Let me start by confirming that this post is directed to the organisers of Urban Jamz Award from me Eva Enyong; but it’s not solely my opinion but also that of the audience, industry insiders and artist I have conversed with; and in the hope of achieving credibility, UJA organisers will seriously need to take a closer look and also improve their poorly structured award system – that sees the need to value an artist body of work from 2015 in 2017; which automatically does not showcase the growth of the industry, disregards current high achievers and is a celebration of the past.
An immediate example on the weakness of UJA’s system is not nominating Daphne’ song ‘Calee’ for Song of the Year award and Blanche Bailly’s Mimbeyaur as it falls outside of their consideration period; nor nominating Daphne and Blanch Bailly for Artist of the Year Award. UJA 2017 award represents songs released between 2nd November 2015 – 6th November 2016, meaning we should wait until November 2018 to award Daphne for the success of Calee for achieve over 9 million streams on YouTube, the highest by far from a single Cameroonian artist– ridiculous.
The usual structure of an award show is to have the cut of period end 3 – 4 months before the award ceremony to achieve the relevance of the ceremony. Let’s take BET award 2017 for example, their consideration period was April 1st, 2016 – March 31st, 2017 and the ceremony took place in June 25th, 2017. Not only did UJA fail on achieving relevance and meeting the demands of a growing industry, who knows if they were also blind-folded and randomly selected names from a hat for each category. This clearly suggest they do not know the industry and should not have a platform as such. To think Blanche Bailly was not considered for artist of the year award; even with UJA’s own consideration deadline Blanche’s song ‘Kam we stay’ released in 2016 was a game changer for female artist and is did 10x, if not more better than anything Ewube and Askia put together that year did – this is not to discredit the other two artists but to state blunt facts.
To the organizers, Ewube and Askia made the list? Please, which song have they released within the year that is on par with anything Blanche has done??? Blanche has gained so much popularity in the short time she has been in the industry with only 2 songs compared to how many releases the names on this category did before they got the popularity and fanbase Blanche has. It took ‘La Sauce’ for Reniss to have a solid brand outside of being the female voice on Jovi’s songs – how long was she in the industry before then? Daphne has showed steady growth and is one of the best right now in the industry but still with her first two songs did not achieve what Blanche has. Although upcoming, Mimie or Nabila would have been better suited than Ewube and Askia if we look at YouTube streaming alone and fanbase; which is more the reason why this award show has to reflect current happenings in the industry.
Magasco’s song ‘Wule Bang Bang’ made it on to a number of the categories, not only is this song from 2015 but an insult to the artist himself, so has Magasco not released anything better since then? Is his recent work that bad that we should nominate him for work he done in 2015? Blanche’s ‘Kam we stay’ did wayyy better than ‘Wule Bang Bang’ especially for a first song and from a new artist in the industry – yet no nomination for that. Magasco was also included in the Best Male Artist of the Year category, if you ask me, it’s either we keep Magasco on the list and add Tenor or Tenor replaces Magasco on that list – if the list has reached its nomination capacity. Who doesn’t know of all Tenor has achieved 2016/2017 and even before this period?
Best Music Video – are we serious – some dope videos were missed on his category and equally on Best Music Video Director category. Nkeng Stephens and Mr. Adrenaline as much as I am a fan they have not done work that is on a different level this year. Some videos release directed by them have either gone backwards in visual standard or have similar structure. The directors who should have made this list or should have also been included are; Adah Akenji for Tenor’s ‘Bad Thing’, Shamak for Ngoma – Mangosi, and Adah Akenji again with NS picture for Mic Monsta’s Freedom of Speech’.
Best Artist from the Diaspora should not even be a category. This is being branded like an International Artist of the Year category or Alternative music category which is irrelevant given all nominees are Cameroonians doing music for the Cameroon audience not an international audience; most fly in to produce their music in Cameroon with Cameroonian producers, and shoot music videos in Cameroon, but because they live in a different country a special category has been created and they have been put in a box which really limits their credibility and excludes them from the more important category to be considered for as an artist who takes their craft seriously. This is a useless category if you ask me; Mimie Baya and Linxx, I believe all their song were filmed in Cameroon and they were in Cameroon for promotion not their country of residences. Even popular artist Blanche Bailly’s main domain is France/ London so should she only feature in this category? Blanche relocated to Cameroon for her music but can fly out at will and be based elsewhere.
Let me also take the time to ask every Cameroonian, what has Naomi Achu contributed to this industry, apart from that song years ago that gave her small visibility? Because I am clueless why where music is concerned her name is mentioned. I can only conclude this is where connection gets you, what has she done that has made waves or has ever been on par with artist like Daphne, Reniss, Ewube, Nabila, Mimie, Dencia and Museba that came after her. Even Dencia’s name was nowhere to be found on this list – if it was because she won’t turn up or give a shout out, Cameroon’s biggest ego Jovi would also do the same but he was mention. Even if Jovi retweets anything concerning UJA, deep down he knows it’s whack!
A quicker rundown on the ridiculousness of the nominations;
To conclude artist supporting this platform to be blunt are FOOLS for failing to see that the rightful works were not acknowledged; for accepting and not challenging this platform – perhaps because you received a nomination. UJA is a poor representation of the industry and UJA should aspired to be an accolade for an artist to have under their belt, on their shelves, in their homes; and for upcoming artist to aspire to win. It’s better not to have an award and be the baddest than to be included in this laughable platform.
Our industry is growing please don’t contribute with belated work – thanks Eva Enyong
This post was made by the admin account for E-kwat TV.