Celebrated highlife musician, Ben Brako, has revealed on Rainbow Entertainment that one major reason why Payola infiltrated the music scene was because some Ghanaian DJs were not being remunerated well enough hence they used that avenue to survive.
Speaking top host DJ Slash, he said he felt disappointed when he returned to Ghana to discover that one had to pay to get published for their creative works.
Mr Brako told the host that he was shocked because he came to Ghana with so much ideas but he realised the system had changed with more private radio stations springing up compared to the era when the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) was the sole media space in Ghana.
He was responding to a question on why he has not managed to release another top album apart from his ‘Baya’ album which was released in 1987.
Baya (released in 1987) went on to win The Leisure Foundation Album of The Year 1987, and Musician of the year 1987, and also received Gold status in 1988.
He was rewarded further for his musical talent by wining the ECRAG Mahogany award for consistency in highlife music in 1989. This coincided with the release of Ben’s 2nd album Everybody.
Mr Brako explained he came to Ghana with hope but when he was faced with this Payola phenomenon, he had no option than go back abroad.
He said over the years, he learnt to know that it was part of the industry because the new radio stations did not have the resources to pay their DJs and support them financially.
This he added pushed the DJs to adopt Payola so they could make a living.
He said only a few DJs in the past made a living from what they did.