The advancement of technology has enabled most artists to have easy access to music production such that there are a lot of mix-tapes or promotional albums being distributed either electronically or through mere sharing.
Mix-tapes are promotional compilations of singles that are distributed to fans and other stakeholders. Most of the times, mix-tapes are less serious in their nature as they are not for commercial purposes.
Mix-tapes are sometimes regarded as a way of getting on a spotlight so as to be noticed by a record company as the BBC award winning trio, Wun’s Iceberg claims. “We have released mix-tapes in a space of two years because we want to make noise before the big project perhaps we may be spotted by a major international record” said Iceberg.
Sometimes mixtapes have been used as a promotional tool, either to test the market or simply as a freebee.
Malawi’s Armstrong sprung to heights of fame after he released the mixtape Br&B before his debut Ndele.
Ken Zizwa Limamwe of Nde’feyo Entertainment backs the idea of using mix-tapes.
“Mix-tapes are a way of marketing talent,” said Limamwe. He attributed the rise of Armstrong to the success of his Br&B mixtape.
Various other so-called underground musicians produce mix-tapes even during their whole music career. The question that lingers in people’s minds is: Are mix-tapes really necessary?
Percy Manyozo, producer at Transformers Music and proprietor of Pro-Pee Studio, says he is totally against the idea of mix-tapes as they are less serious.
“Mix-tapes are a try-out. Is that what people really want?
“No! People want serious music,” said the producer.
He dubbed mix-tapes as a complete waste of time and advised artists who want to be spotted by a record company to make demos and deliver it to the company.
“Mix-tapes ruin the element of surprise in music.”