With just under ten days to go for the third edition of the Liberia Music Awards many have begun to criticize the awards saying that it is offered based on partiality. But these criticisms generally become harsher and more publicized once the winners are announced.
As usual the criticism is stronger when an underground, local or U.S based artist wins more than one category.
For example, during the second edition of the LMA, headliners like Quincy B, who received three nominations, lost all.
His loss, along with other issues, brought serious criticisms against the LMA’s stance on transparency. The continued increase in criticisms from all angles at the time, including the artists themselves, forced Joseph Junior Teah, LMA Country Representative, to hit back.
In that interview with LIB Life last year, Teah said if the LMA were to start releasing the online and text message voting results from Liberia, it would shock fans to know that the people causing all the noise are the ones who never voted and did little or no awareness.
“It is time that Liberian musicians stop the blame game and awake to the realities of life. These artists should be happy and grateful that we have started something good that is recognizing their talents and giving them more exposure,” said Teah.
Meanwhile, despite all the criticisms leveled against the LMA, it has however made significant strides, with the integral part of that success story being an increase in its categories and new nominees.
Another success story would be that since its launch two years ago, LMA has been able to send out invitations to local artists to attend the event, like it did during the award’s first edition that saw David Mell, Shadow, Benevee, J.D. Donzo, Bernice Blackie and others travelling to the U.S. on their invitation.
Although the entire delegation of Liberian artists that was due to perform at the second edition of awards was denied visas by the Consular Section of the US Embassy in Monrovia, the LMA was still able to send out invitation again this year to some artists. The only hold up is that these artists have to successfully pass their interviews at the US Embassy in Monrovia.
Still on the success story front, LMA became the first and only organization among the many organizations that give awards to Liberian artists to allow fans back home the opportunity to vote via SMS (text message), as well as online.
Still running after two years, the voting platform enables the entire country to openly participate in the process, and it helps to give exposure here in Liberia to Liberian artists who are not based in the country.
This platform initiative is part of LMA’s core process of making sure that the awards are giving out on a more transparent basis.
The LMA has continued to foster a sense of unity, excellence and tolerance of diversity within the music industry, which they considered as an essential part in ensuring artists continue to thrive for greatness.
Another success is attributed to the way the LMA publicly celebrates each winner’s achievements, even in the midst of criticism, by making sure that all the winners receive their awards. That is amazing!
Last year the LMA was able give 30 awards to both first and second edition award winners who were unable to attend the ceremony in United States of America due to technical and logistical reasons. They received their awards here in Liberia.