Playing Music before Launch


Is it necessary for artists to launch their music albums or DVD’s whilst their music is already enjoying airplay or when the albums or DVD’s are on market?
Are our musicians on top of things when it comes to these issues…issues of releasing albums or singles and marketing and distributing it for the reach of the consumers?
Like I said some weeks ago most international musicians would send press kits to local media, radio stations, television stations, venue managers, record labels and studio executives as a marketing drive.
In such kits, you have the pictures of the artist(s) or bio videos, printed biography, the theme or lyrics of their music, CDs with sample music, flyers and any other necessary information.
How much of this do our musicians know? Is it surprising therefore that they die paupers when they have entertained masses in the better part of their lives?
Who is to blame? I mean between the musicians and the private sector…There is nothing musical that these firms in the private sector engage in…All one hears is that they are supporting this league or that league of sports kind of stuff.
Without trying to sound like a killjoy, I think there is more money in supporting entertainment of musical nature here in Malawi at this point in time than entertainment of sports nature.
In this world, companies in other countries realised this and at the moment ‘Akuyimba Lokoma.’
Take the eastern countries for example, for some time; the East African Breweries Limited has been carrying out competition for musicians in the Eastern African Region called Tusker Project Fame – a reality Television competition, which was at a value of 1 billion Kenyan shillings which is an equivalent of 12.8 million US dollars which is about 1.92 billion kwacha. All this money invested in music, imagine!
Chibuku Products in Malawi has ever tried its hands on the same, but they lack the seriousness that goes with such ventures as seen by the other investors in the world.
Let me go back to production and marketing of music. In gun accurizing, ‘bullet dwell time’ is the time between cartridge ignition, and the time the bullet leaves the barrel. Music is like a bullet and depending on its ‘dwell time’ it either leaves an impact or loses it all when it leaves the barrel.
It is therefore important to plan for this dwell time when in music production, especially when you are such an artist full of ambitions.
It is at this point that you can catch the potential companies along the way of hit a blank as it is sometimes called.
One would dismiss this as missing the point. But in truth this is in fact hitting the nail right on the head.
Others would want deals that Access entered with local Urban star Maskal for example as something that has to be done continuously and also happening elsewhere with other artists and other firms.
TNM will always engage artists to do one promotional track for its sponsorship of Malawi’s super football league.
It is not clear what is in the deal, but it has to be lucrative…I am speculating about its being lucrative because I know one time Lucius Banda cried foul when Black Missionaries got their hands on the contract and he was left out.
If indeed such deals are made what is so difficult to do something with music of our musicians.
The major problem lies in the musicians themselves. I know we cannot compare how football and music operate. A club would want to get sponsorship like is the case with MTL with Wanderers for example but will take part in a competition that Football Association of Malawi negotiates with TNM.
Imagine if Nomads had good sponsorship from MTL but no league to play in, would it really make sense?
Think of our musicians in the same way, if Maskal is getting individual support from Access, does this means anything to the music industry?
As an industry are we satisfied with how we produce, launch, market and distribute our music?
Are our musicians doing it right when they launch their music albums or DVD’s whilst their music is already enjoying airplay or when the albums or DVD’s are on market?

Feedback:drummingpen@columnist.com

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