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I can’t even buy a dress with royalties from GHAMRO – Stephanie Benson

Singer, Stephanie Benson, is urging the Ghana Music Rights Organisation to resolve all issues and pay musicians for their craft.

According to her, she failed to sign with the revenue collection body because of how little the royalties are. The money, from GHAMRO, she said, may not even buy her a dress.

Speaking on Asempa FM, she stated that “I don’t bother and that’s a little ridiculous for me to say considering I’m an artiste, but I have no control over how things are done here, in that way.”

Stephanie Benson added that because she is not usually based in Ghana she cannot complain without facing criticism however it is high time GHAMRO fixed its royalty system.

The singer noted that her sister and colleague musician, Akosua Agyapong, has been “fighting desperately” to get GHAMRO to be of good standing.

“Because Akos again very deservingly she’s had some great hits but she doesn’t even get any kind of royalties, I think it needs to be sorted out,” Stephanie Benson said.

She added that although she has registered all her songs, she did not sign up to GHAMRO because of how little the royalties are.

Stephanie Benson revealed she sold one of her songs “Good Feeling” to a US company that used some parts of it in a film.

“That makes me a little bit of money. I put a song out in the UK called ‘Hanging on’ and that made me more money in a day than anything I’ve ever had.”

She said it would help artiste immensely if GHAMRO’s operations improved.

GHAMRO’s new royalty collection system

Meanwhile, in September, 2021, GHAMRO announced new measures to aid in its royalty collections.

The Chairman, Rex Omar, revealed that his outfit had signed a deal with a new digital royalty collection body, Capasso.

According to him, Capasso collects the digital royalties for artistes and right owners as part of GHAMRO’s efforts to digitalise its operations to enable creators earn their due from their works.

Speaking in an interview with JoyNews’ Mapitso Sebidi, Mr. Omar explained that this deal ensures that the digital rights licensing company provide monitoring systems to help track songs of Ghanaian right owners on digital platforms.

He stated that his outfit has even received royalties for some artistes who are yet to register with GHAMRO.

“We have some good money sitting down in dollars. Now the money comes with the name attached, so you can’t give somebody’s money to somebody. As I am talking, Sarkodie as an artiste, has not assigned his right to GHAMRO even though we are holding his money for him.”

In 2022, following this announcement, the manager of Gospel singer, Celestine Donkor made public, how much they’ve been given so far as royalties.

In a post, Kofi Donkor, who is also the singer’s husband, revealed that as of Thursday, January 20, 2022, they have been given GH₵11,000 as royalties.

According to him, this is the highest amount of money they have received from the organisation since they joined the industry.

In another interview in February 2022, Rex Omar also revealed ‘Melissa’ hitmaker Shatta Wale received over ¢30,000 as royalties in 2021.

That, he said, is the highest amount of money GHAMRO has given out in its history.

Despite the improvement, some artistes still complain about the little to no royalties they receive.

Gospel Musician, Nobel Nketia, revealed in an interview that he has not received any royalties from the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) in the 21 years he has been in the industry.

According to him, he signed with the revenue collection body early in his career; however, after they failed to give him any royalties, he did not check in with them again.

Radio and TV Personality, Vanessa Gyan, also called out GHAMRO for failing to pay the royalties of her late father, Kiki Gyan, who was a member of the popular band, Osibisa.

Taking to Twitter, she noted that Osibisa’s works are played across the country, however, the family is yet to receive a penny from the music collection body.

“GHAMRO has no info for my dad in their database but they do of the other bandmates. Sooooooo, nobody thought to reach out to any of his family members? A whole Kiki Gyan. Well, 😏,” Vanessa Gyan wrote.

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