Awake Showbiz Disk Reports – By Patric Kofi Zonu Jnr.
When Bullet, the owner of Rufftown Records introduced Wendy Shay on the VGMA stage in 2018 while taking an award for late Ebony reigns his former artiste, there was that one question running through my mind which is “Can this girl actually match up to the talent of Ebony?”
I strongly believe I was not the only person with that reservation because to fill the shoes of Ebony of blessed memory was not going to be easy. That girl Ebony was super talented, unfortunately, people only came to terms to love her craft only after her untimely demise.
It a typical case of not appreciating what you have until you lose it.
There were those who didn’t like the idea of Bullet bringing in someone to fill the space of the late Ebony.
Some said it was too early, others complained he was only going to cast the yet to be fully known Wendy Shay in the image of Ebony among many other concerns.
Business is business and looking at the monies Bullet perhaps spent on shaping up his record label, he couldn’t have just kept watching on for it to collapse because Ebony passed on even though her death was such a big blow to music lovers in and outside Ghana.
Ebony was loved by many and several people also didn’t like her for their own reasons. That is normal because she was not Jollof, even with Jollof not everyone likes it, Some prefer waakye instead.
But if Wendy Shay was going to have it difficult in getting herself known by music lovers, then it was about making sure she produces nothing but quality music for music lovers. As a result of that, her first single was very important to this mission.
She didn’t disappoint in that regard, it made me believe Bullet was spot on settling on her to be the face of his record label.
In the very instance, as she found herself, her first track was very important and Yes she did it in a classical way clearing doubts from doubters like myself that indeed she’s is here to carve her own way and not live in the shadows of late Ebony.
Wendy Shay’s first track with the record label dropped titled “Uber driver”
It was just a perfect piece to start one’s career with because aside from the rhythm, it came with its own controversy with many saying the “P3 Hw3” lyrics meant something else in Twi which I don’t have to say, whatever it is let’s move on with the substantive issue that necessitated this write up.
That was a masterpiece to introduce oneself properly into the music scene with. The song was well produced by popular sound engineer MOG and the video well executed by Yaw Skyface.
Since then, she has held herself high winning some notable awards like the VGMA Discovery of the year, 3Music award Breakthrough Act of the year etc
However, just like the sugarcane and houseflies, Wendy has not broken into the music scene without controversies.
Show business is a whole art, to be a Pro in such a competitive industry, it will take how crafty you are to be able to stay consistent. Both Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale are talented musicians that are not even in dispute but not until they started their “beef” and banter which finally led to the infamous pulling of a gun at their last attended VGMA, truth is their names wouldn’t have traveled as far as it has in the music space globally.
My Public Relation lecturer will say “There’s nothing like bad publicity as the bad publicity is good publicity in itself”
This is what exactly Wendy Shay and her team have been up to.
From her rumored sexual escapade with the manager of the label Bullet to wild allegations of yet another sexual relationship between her and Shatta Wale and Kuami Eugene and finally to the needless “fights” between her and Fanatana who was also on the same record label.
I have no problem with people using attention-seeking gimmicks to stay relevant in the entertainment industry.
Truth is just as everything with an advantage has its own disadvantage, overly seeking attention and building your career around needless controversies will hurt your brand for the future.
Nobody stays on top forever that I strongly agree with, but having an association with a big brand can best cushion you even when you fall from the top as a result no global brand would want an endorsement with a person with questionable character.
In the last few weeks, Wendy Shay has been in the news for not too good reasons.
From the change of her looks to a “Bad wild-looking girl” to what appears to be a hostile approach she has developed towards her critics and those not in her good books or critique her works.
When I read news about Wendy Shay unfollowing celebrity host Delay on grounds that Delay raised concerns about her recent looks, demeanor, and how she has pierced herself among others, I asked myself if it’s just for hype for an upcoming song or it’s a true story, because If you indeed call someone a sister as Delay revealed they call each other and the person feels you are going off track and draw your attention to it, perhaps not even in public, the best thing to do will be re-examining yourself and see if indeed you have to change your ways and not just burst up and unfriend or unfollow the fellow on social media.
Even though Wendy Shay has denied allegations with her involvement with drugs in recent times with her mother coming to her defense insisting her daughter is not into any such things, I feel it will be better if Wendy Shay and her management take a pause and realign their quest to stay relevant because at age 24 as Wikipedia says she is, she still has more years ahead in her career all things being equal.
It may not be issues of drugs as alleged by some but perhaps she is just stressed or depressed with back-to-back commentary and news around her. In her last days with Lynxx entertainment, not until she opened up about it nobody ever knew award-winning songstress Mzvee was depressed under her record label which took her off the music scene for over a year.
It may be the same thing happening to Wendy Shay because it’s one thing getting the fame and another thing handling the fame and the pressure and expectation it comes with.
Look, whoever will raise doubts about the prowess and ability of Wendy Shay’s talent ever since she announced herself into the music scene is obviously doing that for mischief purposes.
Without a doubt, she’s the biggest artist among her female colleagues at the moment, with her streams surpassing Joyce Blessing and Diana Hamilton.
The numbers are there to support this claim
On YouTube, her “Uber Driver” released 2 years ago have 3.6 million views, “Stevie Wonder” Which she featured Shatta Wale has 3.7 million views after a year, with her “All for You” pulling 2.2 million views after a year of release etc.
These are numbers many male artiste do not have.
This is why I feel some of the controversies around her are needless because if it is about the numbers and attention she already has it.
There should be a time where celebrities must understand that they cannot be doing the same thing and expect differences in results. When Sarkodie broke through, he came with a style of always feeding us with hardcore rap and punchlines but as he grows in the industry he has added a new twist to his style to stay relevant for over a decade.
You hardly hear Sarkodie twisting in his songs now like he used to because that style has served it purpose and a new one is in play.
This is why I largely associate myself with Obrafour’s view in his 2008 classic “Kasiebo” that “music is dynamic” and every good artiste must know what time it is and switch accordingly or risk been left behind.
If after serving us with hit songs back to back in the last 2-3 years and management of Wendy Shay can still be edging her to be craving for this minute attention, then there’s a problem with everything they intend achieving as a management team.
Obviously, those who love her craft like me are worried about the change in her looks.
If she was in America with these piercings, that wouldn’t have been an issue. But our culture as Ghanaians is yet to accept those trends as a normal way of life without associating them with the use and abuse of narcotics.
We can all testify to how destructive drugs has been to many talented musicians even here in our country, if in doubt check Okomfo Kwadee.
I am not in anyone saying the concerns by others about her behavior and appearance lately is anything close to the truth.
But truth is, rumors are such that sometimes they come with an iota of truth in them.
Wendy Shay has indeed suffered from a lot of trolls and bullies on social media and that I am heavily against but the silence of her management on current issues around her wouldn’t help the fan base she has built for herself.
Her progress in the music industry will bring no financial freedom to me, neither will her destruction if there’s ever going to be one to bring me any joy.
However, as a music lover, I am for all opportunity that will put Ghana on the global stage to prove our worth not only when the big boys are mentioned but when the big girls are mentioned too.
If America could have Beyoncé, Rihanna with Nigeria having Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade among others then Ghana can also dream of having Wendy Shay and other huge talents like Adina, Efya, Eno, Mzvee among others. Wendy Shay is a household name with no doubt even though she is not even up to 5 years after coming into the scene as such the approach of management will have to change especially with controversies because her brand has outgrown to be a major brand and not an “up and coming one”.
I pray and hope whatever the issues with her if there’s any she is able to pull through and not feel distracted on her mission to greatness.
I know there are those bent on making sure she does not succeed in whatever she’s doing, such are the people who reported her single “Pray for the world” to YouTube for it to be pulled down on copyright issues. Gladly, after management filing counter complaints that the song does not violate any copyright issues to YouTube, it was restored back to her channel on YouTube.
That should be the fighting spirit, it is not every criticism she would have to worry her head over but the genuine ones like the ones I believed I have raised in this article which is meant to shape up her talent into a globally recognized one should not be antagonized by Shay herself and those around her for we don’t want the career of our “Ghana Beyoncé” to die just as it has been with other equally great Ghanaian talents.
I hope this piece finds her or her management so together they can come to terms with the fact that, controversy do not build a last brand, good lyrics do.