Navigating Success, Wealth, and Entrepreneurship in the Ghanaian Music Space with Kuami Eugene

Navigating Success, Wealth, and Entrepreneurship in the Ghanaian Music Space with Kuami Eugene

In Ghana’s vibrant music scene, talents often shine brightly, but few illuminate across the spectrum of singing, writing, and producing as radiantly as Kuami Eugene. 

Since his breakthrough in 2017 with “Angela,” Kuami has sculpted a repertoire not only with his own chart-topping hits but also through collaborations, compositions, and productions that underscore his versatility and also hint at an incredible level of wealth for the young artist.

His work rate has earned him several accolades and awards, including VGMA Artist of the Year at the 2020 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards and he has worked with some of the biggest stars in Ghana, Africa, and other countries. 

In 2023, after over half a decade in the music industry, Kuami Eugene does not look like slowing down at all. After landing a deal with Empire earlier this year, he released his project “Love and Chaos”, which has produced arguably, the biggest multiple chart topping song in the country right now, “Monica.”

Kuami Eugene has remarkably carved a lucrative path in the music industry, establishing himself as a young and wealthy force through his multifaceted involvement. Beyond his captivating performances, Eugene’s financial success is anchored in astute songwriting and strategic publishing deals. Notably, his ownership of 100% publishing rights for his current hit, “Monica,” underscores his business acumen and foresight. His co-writing contributions to both the original and remix of Mr Drew’s massive hit, “Case” have also positioned him as a stakeholder, with a 50% ownership share as a songwriter. It is obvious he has not only amassed wealth in an industry where it seems almost impossible, but also exemplified shrewd decision-making.

In a country with a somewhat broken collection system and constant news about an artist being owed royalties, a writer not getting due credit for their work, or a producer who has been taken advantage of, it would be interesting to know how Kuami Eugene survives and continues to serve us in any capacity as a musician, producer, or writer while ensuring his rights and interests are protected. 

In this Q&A, we unravel the mystery behind Kuami Eugene’s sustained success, exploring how he navigates the intricate landscape of earnings, rights protection, and entrepreneurship:

Q:  2023 has been a roller coaster year, but within this year, you have had some very interesting times. What will you say are your three favorite moments of the year?

Three of my favorite moments this year will be, I will say, joining Empire as a record label. They came in, and they are doing amazing things for me. The other will be linking up with Rotimi on my song “CryptoCurrency”. We had a good time together; we shot the video, recorded the video, and had a lot of fun. Last for me is how well my album has been doing in the latter part of the year. The beginning of the year was pretty tough because I had to take some time off to mourn my dad and grandma. But the end of the year is looking very good, with “Monica” topping the charts. It is currently number one on Boomplay. These are three moments I cherish a lot.

Q: You are still very young, but you have done so much already. What will you say keeps driving you to keep doing what you do despite all you have achieved?

I will not say I have achieved everything; I just got started. It has been like seven years, but it still feels like I just started, and so far, so good. What keeps me going is that I have ambition and a story to tell. I want to keep pushing and pushing till I cannot push anymore, so I am not ending now. I also have a lot of people looking up to me and a lot of people to take care of, so it keeps me going. Besides, failure is not part of my story. I cannot fail, and everything I do is geared towards winning.

Q: Your talent pool is very commendable. You sing, you produce, and you write. How do you balance all these aspects of your career?

The fact that I sing, write, produce, and perform is mostly mainly because of the zeal and love I have for music. I give it my all because I truly love music, and it took me a while to learn all these skills. I love it, so I learn, and I want to learn more so I won’t be found wanting.

Q: African music finds itself in a very interesting period where we have become an open market for big brands and businesses. How do you, as an artist, feel you can benefit from the investments that are coming through?

How I feel I can benefit boils down to winning. When you keep winning, it attracts everyone. It attracts record labels, investment companies, a lot of deals, etc. That is why I am known for putting out bangers. The more we hear of you in town on the radio, the more we see you all over. If your stuff is showing on TikTok and social media, it will attract investment. The benefits start with you winning a lot, and I believe I do that very well.

Q: The music business is a jungle, and for you to survive, you need to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge. How do you equip yourself with the right skills to ensure that your interests and rights are protected and respected?

I spend more time on things that I value so much. There is a lot to learn on the internet these days. I don’t only spend time to consume content but also to watch and learn from other people. I want to have a lot of knowledge about what I am doing, so I can go a long way. Skills are everywhere and with the internet… You can learn a lot.

Q: In our part of the world, people who produce and write tend to be demotivated a lot of the time within the industry. We have heard stories of how these two creative groups benefit little from their exploits. How have you managed to reap the rewards of your production and writing?

Okay, so I reap from my production, and writing starts with the cooperative bodies I work with. They chase the money for me. My reputation as a producer and writer of hit songs fetches me a lot of money, and I also have a team that protects my bargain

Q: You have been credited as a writer and producer on a lot of works, the most recent being your work with Joyce Blessing. You have also been involved in situations where you have not received royalties from people you have written for. How do you deal with such situations?

In situations like these, I just take it up with the law. Normally, I just leave it with my lawyers, and when my lawyers start handling it, people become motivated to give me what I deserve. When people hear you mention court and lawyers [they do the right thing], I also make that my “go-to” when a client is being difficult when it comes to paying me what they owe me

Q: What was your understanding of publishing and royalty collection then, and what is your understanding of it now?

I have known that royalties and publishing are about the work you put out there and how much money each person involved makes from it. Whoever owns the masters, the performers, and the producers have a say in whatever content is put out there. Publishing is the production and writing involved in a song and how your wages come in.

Q: There is a collection system problem in Ghana, which makes it difficult for creators to fully exploit their art. As someone who has enjoyed royalty collections from other parts of the world, what is the Ghanaian industry doing wrong and what can be done to fix these things?

There is a lot that can be done about royalty and publishing collections in this country. A few of us are privy to being affiliated with other foreign bodies that collect on our behalf. If we had such institutions down here, we would not depend on those foreign companies to chase our money for us. I feel MUSIGA and GHAMRO need to hold meetings, plans should be made, and effort should be put into making the system work.

It is clear Kuami Eugene’s musical journey is testament to the power of unwavering ambition and strategic brilliance. His emphasis on the importance of local institutions and collective efforts to mend the collection system as well as his unwavering dedication to his craft, surrounded by a vigilant team, sets an example for musicians worldwide.

In this ever-evolving realm of the music industry, Kuami Eugene’s symphony of success resonates as a harmonious promise of resilience and prosperity. Aspiring artists can take note of his journey, understanding that with the right skills and a strategic mindset, they too can orchestrate a life sorted for enduring success.

By Nana Kojo Mula

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