30 November 2012

Namibia: Just My Opinion End of Year Releases


OK I need to know, did I miss the meeting where all the Namibian artists gathered, and came to the consensus that every single one of them had to, by all means, release an album at the end of the year?

This must be the reason. Why else has every single artist under the Namibian sky recently released or are soon to release an album?

Well, if I was at that meeting (and I hope next time you will be kind enough to invite me), I would have raised my hand and when I was given the opportunity to speak, I would have told whoever was chairing the meeting that it is an extremely ridiculous idea for so many artists to come out with albums at the same time of the year, especially in a country with such a small population.

This just creates unnecessary competition that artists in a population of only 2.1 million can not afford. And as an artist you probably think your album is the masterpiece of masterpieces and so it is obviously 500 times much better than the other 1000 artists that have also released their albums at the same time.

Trust me, and yes I would know, every single artist out there thinks that their album is the best product on the market. Even if your album is really, really good – with so many others coming out at the same time, it surely will not be the only really, really good new album out on the market.

So many artists releasing albums at the same time, even if their albums are very good is a bad idea. When you flood the market with so many products, even though the consumer likes many or even all of the products, they may not be able to afford to buy all of them at the same time.

This means that the fans will have to choose one or two albums which means many of the others will not end up being bought and in a worse case scenario, they will probably end up being pirated. Whereas if an artist waits to release in April, May or any other time in the new year, when every one has already forgotten about all the albums that were released at the end of the year, that artist won’t have to compete for the spotlight.

I don’t really know the reason for this mass releasing of albums but I don’t think I will be very wrong if I said that the Annual Namibian Music Awards has a lot to do with it. It seems that artists are rushing for that deadline to enable them to qualify for next year’s awards.

I honestly think that awards are not a good reason to put a rushed album on the market.

I know that I might sound unfair to artists, as making albums is an artist’s bread and butter, and so the more frequently an artist releases an album the more they sell, but creativity takes time. You can rush to make an album because you want to enter it for the awards, or for some other monetary reason, but at the end of the day the fans can somehow sense that it was a rushed job and by the end of February when holiday fever is over and life starts getting back to normal, people will quickly forget about your album, and move on to the next one.

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