Tuesday, 23 July

Prince Tagoe reveals highs and lows of helping Praye, Stonebwoy; 'he's unfollowed me'

Entertainment
Prince Tagoe

Prince Tagoe has revealed he played the role of an executive producer for two big music brands; namely Hiplife trio Praye and Reggae/Dancehall singer Stonebwoy.

Speaking to Nana Romeo on Accra 100.5 FM’s Ayekoo Ayekoo, Thursday, June 13, 2024, the former Hearts of Oak player detailed some of the highs and lows of his relationship with the aforementioned.

Praye

"I think I started with Praye,” he said. “This is because I grew up with Big J [a member of Praye] in Madina. When I returned from Saudi Arabia, I noticed they had some songs in the studio that needed to be paid for for mastering and release. He told me a lot of things I can't say publicly."

According to the star football forward, he found out from Big J Cartel how much it would cost to release the songs and "I sorted it all out".

"Later, they said they wanted the album to come out and so I bought the full album and paid for music videos for them. I think, we did the launching in Golden Tulip where most of the Black Stars boys supported: my senior Stephen Appiah, Randy Abbey – people really came, big people came," he narrated.

He said "buying the album had consequences like promotion, and those kind of things, and I had to invest and do all those kind of things for them just to make sure the album would be successful, and God being so good, it became successful".

He revealed, "This is why, if you'd remember, they dressed like Saudi Arabians when they received an award for the project. They were in kaftan. I sent all those things to them from Saudi Arabia."

Prince Tagoe said the Praye album he executive produced was Roll Call, for which "I did everything".

Going back to the launch, he recalled "Castro came to perform – he was very good friends with Praye," bemoaning, however, that when time came for Praye to perform, they "announced their new manager on stage" veteran talent manager Kiki Banson.

Prior, he said, a member of the trio "had informed me Kiki Banson had had a meeting with them and some members were warming up to him and that I shouldn't be surprised because they want to take their career to the next level".

He said, with this forewarning, when the announcement was made, he controlled himself and ensured the launch was successful. However, he added, "when I returned to Saudi Arabia, I said to myself, 'I'd let them be, once they have a new management'. And so, I stayed away from them even though we were still nice to each other".

Stonebwoy

Later, while with Hoffeinheim FC, he said he discovered singer Stonebwoy in a freestyle video featuring rappers Opanka and Yaa Pono, posted on YouTube. 

"And I said, 'Oh, yeah, this guy is very good'. And I think we linked up and I told him we'd meet in Ghana when I returned," he said. "I think, at the time, he had left Samini's High Grade."

The former Black Stars player said after seeing "the kind of vision" Stonebwoy had, he assured him of help. "God being so good, I was able to do it," he continued. 

He clarified "I didn't make him [Stonebwoy] a star – he had a hit already, with Samini. I just met him on the road when he had left the label and at that time, things were not really smooth. Because of the belief I had in him, I came in to let him feel he could do it".

According to Tagoe, he went as far as "releasing all my cars to him and [his manager, at the time, Blakk] Cedi for anytime they wanted to go anywhere at all" and this is why, he added, "at that time, whenever you saw Stonebwoy at, say, the Accra Sports Stadium, he would be driving a Porsche". 

He said, often, his cars would be with Stonebwoy and his team for at least a month because he understood they needed it for consecutive shows.

"We were brothers and we helped each other, because, given where I am coming from, someone also helped me to be where I am. So I don't joke with those kind of things," he noted.

2015 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs)

He said when Stonebwoy won his first Artiste of the Year award, he was there and "made sure everything was comfortable: I let them come to East Legon..." and engage in other exciting forms of celebrations.

Revealing more about the night, Tagoe said, they were confident of winning the accolade "because Shatta [Wale] said he didn't want it," asserting, however, were it not for that, "God being so good and truthful, Shatta would have won" but "we needed that" award.

Here, the former professional footballer praised Stonebwoy as "very ambitious and hardworking," indicating that Stonebwoy correctly predicted what the Artiste of the Year victory would do for his music career.

"If he were here, he'd tell you,” Prince Tagoe said. “He opened his mouth and told me: 'Prince, godfather, if I'm able to win Artiste of the Year, [even] only once, they will not see my back'. And it's happening and I'm very happy for him."

He appeared not to be sure of the sort of relationship he currently had with Stonebwoy, however, describing it as "cool but not really cool".

Retired since 2019, the football star observed he freshly found out Stonebwoy had unfollowed him on Instagram, while he is still following him. 

"He has his reasons. I have to respect his decision," he remarked.

Prince Tagoe noted Stonebwoy benefitted "a lot" from him, and "I'm proud of him".

Go Higher

He said he took Stonebwoy to Ivorian international footballer Emmanuel Adebayor's house, facilitating their friendship. In fact, he recalled "something went wrong" with the original Go Higher music video but he intervened, calling Adebayor who readily volunteered "any part" of his house to be used for a new video shoot, just in time for the announced release date.

Tagoe said he availed his Porsche Panamera "to be used for the video" that day. He expressed control over his emotions, choosing not to "go too deep" into "a lot" of what happened between him and Stonebwoy, explaining his decision was because they were still "family – we've been there for each other before," demonstrated by how familiar he is with Stonebwoy's sisters, including visiting the singer’s mother, while she was alive, with a cake on one of her birth anniversaries. 

"I wish everybody well," he said.

Reaction

On whether he was disappointed and aggrieved by any of the events described above, Prince Tagoe emphasised: "I'm someone who lives with no expectations, as in when I am kind to someone. Due to this, I am not hurt by some things."

He disputed popular opinion that angels are in heaven, asserting: "angels are on this earth" and "they are we normal human beings".

He said "before God creates you to be a superstar, you have to pass through certain people – it's a journey that you have to pass through. Even if they will give you GHS1, it will be so, because God knows this person's GHS1 is pure and it will help you. 

"I understand life as a big brother so I don't really see those... I help without expecting anything. I know if you have an agreement with an artiste and it unfortunately doesn't go as planned, some disrespect is possible. So me I make sure whoever needs anything I have the position to help with, I do it."

Love for music

The sports pundit also talked about his love for music, noting it grew exponentially when he went to senior high school "because I saw real talent" who were not into the usual karaoke "but would perform their original compositions for entertainment night".

He revealed Highlife star Kofi Nti was "my senior at Koforidua Secondary Technical School and Sugar Ranking – a Dancehall legend at Dansoman – and Wutah Kobby. And I had the opportunity of seeing Afriyie Wutah visit our school to perform".

Meanwhile, Stonebwoy was declared the Artiste of the Year at the Ghana Music Awards 2024, sponsored by Telecel Ghana. While he accepted the honour, he asserted it was not his second victory but his third. He argued he won it in 2019, also, when he competed with Shatta Wale. The winner, however, is a mystery because Charterhouse, organisers of the programme, left it unannounced in view of the fight that ensued when Shatta Wale stormed the stage while Stonebwoy was accepting his fifth Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year honour. The latter flashed a gun in response. 

Source: classfmonline.com/Prince Benjamin