The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) has held a day’s workshop on music publishing for its members in Accra.
The workshop was in line with the vision of MUSIGA to work to ensure that its members acquire basic skills in music to enable them to meet the challenges ahead of them.
The facilitator for the workshop, Kennedy Mensah, known in the showbiz scene as ‘Prezident’, took the participants through a series of lessons on publishing, its origins and how to engage with publishers and why musicians should pursue publishing deals.
According to Kennedy Mensah, it is essential for musicians and songwriters to conclude proper publishing deals with experienced publishers.
He spoke about the various types of publishing, the differences between a composer, a producer and an author.
He began the workshop thoroughly explaining the difference between mechanical royalties collected by mechanical agencies and performance royalties collected by Performance Rights Organisations (PROs) and Collective Management Organisations (CMOs).
Kennedy Mensah also advised the participants on the importance of copyright.
He also explained the importance of contracts and why it is important musicians and songwriters seek expert advice when signing contracts, so that they do not sign away their rights.
“Never sign a contract that states ‘in perpetuity’ because the moment you sign that, you have signed away your rights for ever,” he added.
The acting President of MUSIGA, Bessa Simons, on his part, advised musicians to take such workshops seriously since it’s important they improve their capacities.
“The music business is rapidly changing and it’s important we acquaint ourselves with the happenings in the industry. Also, publishing is important since that’s one of the ways to guarantee your income as a musician.”
Present at the workshop were Afro Moses, Desmond Ababio, Paulina Oduro, Benjah, Ras Caleb Appiah-Levi, Abena Ruthy, among others.
Kennedy Mensah is a renowned publisher and CEO of Back 2 Da Future, a publishing firm with a wide range of clients like reggae icon Dean Fraser, Ghana’s Appietus and Okyeame Kwame.