“I have not made it to the mainstream yet, but I have this to say… In this lifetime there is always going to come a phase you’d have to be the ONLY person present in your own life to believe in YOU. You’d have to be the one to work on yourself, not what others expects of you. You’d need to forget about comparing yourself to others and how well they are doing. You’d need to come through for YOU. You’d have to focus on bettering yourself, in all aspects of your own life.
You don’t have to believe in GOD to believe that YOU are EVERYTHING BUT ORDINARY!” – David Bondze-Mbir
Over the years I have shared sample demos of some of the songs I would be recording on my debut album on social media and a few online music platforms. Some of you bothered to listen and gave me feedback; most of you ignored me, but that’s also okay. My little sister, Joana A. Pomaa Chemel, once said,
“There is a longing in almost every man or woman to make it in life. I have known others who have gone the extra mile to make an impact in the lives of other people. A few of my friends have also gone to the ends of the world to see a better tomorrow for those who will live after them. This is the legacy I want to leave on earth. That I had the opportunity to save a piece of the very best of times of the world for the next generation.
I see myself traveling through the journey of these three stages of life: waking up every day, not just to do what will make me happy but to do something for someone that will bring the person hope – if all others fail. This longing does not end inside of me but translates itself into being part of the generation that will go to the ends of the earth to sustain smiles, peace, joy, inspiration and love for the next generation.”
My life would be a mistake without music in it. Good songs and beautiful lyrics have always been my hiding place. I could cry into the healing power between the voice of a singer and the melody of their song and whorl my back to the problems I seem to see ahead of me. The many times I have needed producers, artiste managers, Record Labels and some friends to be there for me, they weren’t but my music has always been there for me, inside of me – encouraging me.
This is a brand NEW song that is very dear to my heart. I had the chorus of the song in mind but there were no lyrics to it. For the past 19 years, I have pursued my dream to sing full-time. I have come into contact with over 245 producers, artiste managers, and Record label owners in Ghana and outside of Ghana, to partner with me; to help my dream become a reality. 225 of these industry people that I contacted refused to grant me an audience to showcase my talent. Almost all of them said,
15 did listen to the sample demos I sent them:
“Not good enough”, “You don’t have the looks (facial) for show-business”, “Your kind of songs can’t make it to the mainstream”, “Go to school and get more degrees. Music is not your calling”, “What kind of genre is this one too? Who buys songs like these?” “You’re a Ghanaian; Sing in your mother-tongue”, “You sing like a woman. Are you a woman?” “You don’t have the voice. Don’t be a singer”, “A female’s voice would sound better on your kind of music. Write songs for Becca.”, “Why do you want to do music at your age? Think of something else: you’re too old for this”, “Can’t you rap? This is too feminine”, “There is no career or returns in music anymore. I’d only be throwing my money away”, “Well, if you were a girl, I would have taken a second look at it. Managing a fine young girl is more profitable in every sense.” … were some of the feedback I received. Yes, I noted every single feedback given.
Four promised to get back to me, but I am yet to hear from them. The 245th industry person, who is a Ghanaian-based in the UK producer, agreed to meet with me at his studio. It was actually through this gentleman that I got to know of a place in Accra, called ‘Hong Kong’. His house (studio) was around that area. We agreed on a meet at 3:00 PM. I got to his house at exactly 3:00 PM. I was informed he was having a recording session with a lady, so I had to wait. I sat there for over two hours before seeing him come out.
He greeted me, and then went back in. I sat in-waiting for an hour and a half before seeing him again. He invited me to his living room to discuss my reasons for wanting to do music full time. I gave my reasons. He shook his head. He then asked how I was going to fund the recordings. I told him I could make payments in installment – since I couldn’t pay everything in bulk.
He kept quiet for over a minute and then asked me to go and wait on him again, outside.
I sat in the outer porch for close to two hours. I was bitten by mosquitoes. Kojo Antwi came over and entered the house. The producer came out with Kojo Antwi, after an hour, escorting him to his car. I was still there, waiting, hoping he would at least come back to say something to me. He came back to the verandah and then smiled, holding his beard,
“Oh, you’re still here, eh?” he asked
He gave me a Bart to kill the mosquitoes, and then went back in. I sat there for an additional two and a half hours before a young, slim lady, with an American or British accent came to me. I think her name was Maame/Mommy (I can’t remember) but this is what she said to me,
“I think he’s forgotten all about you. He’s started rehearsing with his band. You better go.”
I was there long (hours) before the young men in his band started trooping in but he chose to treat me like a joke. I was hurt in my spirit. I felt so sad that someone I admired and respected in the music industry could do that to his fellow musician. I’m naturally that emotional, so little acts of this sort really gets at me. I left the house shedding tears. It was during my walk from Hong Kong to Kwashieman, in the dark, to pick a car – that the lyrics and complete melody to the song, ‘EVERYTHING BUT ORDINARY’ started to take form and shape in my heart. The tears suddenly dried up when it dawned on me – the song was actually fully cooked; and that, I was really singing it on my lips. It has this theatrical feel to it, it wipes your tears away ‘by-force’. Lol!
Words are incapable of describing how it felt; how I felt. But, if I hadn’t been turned down by those 244 industry players, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be in this producer’s house/studio – to experience who he really is. And, ‘EVERYTHING BUT ORDINARY’ would never have happened to me. Of course, it felt like rejection. It felt like failure. But maybe it wasn’t. Maybe I just ran out of road on that route. I needed that experience to give me that time to back up, turn around and look for a new route to get exactly where I wanted to go in life. And the new route, the new song, ‘EVERYTHING BUT ORDINARY’, was actually better- although the circumstances surrounding its birth didn’t look that way at present.
Sometimes the best thing that can happen to us is not getting what we want. Not getting what I wanted that day turned out to be a wonderful stroke of luck for me.
Good music should be able to express that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent. My hurt couldn’t remain unnoticed. My disappointment couldn’t remain unseen. My tears couldn’t remain unshed. My hope to someday make it as a good songwriter, composer and singer – couldn’t be kept silent. I needed a reason, a good reason to reassure myself. I kept moving forward. I learned from the experience but did not dwell on it so much. I didn’t get what I wanted with the producer because I was destined for something else: a brand new song!
I have not made it to the mainstream yet, but I have this to say… In this lifetime there is always going to come a phase you’d have to be the ONLY person present in your own life to believe in YOU. You’d have to be the one to work on yourself, not what others expects of you. You’d need to forget about comparing yourself to others and how well they are doing. You’d need to come through for YOU. You’d have to focus on bettering yourself, in all aspects of your own life.
You don’t have to believe in GOD to believe that YOU are EVERYTHING BUT ORDINARY!
My position in the world isn’t to compete with others. It’s to become the very best human being that I can become. Good can actually come out of even the darkest acts of disrespect or rejection. I composed the song in tears, but may it put a smile on your face in 2020.