Award ceremonies and their dynamics

13 September 2019 | Columns

The Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) is a community, as well as an award show for professional, independent musicians and labels. It is not an award show for hobbyists. I believe the institution works hard to connect every artist who enters the music scene with career opportunities regardless of whether they earn an award or not. I personally believe musicians and labels win just by entering the NAMAs, because of the exposure that comes with being nominated.

This year's NAMAs are over. Artists were rewarded in various categories last weekend. Because it is a competition there could only be one winner in each category, and the decision by voters or judges does not always leave everyone happy – and that is normal.

Because of these resentments from the music community some artists who do not win in categories they believe they should have won, sometimes go on to boycott the awards. In this piece I will share why I think it is important for every artist to not give up on taking part in award shows and how fans fail their artists by not voting, but complaining later.

Firstly, for inexperienced artists taking part in award shows of course helps to build confidence. However, confidence built due to a competition award, is not enough thus artists should continue working hard even after their victories. I also believe taking part in award competitions builds careers. This however depends on the competition's monetary award (if any). It should not only be about the money though as the exposure artists get just by being nominated alone expands their fan base.

Moving on, in Namibia and I believe to a certain extent in other countries as well, music fans have a tendency of not voting for their favourite artists and songs but have something negative to say to the winner and the organisers. I am guilty of this too, but it is time that we do away with such behaviour. Of course not all categories are open for public voting and my problem with juried categories is that I believe music that is judged in competition with others is a pointless exercise. At the end of the day, the judge's preferences determine the winner. The skills of the musician do not reflect who wins.

Another element which causes debates among music lovers is the nominations. Many-a-time, music fans are left disappointed when their favourite artists or songs do not get nominated. What some fans do not know is the criteria that are used for musicians to qualify. This also goes out to music managers as well as artists themselves. It is important to know the deadlines for entries so that you may plan to release music within that period. This information is not hard to obtain if you look in the right places. There are a lot of information sharing music workshops that are hosted; these are events that artists and their teams need to take interest in.

In this edition we bring you the highlights from the NAMAs with a strong emphasis on the fashion aspect of the show. We also sat down with Simeone Johannes of SynEDGY to discuss how his contribution to the fashion scene is growing the industry. This and more in this edition, enjoy it.

[email protected]; @MichaelMKAY

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