|Bessa, Offei and Hammer|
Legendary beat producer and Chief Executive of Last 2 Music Group, Edward Nana Poku Osei, known widely as Hammer, has been put to test to identify an amateur music talent that can be transformed into a celebrated hit-maker that would be at par with the big names in contemporary Ghanaian music.
For the last decade and a half, Hammer has earned a reputation for grooming and adding the ‘Midas touch’ to the careers of successful musicians like Sarkodie, Tinny, Edem, Obrafour, Castro, and Kwaw Kesse ‘Abodam’. He also made stars out of the likes of Obour, Kwabena-Kwabena, Okyeame Kwame and several others.
MTN and Farmhouse Productions have appointed Hammer as one of the three resident judges for the 2014 edition of the MTN Hit-Maker music reality contest, putting him to test to defend his reputation as a genius who identifies and transforms amateur music talents into superstars. He has a special ability to identify potential stars in their raw state and push them into limelight.
Hammer joins two other judges: Bessa Simons, a seasoned musician and keyboardist who is also the vice president of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), and the forever young Ofie Kodjoe, a renowned singer and composer.
Winner of the first edition of the MTN Hit-Maker, Naterial, was given an amount of GH¢100,000 to record and promote an album. Unfortunately his manager, Quick Action, has not been able to make much out of the winner and the money, apart from the album and a couple of concerts.
Naterial is still not among the top notch of Ghanaian superstars despite his passion, dedication, huge talent as well as the cash given to his manager—an indication that his handlers did not live up to expectation.
The second edition was won by Koo Ntakra, a young talent as humble as a lamp but with an ability to impress whenever he grabs the microphone.
Koo has justified himself as a hardworking artiste with a promising career and seems to be picking up rather fast.
At least MTN has provided fame and money for Naterial and Koo Ntakra. The onus lies on them to either live their dreams or waste the opportunity.
At the launch of the third edition, MTN announced a prize package of a recording and artiste management deal worth GH¢100,000.00 for the winner and said the the theme for season 3 is “Dream It, Live It”.
Producers, Farmhouse Productions, have also said amateur musicians who want to take part in the season 3 should either submit their demos to the various MTN offices across the country, upload the demos on MTNplay portal or drop them at the various partner radio stations.
The responsibility now lies with judges Bessa, Offei and Hammer, as well as the voting public, to identify the amateur with the best potential of becoming a superstar.
But all eyes are on Hammer, not only because he is the newest judge in the contest, but because of his track record of making great oaks out of little acorns.
By Halifax Ansah-Addo (Twitter: @HalifaxAnsahAdd)