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REGGIE ROCKSTONES ADVISES MUSICIANS ON SUSTAINED RELEVANCE, WARNS AGAINST ‘FAME DRUG’

Renowned as the originator and the Grandfather of Hiplife music, Reggie Rockstone has advised music stars and celebrities about fame, relevance, guarding against depression, the power of social media, and seeing music as a business with trans-generational benefits.

Rockstone was speaking on Class 91.3 FM’s ‘The Big Show’, Saturday, April 15, 2023, when host Nana Kwesi Asare asked him to advise the present stars of Ghana.

Nicknamed Grandpapa, his initial response was a show of immense respect and admiration for the music notables of today and cited Sarkodie as a worthy role model for sustained relevance.

“These guys are really sharp,” he told Nana Kwesi. “In fact, they give me advice.”

He praised two-time BET winner Sarkodie, a protégé, as someone who has “figured it out,” adding that, “there’s so much that I don’t know that he knows today.

“But he also took home a lot of the stuff that he didn’t know that we passed on to him.”

The reigning music stars of Ghana, “are sharp,” the Hiplife pioneer said again. “Their business is on point.”

He quickly added that “Actually, I should be taking advice from them.”

Earlier, Rockstone had said if he could change anything about his rise and heyday in music, it would have been taking the business side of things more seriously.

On what advice he should be taking from today’s Ghanaian music stars, he revealed it would be about “how to monetise my work because I have a great body of work because it’s timeless; it stood the test of time but my children’s children will have to be able to access the revenue [from] this.”

He explained he was speaking concerning “royalties.”

He segued to what precise advice he would give young music makers and stars.

“This is why stars or celebrities get depressed,” Reggie Rockstone said. “At some point, you’re not going to be that guy.”

He argued that today; “in Sarkodie’s time, they [new stars] come faster than in my time. And they come and they go…”

“This is why Sarkodie is very important to the story because he has maintained [his status],” the 59-year-old music icon said.

“When you look at Sarkodie you don’t think of him retiring anytime soon and that’s really good because he treats the game like he just came,” Rockstone observed. “He’s not complacent, he doesn’t sleep on his laurels, he’s always doing something, he’s always fresh, he always sounds good.”

There is no “Sark track that was whack,” Reggie praised. “You might not like it, but it’s always far from whack. It’s always standard and he’s maintained…”

That said, Rockstone said, generally, artistes must learn how to “bow out with grace.” Something he believes he has “exhibited to all the young brothers and sisters.”

The esteemed Hiplife group VVIP member, and frequent solo act, noted with pride that he still does “quality music,” and admitted that though his music is “not number one or all over the radio, anytime you hear my song, you’d say: ‘Okay, this is quality. This is good’ and I’m proud of that.”

He asked young music makers to learn from how in spite of “my age,” he has remained relevant all these years.

“Without playing yourself or making a fool out of yourself, you can gracefully and respectfully still be relevant and still have jobs,” he advised. “You know, I still get endorsement deals. No matter what’s going on, somehow my name still comes up.”

Rockstone pointed to how he has utilised social media to his advantage.

Including those who were younger than him when he started the Hiplife crusade, “a lot of people my age or my mates, they are not on social media,” he said.

One must “learn and move with the times,” he added.

Noting that “showbiz is all I know,” he added that even when he retires he will “always be in the back scenes of the music industry or music.”

He revealed that he meets a lot of the new stars before they come to industry or public notice.

“They always come to Grand Papa or I even predict them before they come,” he commented, adding that, “I am very proud of that. That I’m always in the story. And just as my name [says:] Grand Papa, they can always come to me for advice which is free.”

He asked celebrities to understand that “fame is a drug and people get addicted to fame and when the fame is wearing out they become desperate and they start to do desperate things because, they are trying to, just like a junkie, get a hit.”

 

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