New Group Promises To Reform Music Industry
After years of strident disagreement with the leadership of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) over direction, Carlos Sakyi, Rex Omar and other like-minded musicians have initiated a new union which they say is totally focused on transforming Ghana's music industry. Called the Professional Musicians Association of Ghana (PROMAG), the union aims at providing an alternative forum for musicians who want to see a new course charted for practitioners. Registered members so far include Kojo Antwi, Amakye Dede, Charles Amoah, Fredyma, Bessa Simmons, A ¬Plus, Donna May, Carlos Sakyi, Rex Omar, Zapp Mallet, Eric Antonio, Stan Plange and Yaw Sarpong. "PROMAG was registered two years ago but it was re-activated late last year," its Interim President, Carlos Sakyi, said. "We did all we could to make MUSIGA go in a more progressive direction but differences persisted. We felt it was time to start putting our ideas into practice, instead of allowing the abrasive relations between us and others to continue." Acrimony among musicians came to a head in the run-up to the election for a new MUSIGA leadership last November. Rex Omar dropped hints of the revival of PROMAG at a meeting to solidarise with Gyedu Blay-Ambolley over his disqualification to contest the MUSIGA presidency. PROMAG, according to Carlos, would seek a more professional approach to work by tackling the minimum wage issue, pursue insurance policies, organise workshops and seminars and generally do what a well-organised, progressive union would do for its members. He said PROMAG was not a collection society, though one could emerge out of the union with time. "Collection societies are for rights owners. Being in the union does not automatically turn one into a rights owner so we will take a bit of time to streamline things on that front," he said. There is currently a registration drive for members, after which a substantive executive will be elected. Rex Omar is for now, the Co-President of PROMAG, while Stan Plange is an executive member.
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