I always compare our infant entertainment industry to the bigger entertainment markets out there and it is safe to say that we still have a long way to go. The past few weeks has seen many Namibian artists complaining and debating about definitions of an upcoming artist and established artists. Let us clear it up. Nobody likes to be labelled “upcoming”, right? However, artists are categorised every day by fans, bloggers, promoters, award organisers and critics. Unfortunately, most of the people receiving and giving these classifications seem to be clueless when questioned about what they actually mean. First of all, the most common mistake is for artists to label themselves based on age. In actuality, an artist who is middle-aged or older has no claim to label themselves based on age. Similarly, young artists are labelled as “upcoming” artists, but, depending on experience and career, this is not necessarily the case. It is better to avoid such labels altogether, although sometimes labels are necessary to classify and categorise the different artists. An artist who is at a mature stage in his or her career and who has created an extensive body of independent work can be called an established artist, for example Gazza or The Dogg. An established artist is basically an artist who has reached an advanced level of achievement by sustaining a national and internationally recognised contribution to the discipline. In music for example, their work’s value has been decided through consistent years of album sales, staying top on radio playlists, winning awards, mentions, having their songs covered by other artists, consistency and sometimes longevity in their career. Most artists do not get to this stage even though it is the dream of every artist to have their songs on everyone’s lips. Most artists in Namibia are mid-career artists. These are artists that have had a significant number of performances at significant events, but fail to fully propel themselves to superstar status. Many Namibian artists are upcoming are still in the early stages of their career. They have caught the eye of music lovers but have not established a solid reputation as an artist amongst music critics and music buyers. The truth is, the global entertainment industry is broad and constantly evolving as technological advances and market demands shift. The industry includes both producers and distributors of entertainment formats and has been expanding into new areas outside of the traditional segments of radio, print media, television, music, and film. The age of smartphones has left humans with such a short attention span even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer. All in all, Namibian artists need to fully focus on their art rather than be sidetracked by labels. It only takes one great piece of art to take you to the next level.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015