Asked by Prince Benjamin, host of the Class Drive on Class91.3FM on Friday 11 November, why his songs, despite being of good quality, remained unpopular in the country, Kubolor responded: “Because I have never paid payola.”
He explained that his hit song, Kokonsa, received massive airplay because he had just arrived from abroad as a new artiste.
“Kokonsa was a fluke and it was never even playlisted. Some few radio stations playlisted it and Kokonsa was just like me coming to Ghana, moving back from America, and so there was also the aura of me coming from America and so people were just playing it. But when they saw that I wasn’t coming to give them any dollars, they stopped,” he revealed.
Wanluv Kubolor explained that he viewed payola as an unfair means for some artistes to make it in Ghana.
“I haven’t subscribed to the culture of payola be it on television or radio and it somehow means in the Ghanaian perspective I’m a bad business person because I do know if I took part in payola I will be successful. However, I don’t find it fair to artistes who may be better than me but cannot afford payola,” he noted.
The award-winning artiste added: “I get paid when my songs are played on the BBC or somewhere else in the world. On the radio in Germany, Hungary, Romania, wherever it is, they send me payments but Ghana does not have a royalty system yet…”
Wanluv Kubolor has three solo albums and eight albums as a member of the FOKN Bois.
He is arguably the most revolutionary artiste in Ghana, credited with creating a unique sound that pushes the borders of Afro-Pop.