By Bahle Gama
Artists in Eswatini believe that they need to improve their craft to attract a following locally to an extent of reaching international standards.
Interviewed artists were responding to questions on whether they have a better following locally on all platforms and if not, how it could be improved. Amongst these were producers and vocalists.
Kangaroo, a local rapper stated that he felt emaSwati supported local artists more before than now, in that even in events, they are no longer convinced to attend unless a foreign artist is performing at the same event.
“Or maybe it’s the organisers who have made it a habit to our people, I’m not sure. But in terms of being loved and supported, most of them do,” he said.
He further stated that what needs to be done is for followers to learn to stream and buy music through digital platforms and when viewing a music video on YouTube, should ensure to always subscribe, “so that one day YouTube can be able to pay us.”
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Mzwaa The Vocalist, echoed Kangaroo and stated that artists needed to refine their craft and ensure that what is produced is on par with international standards.
“We cannot worry too much about things we cannot control. Focus on the product, if what you’re offering is quality, then you’ll always attract a following. It’s true, most emaSwati will only jump on the bandwagon once you’ve been recognised outside of the country but that should only serve to encourage artists to look beyond our shores,” he said.
Mzwaa continued that it is the streaming age now which means people all over the world can be easily exposed to one’s music, and all that an artist needs to do is ensure that they package themselves right.
“It’s easier said than done; branding, mixing and mastering, etc all require money, which most independent artists cannot afford, but it is imperative to try working with what you have. like I said, focus on the things you have control over,” he advised.
Meanwhile, Carrency an RnB artist added that the reason emaSwati are supportive of local artists to a certain extent is that they cannot access their craft on the different platforms.
“This is because of awareness and other factors like the country’s economic state and other things like the influence countries like South Africa have on our entertainment space, our people consume a lot of foreign art,” said Carrency.