Musicians Warned To Scrutinize Contracts Before Signing Them – Soraya Opare Riley


Soraya Opare Riley , the managing partner of Backstage Access, an Accra based booking and protocol agency has cautioned musicians to thoroughly read contracts given to them by their managers and event organizers before signing them.

She was speaking to Alfred Ocansey, host of Sunny FM’s Christian Entertainment review programme last Saturday.

Soraya reckoned that often, artistes/ musicians throw caution to the wind and only flip through the pages of the document to the section that details only the monetary terms without gaining clear understanding of other related requirements.

Kwesi Ernest of media excel also added his artists refused to perform at RTP awards because the organizers could not fulfil his contract and also encourage other artist to take these things very serious.

He added that they are so many types of managers and everyone has a role to play in the development of an artist.

Kwesi mentioned that there are quite a number of people who work together in managing an artiste, including a tour manager, technical manager, the main/head manager etc. They all form the core management team of an artists. All these people also help the artist to understand and sign good contracts.

Having managed events like; Freedom Concert (with Fred Hammond), Ghana Stands In Worship, Africa Worships With Sonnie Badu and the like, Soraya mentioned that when it comes to events, most artistes simply don’t spell out the sort of logistics they would need to put up a good show (i.e. a rider) in their bookings contract. She recalled that throughout her numerous events managed, she has till now never received a rider from any Ghanaian Gospel artiste she has worked with, though she requests it always.

“Contracts are supposed to be a level playing field for both the event organizer and the artiste… so each should be able to state his terms and eventually reach a compromise” she said.

She bemoaned the apathetic attitude of some gospel musicians who have been infected with the “fa ma nyame” (Leave it to God) syndrome and charged them to be assertive, because their survival as artiste largely depends on the terms of contracts with their managers and even event organizers because “it is not just about popularity because popularity alone does not put money in the pockets of any musician” she said

Jeffery Adu-Gyamfi


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