Are local DJ’s killing or reviving the industry?
OVER the years, local musicians have had mixed feelings over the local entertainment scene being flooded by foreign acts while local artists continue to suffer from not getting the necessary recognition.
However, it is also an undeniable fact that can be confirmed by many that regional, continental and international music dominates the decks and sounds in many clubs, lounges and pubs across the country.
Although this debate has been a long time coming, it’s easy to notice that radios have indeed changed their daily shows to accommodate and promote more local music on air.
Radio stations such as Energy 100, Fresh FM and national radio have proven that Namibian music is worth the play as the quality, mixing and mastering continue to improve.
Namibian DJs not playing local songs has become music to my ears, but a few really try to go out of their comfort zone to play local tracks, but the crowd refuses to react to those confined tracks.
In this case, whose fault is it?
In most cases, DJs earn their respect based on how well they can keep the crowd entertained and on the dance floor. Which means that a DJ cannot just play local music for the sake of promoting local content while party goers leave the dancing floor fuming with anger demanding refunds.
Therefore, most DJs give the crowd what they want and what is trendy.
Although that has been the notion of many, we cannot deny the fact that there are a handful of DJs who are really trying to promote local music and are able to keep the crowd entertained, especially with local tracks that were quite popular in the past.
While a small number of DJs have entered the game with a mission to be unique through playing local music only, they always end up switching to other genres to remain relevant.
If I could force certain genres into people’s ears, I would play local music throughout the night but nobody wants to be labeled as a ‘boring DJ’.
I think the issue is that Namibian DJs have already spoiled and fed party goers with a lot of international music, such as House originating from South Africa and Afro beats from Ghana and Nigeria, which makes it difficult for them to listen to local songs.
In other Western African countries, DJs play their own songs all over but in Namibia if one hears a local track, it is from the same artists we have been listening to for centuries now. Is Namibian music not appealing enough? Or what can be done for us to be able to celebrate and dance to our own music?
The consensus seems to be that better and more diverse music needs to be produced by local artists so that music lovers and clubbers actually demand their favourite tracks at the country’s hottest hangout spots. In this way club DJs, promoters and owners will simply have to play what the people want.