The organizers of the South South Music Awards (SSMA) will celebrate 10 years of proudly serving the region by hosting a variety of special events with the main event holding on Sunday, December 2nd.
The 10th edition of the annual SSMA is set to hold at the Ekinadoese Event Hall, GRA, Benin City, and in a country where award ceremonies have struggled to maintain its consistency and credibility due to a myriad of reasons, celebrating a decade is really a big deal.
The South South Music Awards was created out of the need to reward excellence in its rich musical heritage as well as an absence of a music awards platform in the Niger- Delta region, a region credited with the emergence of some of the most talented names that have graced the Nigerian music scene with the likes of Duncan Mighty, Erigga, Timaya, Omawumi and more all emerging from the region.
The award was introduced in 2009, with its very first edition held at the Civic Centre in Benin City, Edo State on December 20, 2009, with over 15 notable categories.
The man behind the awards is Andy Bello, CEO, Lockdown Entertainment, and in a brief interview with Pulse, he spoke on the inspiration behind the awards, funding, the credibility of the awards and what to expect from the upcoming 10th edition.
What inspired the idea behind the South South Music Awards?
The total lack of a reward platform in this part of the country, because before the SSMA’s came up in 2009, it was basically the Headies, which was then the Hip Hop World Awards and maybe the MTV Awards that were in existence despite the fact that the South, especially the South South contribute more to the music industry in terms of the creatives, the artists and even the producers.
You must agree with me that at every point, those that have changed the face of the game in the music industry are from these part, and these guys are not getting the recognition they deserve.
We are not trying to be tribalistic but we are simply celebrating our own, these guys don’t get the respect that they deserve. So what I thought of was to have an overview of the entire Nigerian music industry from our own standpoint.
When creating music, you are not just thinking of selling CDs or having streams and downloads, you are also looking at a reward platform, where your creativity and exceptionality will be celebrated.
How have you managed to sustain the awards for 10 years?
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@Regran_ed from @lockdownent_official – THE 10TH ANNUAL SOUTH SOUTH MUSIC AWARDS (SSMA 2018) LOCKDOWN ENTERTAINMENT is proud to unveil the official logo for The 10th ANNUAL SOUTH SOUTH MUSIC AWARDS (SSMA 2018) #ssmaXedition #SSMA2018. The prestigious Award event will take place in Benin City and will see much of home grown content and talents on display. This is to ensure that we do not stray from the birthing concept of exposing, honoring and celebrating the ever growing talents that abound in the South South region. The theme is THE CELEBRATION This year’s edition is special because it is The 10th. Ten is a significant number and milestone. We will be celebrating the resilience and consistency of the platform and most especially the team, who despite the enormous challenges we contend with edition after edition are able to overcome them. It is also special because, in this edition, we shall be honouring some very special personalities both in the Music and Media sectors with The HONOURARY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS. This is an acknowledgement of the roles of those personalties whose work behind the scene impacts the industry positively. Such efforts need to be recognized and celebrated. #emo#wqA=##As we proceed, given available resources, we shall include more categories to cater for every sector of the industry. Events and activities are scheduled as follows: 31 of October- Unveiling of Nominees 5th of November – Voting commences 17th of November – Pre-Party at IMPERIAL BIZO, Ugbor, GRA, Benin City 2nd of December – Main Event at The EKINADOESE EVENT HALL (inside RANDEKHI GOLD HOTEL), GRA, Benin City. Please follow our official social media handles Twitter: @Annualssma_ @Andybello @mofame_ Instagram: @lockdownent_official @Andybello @mofame_ We wish to thank all brands, friends and colleagues for their support in the past and present. We are indeed grateful. See you all at The SSMA X Edition. Art: @stunnagrafix – #regrann
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The truth is the idea behind the awards wasn’t about profit. When you are driven by profit and the profit doesn’t come as you expect, the passion dies, but when the essence of the whole thing is to see an improvement in content in your part of the region. See Erigga, see Victor AD, Johnny Drille, they are all products of this quest to make things better.
Every artist in the region now wants to be involved, so even when we don’t have sponsors, we just keep going because the objective is still being met.
How have you been able to consistently fund the awards?
It has been crazy, sometimes I consider myself unnecessarily stubborn when I insist that this has to be done and thanks to the fact that it takes place in Benin, my hometown, where people know the passion towards what I do, support comes from here and there, at times we get a reduction in paying for the venues and stuffs like that.
The much I can do for myself as one who is also an industry stakeholder, I also ensure I do, like getting colleagues to host the event without collecting any money. To a large extent, there has been a large amount of support from my home base.
What should one expect differently from this year’s edition?
This 10th edition is themed ‘The Celebration’. We just want to gather together and celebrate.
Not just celebrate those we consider as outstanding acts this year but celebrate how far we have come, the growth that we are recording, celebrate the fact that a song can be recorded in some small studio in Warri and it breaks ground across Africa like a Victor AD or Erigga performing at the Warri stadium, it gladdens my heart and we want to celebrate that journey.
What would you say about the credibility of the awards?
For us to exist till date, it goes a long way in pointing at the fact that it’s been a credible platform all along, the Niger Delta people always air their minds and say things as it is. We sleep well at night knowing that we put the facts that determine the most outstanding, we put credibility at the forefront. It is what has sustained the platform up to this point, no matter the passion I have, if it is not credible we won’t even be talking about a fourth edition not to mention a tenth.
I get enquiries from people within the country and even in the diaspora, it is credibility that has gotten us this far. Yes, there is the occasional grumbling at the end of certain awards, but after the initial noise, they all realise that the eventual winner put in something extra to truly deserve the award.
How do you arrive at the winners for each category?
We have a team of judges, industry practitioners consisting of video directors, music producers, even artists, OAPs, Djs, they all come together and decide who wins and it is quite a process, physically and mentally.
Did you ever envision that you will be here today when you started?
Whatever I do, I put everything that I have got into it, I don’t start anything just for starting sake, when I go in, I go in hard, so when I started I said I was building an institution, a legacy that I want my kids to grow up and say that is my fathers work.
Bob Marley did just 36 years and his legacy remains, people still talk about Jimi Hendrix, somebody started the Grammys, so it is a legacy that I want to be remembered for.
See selected nominee list