Interim chairman of GHAMRO, Rex Omar, educated Ghanaian musicians and the general public on the royalties on Simply Showbiz with Akorfa.
The issue of royalties is heavily debated in the Ghanaian entertainment space and recently came under scrutiny when Shatta Wale rejected his royalties from GHAMRO. According to him, the amount was too small for the quantity of work he’s put out plus the duration of his career.
Insight of these issues, Rex Omar explained what kind of royalties GHAMRO receives and why the amount is usually less than what the artist/record label expected to make.
“What GHAMRO does is that there is something little that we call mechanical royalties. And what mechanical royalties mean is that anytime it is mechanically reproduced, there’s a small amount of money that is collected by the collection management and given to the publisher/composer. So we have to be clear on that aspect. GHAMRO, as an organization, deals with performing rights, enabling rights and synchronisation rights. So it is not all royalties that come to GHAMRO.”
According to Rex Omar, monies from digital and streaming platforms have no business with GHAMRO. He said, “When you put your music on YouTube, YouTube deals with you direct. Youtube or any of these digital platforms; they are like digital music or record shops. When you go and put your music there, they pay you or the record label. If you, the artiste, produced it yourself, they pay directly. That has nothing to do with GHAMRO.”
Rex Omar asked that people, especially musicians, educate themselves on the royalty mechanisms to avoid blaming the innocent for their financial lapses.
“People create the impression that, ‘Oh, I’m a musician. All my monies that I’m supposed to get come from GHAMRO, and GHAMRO is not paying me. It’s wrong. It’s erroneous. That is the impression Ghanaian musicians have created. So he goes and does his music business. Do it haphazardly. No feasibility studies. Nothing! He just jumps into a frail, and when he hits the wall and he’s depressed, he’s struggling, then its time to lambast GHAMRO,” Rex Omar concluded.