Blood, sweat and tears

28 June 2019 | Columns

Just like the title of Gazza's eighth album, Blood Sweat and Tears - I got to thinking that the entertainment industry is really like this phrase.

Think about it… has anyone who gave it 50% really made it in the entertainment space? Yes, so what? You released a few EPs to a lukewarm response, you performed to an audience on an odd occasion where the front row was comprised of mostly your friends and family, you dropped a few average music videos on YouTube that got about 2 000 views, you got your song played on Energy 100FM once (maybe you were lucky enough to have it run for a month), your home town sorta knows your name, you created a bit of buzz on Facebook – and then what?

I am talking about 100% heart, effort, commitment and above all, consistency – and I am talking to you, the person who thinks that taking a premeditated risk and giving it your all is too much of an effort. I have mentioned this before on this platform - of how we get attacked by so many artists who feel they deserve to be featured or to be taken serious by anyone. Those who feel the entertainment industry owes them and they are better, constantly attacking the likes of Gazza, King Tee Dee, Top Cheri, Exit or Lioness for allegedly taking all the spotlight. Because while these artists are bagging endorsements, crossing over to new audiences and starting new business ventures (all in the name of music), you are sitting there all disgruntled because you swear your music is better, and yes, maybe it is – but what are you doing about it?

It got me asking myself; why do music in the first place unless you do not want the whole world or at least your entire nation to pay attention? Why do music in the first place if you are not willing to make it your first priority and work hard until you are on top? And if your music is not selling or you are not booking gigs, should you not check yourself? It should not be easy to be famous overnight either. Music has always been about earning your stripes – from performance capability and ultimately, your total package as an artist.

My point? I am not trying to take shots at anyone but on the real, music really is blood, sweat and tears. Why should anyone bother to take you seriously when you do not take yourself seriously? Entertainment isn't for the fainthearted or overly sensitive. When we endeavour to promote Namibian music or conduct a workshop to develop the youth should we not give it everything we have? Music has done so much in all our lives, it is the least we can do, especially if we want to see the movement progress and moreover, develop ourselves to the fullest of our potential.

I do not have fancy quotes this time around nor does this column contain metaphorically beautiful lines. The message I am trying to convey is simple. Give it 100% and be professional about your business. If you are not good enough, are too afraid to admit it and blame everything and everyone else (media, economic crisis) for your failure then you are in for a rude awakening. I am calling a spade a spade and so should you.

In this issue we look at creatives who have certainly given their all to the game. From our cover star Undjee Reggie Zaire to Challo (former Ongoro Nomundu lead singer) who is launching his third album today.

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