Nyasa Media Network is one of the new institutions dedicated to promoting artists in Malawi. The platform distributes music for up-and-coming artists and helps them with connections to get the much-need exposure, among others. Our arts editor EDITH GONDWE caught up with the chief executive officer of Nyasa Media Network to get a better understanding of the institution.
: What is Nyasa Media Network?
: Nyasa media network is a platform that was founded in 2018, but became live in 2019. I having been an artist for a while, observed a gap that was there between people with art and those who promote it such as radio stations, event organisers, digital marketers etc.
So, I first developed a website, Nyasa News that was primarily doing articles to expose up-and-coming artists. Then we changed to Nyasa Media Network, meaning we moved from being specific to general.
We formed a network between the artists and promoters. This was done through physical meetings with the above-mentioned stakeholders and also through the website.
Now we help artists get their arts on radio and television, newspapers and online. We upload the arts, we write articles and we periodically organise online live shows to help expose the arts.
We have a mobile app where people can access our website. For the future plans, we are planning to set up an online radio and TV station because our target is the international audience.
So, after we have built that audience, we will now shift to building a market for arts in Malawi.
In short Nyasa Media Network is a network of radio and television presenters, journalists, event organisers and other art promoters all coming up to systematically promote arts. Everyone can use the platform as long as the aim is to promote art or have your art promoted.
Q: How have artists reacted to your initiative?
: The reaction is promising. We started last year and we have upload ed and promoted over 400 songs from different parts of the country. But because not many people know our website and platform, the monthly turnout is not that big currently.
: Promoting artists requires funds. How are you managing to effectively promote artists both established and upcoming?
: Our main domain is the Internet, but, unfortunately, due to our economic condition here, most of the people don’t usually visit websites. They prefer using WhatsApp for file sharing, so while we are keeping an eye on our local people, our main target is the international audience. We have boosted our traffic on different social media platforms such that we are able to generate good web traffic from countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom, among others. In terms of funding, there are different promotion packages that we offer. One of them is that we give an artist space on our website where he/she can advertise his arts in bulk and he pays a small monthly subscription which is in turn used to run the website.
We also advertise for small businesses like boutiques, real estate agencies, among others.
Q: Who are some of the artists who have already benefitted from your platform?
: We have many artists that we have promoted in the past. However, some of the artists that have benefitted from us, especially through our online live shows include Bingolingo (Dapa), Ritaa, Slessor. We also promoted Jay Tway, who ended up being nominated for Machinjiri ‘n’ Sky Rockers Awards. We also helped Dada Satoh and he ended up selling more than 200 copies of his song in 24 hours. The others are up-and-coming artists.
: How best can artists make use of social media and online platforms for promotion?
: Artists should always budget before releasing their worksrts. They must make a good strategy that targets a platform with a big audience. They should also create a business Facebook page. And all in all they should be willing to invest more on promotion. Currently they are just a lot of platforms that are helping artists build their online presence. They include Mikozi Network, and Malawi Tunes. So it’s a whole lot of ways.