There are a couple of projects we are into now and we feel they would change the Ghanaian entertainment industry. We have 24 million plus Ghanaians wanting to be entertained so the options transcend just music. We are talking of a special type of monthly events for different target audiences.
NO: Is it worth having the most expensive studio in Ghana?
KB: We believe in working with the best to get the best. As to if it is worth it, we can say yes.
AB: This is not our first time dabbling in this. It is a tedious job and we want people to have value for their money. We have already had international stars in our studio. We have had Jesse from Chocolate Boys: He is the main producer for MI, Ice Prince and all those guys. We’ve had Omotola, Eddie Kaddie, and Eddie is already bringing a lot of big guys.
KB: We are about doing a movie with Eddie and that guy is big. Currently, he alone fills the O2 Arena and that’s no easy thing to do. We’ve already had a show with him last Christmas.
NO: Your final words
AB: We want to change the face of entertainment in this country and be a major entertainment force
KB: We want to build a big brand to compete on the international market. And we are bent on bringing the best of entertainment Ghana has ever seen.