Unless the country’s musicians turn themselves into marketable brands of live music, they should forget making a fortune in the industry.
This was observed by the outgoing director of Entertainers Promotions, Jai Banda, who recently relinquished the mantle to his son Tonderai.
Jai’s assertions come at a time musicians are grappling with effects of piracy and technological advancements which have spearheaded illegal sharing of music files without creators realising a penny from their sweat.
The situation has rendered artists poor despite making massive investments in their music career.
For example, the country’s musicians spend huge sums of money for audio and video production, but only to realise nothing at the end of the day.
It is against this background that retired music promoter Jai has challenged musicians to embrace what he terms a ‘survival strategy’.
He was speaking last Saturday night on the sidelines of the Pre-Valentine’s Day concert held at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.
“The country needs artists that can build a substantial brand in live music. Today, live shows are what can be described as a survivor strategy for artists due to the deteriorating market of CDS and DVDs,” said the music promoter.
He said musicians should strive to build a brand that could sell during live shows.
“Artists should nurture and tilt their talent towards live performances. If they can prove that their services are good, they will definitely be hired by events organisers and this will help to improve their economic status,” he said.
Malawi has few artists and music bands that solely rely on bookings and live performances, who include Black Missionaries, Skeffa Chimoto, Lucius Banda, Lawi and Lulu.
However, a majority of musicians in Malawi are solo artists, reducing their chances of partaking in live performances.
“While it is important to form a band, creating a compelling brand is the most critical factor that every artist should take it seriously,” advised Jai.
Commenting on the development, Skeffa Chimoto said he was finding solace in live performances amid a chaotic music market.
“With the current situation of the music industry, live performances are bailing us out of the miseries,” said Chimoto. n