Legendary Ghanaian backing vocalist Nana Ama revealed a new movement set to champion the rights of backing vocalists in the county.
According to her, many of her comrades are going unnoticed for all their hard work.
According to her she has been a backup singer for 22 years.
She said, “the unfortunate part is here in Ghana, we don’t regard background vocalists. Out there, if you are a background vocalist it’s a job. It is a full-time job. If I should be a frontliner, I still need a background vocalist to work with. So I did not see any reason for me to be a frontliner because that was also a job.”
According to Nana Ama, her first hit was with Lord Kenya on his song, ‘Medo’. She said after the song became a hit, she started working with Zapp Mallet who connected her to musicians and gigs. This was a huge move for her because everyone in the industry knew that Zapp Mallet works with professional background vocalists.
She said staying as a background vocalist all her career was a personal decision. She referred to Diana Hamilton, Hannah Marfo and Pat Thomas, who were once background vocalists before pushing out to the front. She said the lack of recognition forced her colleagues to do their own songs instead of staying in the background.
Nana Ama emphasized the importance of backing vocalists to musicians. She mentioned how her chorus motivated some musicians to actually finish up their songs. So if musicians derived such incentive from them, then background vocalists should not be overlooked.
Unfortunately, the narrative hasn’t changed much in this era.
She explained the rationale for forming the Ghana Background Vocalists Association. She said she started the movement last year to ensure backing vocalisst are treated fairly.
Story: Nana AKUA AMPONG