He is regarded as one of the best bass guitarists in this country at the moment and Mr Philip Acquah says the way for bands and solo instrumentalist to succeed is not to shun gigs but rather cultivate a positive attitude to work.
According to him, some musicians instantly turn down shows when they think the fees are not right but it is rather up to them to know how to negotiate and win over clients.
“No show is too small or too big when you are determined to make it. Some musicians are not progressing as much as they should because they are not team players and have mindsets that don’t propel their careers,” said Mr Acquah who is also the leader of the Patchbay Band.
Zeal and discipline
His outfit won the Best Band Honour at the Ghana Music Honuors 2017 event organised recently at the National Theatre by the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA).
According to him, despite the disrespect shown to musicians by some people on the premise that they cannot make decent living playing music, there is ample proof that with enough zeal and discipline, musicians can do well as the folks in other professions.
In a chat with The Mirror on the business of music in contemporary Ghana, Mr Acquah said wrong perceptions were formed about musicians in the past due to their relatively poor educational backgrounds and lack of ambition to improve themselves.
He, however, pointed out that there are many well-educated and enlightened musicians out there at the moment, with some of them holding Masters Degrees.
The top-flight bassist said some musicians earn about GH¢700 per gig these days.
“So if that instrumentalist performs twice a week, he earns much more than many folks working in banks. What one earns here is less than what, for instance, a professional instrumentalist in California in the United States gets but it can offer you a decent life here,” he explained.
Ways to succeed
Mr Acquah stated that musicians can add to their incomes if they teach privately or in schools.
He also encouraged his colleagues to learn to build strong links with corporate entities, event organisers and influential individuals in the entertainment world to facilitate lobbying for gigs.
“The success of a professional musician also depends on how he manages his finances. One could easily adopt the ‘hand to mouth’ way of life but it is safer to get appropriate financial advice and adopt the habit of investing some of your earnings,” Mr Acquah stated.