Ghanaian veteran hiplife artist and the head of Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), Rex Omar has said that the knowledge gap in the music industry is very high with regards to split sheets.
The ‘Didida’ hitmaker made this assertion during an interview session with an Accra-based radio station. He and some other panelists were discussing music publishing and how to split royalties between artists and producers. He intimated that the reason why there are several brawls between artists and producers recently is because of ignorance from both parties. He said about 90% of the industry players don’t understand how the music industry operates.
“I think that ever since I got into the music industry 35 years ago, I realized that there is a lot of ignorance in our space. Be it the musicians themselves, the producers, the record labels, and distributors. People don’t understand anything. All they understand is I’ve gone to the studio, I’ve recorded and it has continued up to date. The split sheets and the rest have been there a long time now. That is the standard of the industry. I believe this is so because Ghana doesn’t have any proper recording industry that rules and regulations apply”.Rex Omar
BEATMENANCE DETAILS WHAT SPLIT SHEETS ENTAILS
That notwithstanding, Ghanaian music producer, Beatmenance, who was one of the panelists agreed with Rex Omar’s assertion. He further explained what split sheet should entail saying: “properly set out split sheet will not only determine the names of the persons who have contributed to the creation of the work. But, the relative percentages will accrue to a total of 100% of the work. More specifically, the exact task each person has done”.
When asked if a producer or an artist can get a split sheet anywhere or have to join an organization to get the sheet, Rex Omar said that there are standard forms of split sheet that cut across all the collective management organizations like GHAMRO. He also mentioned that previously, artists and producers had to seek advice from an entertainment lawyer to get a split sheet. However, these days they are all over. Rex Omar also pleaded with industry players to learn more about any business before venturing into it.
“I am pleading with Ghanaian artists and producers, before you enter any business, at least know what it is. Most of our people who enter the business game don’t look at it as a business. Otherwise, any serious-minded business person will first check feasibility…and other things. But if you enter the industry, just as everyone is then there will be a problem”.
SEVEN XAVIER ASKS GHAMRO TO WORK ON ROYALTIES
Nonetheless, another Ghanaian music producer, Seven Xavier disclosed that he and Beatmenance have been educating some rising artists and producers on split sheets. However, he averred that if organizations such as GHAMRO don’t put in place better systems to get the royalties, then split sheets will be of no use.
“Myself and Kofi, we have been educating most of the underground artists. Some of them don’t work with what we educate them on. They go and hit the wall and come back to us. Some will come to you and just tell you I want to rap and nothing else. However, some ask me, ‘after signing the split sheet, what next?’ and I get confused, I don’t know what to tell them. GHAMRO should be working for our split sheet to work. You can sign it and later use it to buy groundnut because it’s useless if there are no royalties which GHAMRO is not working on”.