Ingredients to music success

31 May 2019 | Art and Entertainment

As an art and entertainment enthusiast, I think about those aspiring musicians, photographers and sketchers whose work is still not played and exhibited, and their skills untested; not because of a lack of opportunities, but because of self-doubt and lack of confidence.

Music game plans and tactics, like lyrics, scribbles, attire, beats and other portfolios, are idle since the mainstream glorifies materialism and swag as the main ingredients to musical success. Many unheard of musicians are staggering with their impressive yet unexposed material in backyard rooms and rural areas. I urge gatekeepers in the entertainment space to not write off these artists, but rather give them the platform do showcase what they have to offer. By doing this you are giving these artists the confidence and hope that the game needs that different style, flow, beats and one's originality without compromise.

Why write them off because we prefer trap music over Shambo, English over vernacular, skinny jeans over baggy jeans and vice versa? I say hone an edge of your own. Without embracing mediocrity and as long as value is added to this game, let every art and entertainment partisan give courage to those hidden treasures, because confidence, like success, needs more than encouragement.

Dazzle Skrywer, who hosts a popular countdown show on Energy 100 FM, recently complimented and made fun of me by saying he enjoys reading through the tjil interviews, even when it's about artists a lot of people have not heard of, because that gives them a platform and their well-earned 15 minutes; because hey, you have to be doing something right to get a mention. For future reference, that compliment has made me consider keeping interviews with responses shorter than the actual question or “no comment” in my scrap files, because that is just wasted space we could have given to emerging talents so they could voice themselves and actually get the scoop we are supposed to get from an interview. At the end of the day an interview is supposed to give insight and some of these established artists sound like they are doing somebody a favour.

However, I am not saying emerging talents are now going to get all the exposure, as tjil keeps a balance in terms of the coverage of both established and new artists. Speaking of balance, our cover star for this edition is Sunny Boy, who recently released his long-anticipated seventh studio album Uyelele. He shares the creative direction he took on the album, why it took so long for it to be released and his thoughts on the state of the music industry in Namibia.

Another piece you should look forward to in this edition is on Malawian all-round creative Kelvin Gumbi, who is in Namibia to facilitate a workshop on the use of modern technology to make music. This has been one of the most stressful editions I have had to work on because of the Ascension Day public holiday, and thus deadlines were affected and certain stories had to be kept for the following edition. Nevertheless, we managed to put the edition to bed. I hope you enjoyed your day off yesterday. Enjoy this edition and have a splendid weekend!

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