On Monday, October 17, 2022, I ran a small poll on my Facebook timeline following a heated discussion I had with some of my colleagues at the office.
We were locked in a debate on who makes it to the top 4 Ghanaian artistes list, at present.
My Facebook survey, although quite anecdotal, seems to give a picture of which artistes are on top at the moment. It gives an idea about Ghanaian musicians who have won the hearts of music consumers either through their songs, shows, tours, stunts, or controversy.
Out of the 206 respondents, 175 valid votes were recorded.
The results put Black Sherif, Stonebwoy, Sarkodie, Shatta Wale in the top 4 positions, with KiDi, Camidoh, Kofi Kinaata, and Gyakie also making fair representations.
There were mentions of King Promise, Lasmid, Adina, R2Bees, M.anifest, Wiyaala, and Chief One.
In the gospel music arena, names like Piesie Esther, Perez Musik, Diana Hamilton, Obaapa Christy, and Evans Scott came up.
See the results below:
1. Black Sherif – 41 votes
2. Stonebwoy – 31 votes
3. Sarkodie – 22 votes
4. Shatta Wale – 19 votes
5. KiDi – 13 votes
6. Camidoh – 11 votes
7. Gyakie – 10 votes
8. Kinaata – 8 votes
9. King Promise – 5 votes
10. R2Bees – 4 votes
11. Adina – 3 votes
12. M.anifest – 2 votes
13. Lasmid – 2 votes
14. Wiyaala – 2 votes
15. Chief One – 2 votes
I did not give the respondents any metrics to use for their assessment. It did not give them specific timelines. I just used the phrase “at present.” Ideally, we could look at the past three months or if we want to expand it, we take this year 2022.
Ordinarily, some people would be biased by nominating their favourites without taking into consideration numbers, relevance, visibility, audience appeal, popularity, and trends.
However, I made some observations from the results.
Black Sherif, has within the past two years, moved from oblivion to not just a mainstream artiste, but one of the top acts at the moment.
After his 1st Sermon, the light shone on his path, he got a Burna Boy feature on his 2nd Sermon Remix, got an Empire distribution deal, and won Best New Artiste of the Year in both 3Music and Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.
This is someone who had endorsements from a lot of international celebrities. The magnitude of the global recognition he’s got is very impressive.
He went ahead to get nominated for All Africa Music Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards, and currently MTV Europe Music Awards.
From gracing the cover of Apple Music’s Rap Life playlist to being named YouTube’s Foundry Class of 2022, a Spotify Radar Artiste in May, and Audiomack’s #UpNow Artiste in August, Black Sherif can definitely not be taken from the list of top acts in the country.
His maiden album, ‘The Villain I Never Was’ which was released on October 6, 2022is not only getting rave reviews but topping charts on the global scene. The album has over 100 million views on Boomplay alone.
In fact, he is the most talked about Ghanaian artiste at the moment.
A few years ago, the top 4 musicians list included Stonebwoy, Samini, Sarkodie, and Shatta Wale. At a point in time, the list threw in either KiDi or Kuami Eugene. But things have changed.
Stonebwoy still finds himself on the list due to his hard work and resilience. This is one artiste who has played a lot of shows in and out of the country in 2022.
This year, he embarked on the Therapy Summer Festival. He started the tour on July 2, 2022 and performed at Summer jam Festival in Germany. He also featured at the Afrobeats Festival in Berlin, Uppsala Reggae Festival in Sweden, among other events.
He also held his annual Ashaiman to the World Festival right after his tour.
The BHIM Nation President was also one of the musicians that performed at the Global Citizen Festival, which was held at the Black Star Square in Accra on September 24, 2022.
Stonebwoy is always on the grind, producing music and building his brand. He may not have produced a mega-hit in recent times, but his deal with Def Jam Records shored up his brand.
If there is anybody whose achievement in the music industry in the past has kept him afloat this year, it is Sarkodie. He continues to earn a lot of respect and admiration for the formidable brand he has built over the years. After his ‘No Pressure’ album which was released last year, Sarkodie has not really ‘shaken’ the system with any mega-hit this year. He only released ‘Labadi Song’ featuring King Promise, ahead of his forthcoming album titled ‘Jamz’.
His coruscating performance at the Global Citizen Festival in Accra seems to have reminded music lovers of his place in the industry.
Obviously, even if Sarkodie does not release a song in two years, you will still be billed to perform at the biggest shows in the country; he has a lot of hit songs in his repertoire.
Shatta Wale has always been in the news and will always find a way to get people talking about him. But for the timely intervention of his ‘On God’, he wouldn’t have had a hit song in a long while.
His attention-seeking antics seem to have lost steam in recent times. A lot of his moves have become predictable, so most people hardly fall for some of his gimmicks, lately. That notwithstanding, his loyal fans have always been his backbone. They are the reason he is still relevant.
Shatta Wale performed at the SummerStage Festival in New York on August 13, 2022. He also performed at the Asafotufiami concert at Ada on August 6, 2022.
KiDi didn’t make the ‘Top 4’?
KiDi is one of the hard-working artistes of our time. After winning Artiste of the Year in 3Music and Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, one would have expected to see him in the ‘Top 4’.
Earlier this year, played a concert at the Indigo at the O2 in London, with his label mate Kuami Eugene.
Following their incredibly successful sold-out concert at London’s Indigo O2 in March 2022, KiDi and Kuami again toured 10 cities in Europe.
He released ‘Blessed’ which also entered various charts and has an EP titled ‘4Play’ out. Already, ‘Champaign has been widely accepted by music lovers, while other songs on the EP are steadily creeping their way into the hearts of music fans.
But who would he have ousted? Shatta Wale, Sarkodie or Stonebwoy? Perhaps a poll of a bigger sample size may put in a comfortable lead ahead of one of the aforementioned, but the fact also remains that ‘past glory’ really gives a spill-over effect to the brands of artistes (all things being equal).
This young man has done a lot with his ‘Sugarcane’ song . The smartest move by his management led by George Britton was to have done a remix of the song. The remix which features Ghana’s King Promise, Nigeria’s Mayorkun and Darkoo is the biggest thing to have happened to his music career.
He got a lot of global recognition from this.
A few weeks after Black Sherif’s ‘Kwaku The Traveller’ climbed to the top of Nigeria’s Apple Music Top 100 chart, Camidoh, also annexed the same spot, with his ‘Sugarcane’ remix.
Gyakie and King Promise are two artistes who are also making great strides in the music space.
No Kuami Eugene?
It was surprising that Kuami Eugene didn’t feature prominently in the responses of the poll. He is one of the many artistes who had single mentions. (Refer to poll on Facebook)
Have people forgotten about Kuami so soon?
Well, all the results, as presented in this piece, were what some people on Facebook produced as their votes in my small survey.
Do you agree with them? Are these the top four artistes in Ghana at present?