Kris J is an award-winning, singer, songwriter and multi-platinum record selling Ghanaian music producer, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Kris J is also an A&R for Universal Music Group (UMG), South Africa and has managed to stay relevant over the years through producing in various genres and composing music that resonates with listeners across South Africa and beyond.
TalkMediaGhana ‘s CEO Francis ‘Banks’ Amissah on his recent trip to South Africa caught up with him and asked a few questions about his work and thoughts on the Ghanaian music scene.
TMG: Who is Kris J?
Kris J: Samuel Amoh Febi aka Kris J, married with three children and based in Johannesburg with business interests in Ghana.
TMG: You work at Universal Music. Tell us what your work entails?
Kris J: Yes, I work at Universal Music – South Africa as an A&R which stands for Artists and Repetoire. I am responsible for talent scouting and the artistic and commercial development of the recording artist. I also act as a liaison between the artist and the record label.
TMG: Who have you recently worked with?
Kris J: I have produced music for many popular South African artists including Vusi Nova, Layla, Euphonik, Donald, Oskido and Toya De Lazy to name a few. Ghanaian artists I have produced for include Guru, Edem and Stonebwoy.
TMG: What are your thoughts on Ghanaian music?
Kris J: I think Ghanaian music is diverse; from old school Highlife & Hiplife to modern versions of Azonto beats. Our music is a reflection of our people and the many cultures we have.
TMG: What do you consider as the barriers why Ghanaian music is crossing borders slowly unlike Nigerian music?
Kris J: Ghanaian music isn’t crossing borders as quickly as it should because the attitude of some of our musicians towards the music scene/industry is bad. They do not see music as business and as result tend to take everything about it as a joke. As a result musicians don’t invest monetary wise into what will better their craft.
There is also a language barrier. Ghanaian artist should also learn to blend Pigeon English or English with our dialect more and more so that it can appeal to a wider audience.
In addition, Ghanaian artists should seek opportunities in other countries on a wider scale and look at performing at awards ceremonies, festivals, cultural events etc. The world is a broad place and so are the opportunities.
Our artists need to stop being local champions & proceed to thinking on a global level. The difference between our Ghanaian musicians and the Nigerian counterpart is that Nigerian artists do everything and anything it takes to penetrate any market, “NO” to them is like a yes and until they achieve what they set out to achieve, there’s no backing down.
That’s the spirit of a winner and someone who really wants to succeed at something.
Follow Kris J on social media – Twitter: @IamKrisjPro