Dissecting the local music scene

01 November 2019 | Art and Entertainment

The Namibian entertainment sphere is one interesting jungle. Everybody is doing their thing, and this is respectable and commendable. They're securing the bag, and 'doing the most'.

Some artists keep surprising us and a typical example is that nobody is ever going to forget that Sally Boss Madam and Busiswa collaboration. Constantly, history is being made, and many times we have not given them the due respect or attention.

We see stars rising from all over the country, and with the advent of social media, internet sensations are constantly being discovered, with Kaboy Kamakili being a typical example. It is refreshing to see a 'self-made' artist, as they are called; somebody who did not ride on the fame of someone else to get to where they are.

Other artists, however, keep rebranding in an attempt to remain relevant. But sometimes this strategy doesn't always bear fruit. If you were once a hit, then your fans will always remember you for that, and that is how legends are born.

Sure, we are constantly looking out for a new and improved style or targeting a bigger market, but often when you 'rebrand' there is always the possibility of losing the fan base you have already established.

Still on rebranding, it has become common for artists to switch to the gospel genre after being away from the scene. I'm not sure if this an attempt to stay relevant after a sabbatical or merely a way of redeeming themselves in the public eye.

This is not a thought I have had over a glass of 'hater-ade'. No, I am not judging, I am simply questioning, with all due respect.

Then you find the 'yeah, I'm back' gang. You catch my drift. These are the upcoming artists mainly straight out of high school, who step into a recording studio for the first time and announce their return from a trip we didn't know they were taking. These 'it's your boy' artists, who automatically come with haters into the music industry, are difficult to keep up with because there's a new one every other day, and mainly, it's nothing you haven't heard before. Once in a while there's an impressive verse, but when I hear 'you know who it is' at the beginning of a track, I am most likely to skip the song. But then again, don't let my opinion stop you from pursuing your music career? You might just be the next Nasty C or better yet, the first (insert your name here).

Moving swiftly along, we also find those who want to be jacks of all trades. These are people who are already in the limelight and have a decent following, and feel they can take the entertainment world by storm. A typical example is Dillish Mathews taking on a 'colabo' with Cleo Ice Queen from Zambia on 'back in July'. Well, good feedback from your fan base can keep you going on a track that is different from what you are typically known for, but other times, it doesn't work out, but you have something else to fall back on.

Last but not least, the consistent artists that know and keep up with what their audience wants: Yes, Top Cheri, I am talking about you! These artists are hitmakers because they take their audience with them in whatever song or genre they do. From club-bangers to love songs, they keep an element of who they are on their tracks, which makes them relatable, even when it comes to a genre or story that their audience is not familiar with. Tate Buti has also been a consistent artist in bringing fresh beats and often unexpected tracks to the airwaves, but that's a topic for another day.

What is important is that despite the difference in characters, they are contributing to entertain the Namibian nation and beyond its borders, and there are those that we love, those we barely listen to and those whose work brightens up our days, despite not being our perfect cup of tea. This diversity makes the entertainment sphere fun to keep up with and there is never a dull moment when Namibians talk entertainment.

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