Prolific Highlife musician and songwriter Kwabena Akwaboah intimated that he used to ghostwrite songs for other musicians without receiving any royalties for his intellectual property. Until he worked with Sarkodie, who schooled him on songwriting and the royalties associated with the art.
Kwabena Akwaboah an interview with MzGee on Simply Showbiz on TV3, Saturday, May 22. He has written award-winning songs for many musicians who didn’t pay him a dime. Until his collaboration to work with Sarkodie on his “Mary” album that he educated him on the subject.
The “Posti Me” hit singer revealed that the first hit songs he wrote for artists like Becca, SP Kofi Sarpong and Efya yielded no revenue. So he decided to stop ghostwriting for others and focus on his own career as a singer.
“So basically, this is me entering the music industry, not knowing so much about it. So my first one was “Daa K3 Daa”, I didn’t even know I had that gift of writing songs. One evening I went to Kiki’s place, I spoke to him about it, Kiki listened to it, he said, ‘this is a good song’, they hit the studio and the song bam(was a hit)”.
“And from that day, I realized I have that gift, and I didn’t know, so I didn’t make a dime because I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t even know what royalties were. I knew so little about how royalties worked. Because I wanted fame then, I felt so good about the first one, oh! I wrote “Daa K3 Daa”. I wanted to do another one, and then ASP Kofi Sarpong’s came. That also became a hit, no royalties from that camp too. Because I was now entering the industry, I didn’t know,” Akwaboah recounted his experience.
He went on to say, “ I went to Richie’s place. I was going to do my song one evening, and Richie was like, he almost signed Efya onto his label. So he needed a song for Efya, I had to stay there that night, and I wrote “Best In Me”, Efya sang it. No royalties, nothing from there too, you get my point. So I was like, Ummm! I’m being foolish. So most of the songs, I didn’t really get anything until the “Mary” album came. That was when Sarkodie started showing me how these things work. He taught me how the royalties worked and how we had to split it and everything, so it was literally 50/50 between Sark and I”.
The “Gangster Loving” crooner said artists who wanted him to ghostwrite for them only wanted to pay him a pittance to keep the songs and all the associated proceeds. Thus he decided not to write for anyone but himself.