Scratch paves way for GH and African artistes

Representatives from Scratch Studios and Entertainment Limited in Accra will once again be in Cannes, France from Tuesday, June 6  to  Friday, June 9 for this year’s Marché International du Disque et de l’Edition Musicale (Midem).

Several thousand musicians, producers, agents, managers, lawyers, executives, entrepreneurs and journalists from around the globe are also expected to  attend the annual event which has been held since 1967 and billed as one of the world’s biggest meeting of music professionals.

In 2013  Scratch Studios became the second company from Africa, after South Africa,  to ever attend Midem. At that event, Scratch was represented by CEO Kofi Amoakohene and Associate Director, Paa K. Holbrook-Smith and they began lobbying for greater African participation.

According to Holbrook-Smith, the first thing they lobbied for was for the festival to be moved from the winter month of February to the summer month of June which is more favourable for African participants. Attendance at Midem for African countries then increased in the following year. 

“In 2014, through our persistent lobbying, there were delegations from Senegal, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Cape Verde,  Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Gabon and Algeria in addition to Ghana and South Africa,” Holdbrook –Smith said.

Scratch was also influential in pushing for an African to be included in the festival’s jury, resulting in the inclusion of Sarkodie becoming a jury member last year.

The East Legon-based entertainment company also assisted Koo Ntakra to become the first Ghanaian artist to feature in the Midem Accelerator Programme in 2016. Okyeame Kwame was also a participant/observer at Midem 2016.

The Accelerator Programme is a platform for artists from around the world to show their talents to booking agents and top guns from the global music industry.

“We created a Ghana Stand at every Midem from 2013 and this has made Ghana more visible and marketable at the event,” the Scratch Associate Director stated.

Through the influence of Scratch, the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) launched its Ghana Music Week internationally at Midem 2016 and Ghanaian artists have generally been encouraged to apply and participate in Midem’s Accelerator Programme. M.anifest  has been accepted for this year’s programme.

This year, Scratch will be represented at Midem by Paa K. Holbrook-Smith, General Manager and Head of IT, Michael Bamfo and singer/songwriter on the Scratch label, Ssue.

“Our aim is to help Ghanaian and African music to grow internationally and we are happy we are making ample progress on that front,” Holdbrook-Smith said with pride.