THE 13th edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards Festival has recorded an impressive turnout of entries for consideration into the 29 coveted award categories of the Scheme.

More than 350 individual songs and nearly 200 artistes have been submitted since the information on the call for entries was made public in early January. Many more entries are expected in as the process is yet to officially end.

The VGMA Board during their second sitting on Thursday January 26, 2012 began the arduous task of cataloging the over 350 song entries into their respective categories.

The dedicated Board team has their work cut out for them during this stage of the scheme. It is their responsibility to painstakingly place all the entries into categories for short listing – a task made more grueling by the fact that Members have to literally listen and debate on the appropriate category for each song presented.

The impressive turnout this year is a good sign that the music industry did not do too badly in the year under review (December 1, 2010 – December 31st 2011).

The VGMA aims above all, to recognise the hard work and dedication of the music industry practitioners. It must be said at this point that the industry deserve a pat on the back for work done in keeping Ghana and the world dancing with their releases in all genres of music.

A cursory look at the work done so far in the categorization process reveals that there will be an interesting race for the Hiplife Song of the Year category. The category has received a tremendous boost with the advent of the “Azonto movement” with its accompanying dance rhythm. The competition here will certainly be worth one’s while.

Another category that is certain to create excitement is the Afro Pop Song of the Year. The number of works that have been placed in that category so far has Board Members wondering if a split of the category will not be in order.  The question to answer now is along what lines the Category can be split effectively.

The Public Categories of the VGMA is largely popularity based and though many songs have been tendered in for consideration, only 6 or 7 entries per category will make it into the final Nomination list to be voted on by the 3-tier voting panel (i.e. General Public, Academy and Board)

This however does not mean that the rest of the work submitted are substandard or not worthy of recognition. The whole industry has experienced a tremendous boost in the level of creativity as has been seen in the number of entries entered in so far and this is commendable.

The data collection process which continues for another week is accompanied by a painstaking verification process by all record labels that have releases in the scheme. They have to sign label submission forms that record details like release date, song writers and other such necessary details

Nomination forms can still be obtained from selected radio stations, MUSIGA Secretariat as well as online on http://www.ghanamusicawards.com and on www.facebook.com/GHMusicAwards

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