As Ghanaians, we love our music; from traditional and folklore music to high life, hip life, afro pop and everything in-between, we have received a great catalogue of enduring music.
At the forefront of great music has been the likes of Osibisa, Nana Ampadu & the African Brothers, The City Boys, C. K. Mann, Daniel Amponsah, Eddie Donkor, Wulomei, Pat Thomas, Kojo Antwi, Reggie Rockstone, Akyeame as well as leaders of the New School.
Whilst these artistes have received due accolades, and quite rightly so, they have been supported by able cast members; some of whom are as, and in a few instances more, important to the overall success of the songs and artistes.
Chief among them are disk jockeys (DJs) and at the forefront of refining and promoting the art of DJing is the ever-green Merqury Quaye who is known in the Ghanaian creative arts ecosystem as the ‘Ghana’s Finest Hypeman’.
Born Merqury Quaye in Accra some 37 years ago, the man who wears man hats as Master of Ceremony (MC), music producer, voice-over artiste, DJ, singer, broadcaster and entrepreneur, has always had an affinity for the arts. From an early age, he would take every opportunity to sing, dance or turn any item into a drum. At age 16, Merqury converted his father’s sound system into a virtual radio broadcast system, using a domestic AV sender to transmit radio signals from his room to his friends in his neighborhood.
“I started experiencing stardom at an early age; in JSS, I was acting the lead roles and getting great applause. I was in the school choir. Interestingly, from that stage in my life, I always noticed that I got an interestingly welcoming reception anywhere I went. It has been so till date. It shouldn’t be surprising that I am a great brand influencer today,” Merqury tells.
An accomplished rapper and singer as a teenager, he was adjudged ‘The Best’ at Funworld ’99, a national talent show which was organized and hosted by the National Theatre of Ghana.
After completing his tertiary education, Quaye decided to give the performing arts his full attention whilst venturing into event production, and it is safe to say that he has set the pace in providing the holistic entertainment and brand promotion experience.
The multi-faceted Merqury Quaye has had an expansive career to date, touching virtually every point on the entertainment table.
In 2007, he became the first indigenous presenter to host a music chart show on national television with the ‘Sound City Top 10’, which aired on GTV from 2007 to 2009.
Subsequently, Quaye rose to the rank of Country Manager at the Soundcity network, where he built a team which was influential in setting up the music-promotion channel to support and air regional and international content.
The network also served as a promotional platform for creatives, the impact of which was seen in the approximately 4 million subscribers the network acquired.
He was also instrumental in producing and recording the first demo for rapper Asem. But this was not a one-off as same was done for artistes such as Jupitar, SK Blinks as well as Famekek crooner, Adam.
In 2008, he formally began his journey into radio broadcasting when he became the host of Highway 102 – the drive time, late afternoon show of Choice 102.3FM to wide acclaim. Following his successful stint at Choice FM, he went on to host the late afternoon drive at Atlantis Radio 87.9FM and following which he moved to Hitz 103.9FM, a position he holds to date.
Known as Ghana’s Finest Hypeman, he has performed with the likes of Jamaican superstar Shaggy, New York rappers Fat Joe and Nas, Nigeria’s D’Banj, 2 Face and P-Square, among others.
In 2012, instituted the first and only nationwide award scheme for DJs; the Ghana DJ Awards – which awards over 35 outstanding DJs annually. This, he notes, is to highlight, celebrate and reward the unsung heroes that are DJs, for their contribution to the development of the entertainment industry.
In 2017, Merqury led a campaign called ‘Pay the DJ’; a movement demanding fair and equitable remuneration for DJs. Flowing from this, he instituted the Ghana DJ Clinic, with the express purpose of empowering DJs be offering capacity building, networking, mentorship, business support and access to finance and new markets to DJs.
Merqury is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Merqury Republic; a millennial-targeted music, lifestyle & entertainment marketing and production brand which has been influential in promoting brands including Redbull, LG electronics, BrainWise, Special Ice and Virtual Sound Lab.
Awards and Recognition
His illustrious career has seen him adjudged Best Evening show presenter at the RTP Awards as a nominee on 3 occasions. Merqury Quaye has also been honored by the Ghana Youth Entertainment Awards for his immense contribution to the development of the creative arts industry in Ghana by impacting, supporting and creating platforms for educating creatives in Ghana.
In 2018, powered by Biztrendz, Merqury Quaye was awarded for impeccable insights shared with start ups in Ghana in by Honorable Carlos Ahenkora, Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry.
It is instructive to note that Merqury inspires and has paved the way for an entire generation of multi-talented entrepreneurs and entertainers and is worth his weight in recognition.