Madam Speaker, I wish to express my profound gratitude to you for the opportunity given me to make a Statement on the proliferation of profane songs in Ghana.
Profane songs, Madam Speaker, are fast gaining popularity in Ghana, by virtue of the fact that, they are usually accom- panied or characterized by melodious and irresistible rhythms and once they are released to the market for public consumption, their subsequent with- drawal becomes an extremely difficult proposition. Songs of profanity have tremendous negative impact on our youth.
They corrupt the minds of the youth and eventually contaminate their morals. It is against this backdrop that all well- meaning and patriotic Ghanaians should consider harmonizing their thoughts in order to collaborate efforts to prevent the infiltration of provocative and profane songs into the Ghanaian music industry.
Madam Speaker, good music as we know, should produce a soothing effect on
listeners. It should bring comfort, healing, relief and spiritual contentment, instead of antagonizing and polarizing individuals or society.
Unfortunately, some of our popular highlife and hip-hop songs that dominate the music market of contemporary Ghana, lack these fundamental ingredients. No wonder more and more Ghanaians who cannot stand the embarrassing lyrics have increased their passion for gospel music.
Madam Speaker, any good and acceptable music, apart from its cap- tivating rhythm, must also have a moral. A song with a good moral impacts positively on the life of the listener. Our young and up-coming musicians must put this into consideration before churning out their albums.
The highlife music we knew of in the past contained great morals, but today it has gone through a great deal of cultural metamorphosis as the result of globali-zation. Our social intercourse with the outside world has had the effect of revolutionalising our culture to the extent that our contemporary highlife music has been robbed of its originality. What remains today is a modernised form known in musical jargon as burger highlife, although we still have a few conservatives who still play and preserve traditional highlife.
Not only this, but we also have the hip- hop highlife strongly emerging. Hip-hop is a type of highlife music in which the words are rather spoken than sung. These two innovations in the music industry are so popular with the youth that the latter are readily enchanted by the melodious instrumentation backed sometimes by meaningless and profane lyrics.
In order not to plunge the nation into moral degeneration in the future, Madam Speaker, I call on the Musicians
Union of Ghana, to embark upon a vigorous educational campaign for its members, with a view to sensitizing our musicians about the dangers to profane and provocative songs. The Union must also enact appropriate bye-laws that will empower it to censor all songs before they are released to the public.
All recalcitrant and incorrigible composers and producers who violate the rules of the game can, therefore, be easily identified and penalized. To this end I suggest that all registered musicians should be brought under one recognized Union in order to facilitate effective monitoring and supervision.
Madam Speaker, in our attempt to decontaminate our highlife songs, we must not overlook the role and indispensability of all stakeholders, especially, Disc Jockeys (DJs) at the various private Radio Stations. These Disc Jockeys, as we are aware, serve as effective catalysts for popularizing new releases of songs. They are therefore expected to display tremendous professionalism in the selection of the songs they play in their studios. They should try to avoid any monetary or material inducements from song producers, intended to wheedle them into popularizing their songs, for if they succumb to these mouth-watering temptations referred to as “payola”, they will allow their patriotic sentiments to be eclipsed by their personal desires.
On the other hand, if they are able to resist the temptations of bribery from the producers and as such refuse to play any song with profanities, music composers and their producers will exhibit a high sense of circumspection in their future compositions.
Madam Speaker, if disc jockeys can play their role as instruments in the promotion
of traditional morality, they should be well-motivated by their employers. This I believe will help minimize the degree of malfeasance associated with the selection of songs they play.
Thank you, once again, Madam Speaker for this marvellous opportunity.