Music industry might never be the same again -Antonio

By Rosalia David 

WITH the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic affecting almost all sectors in Namibia, top-selling music promoter Dragan Djokic popularly known as Antonio said he fears that the music industry will find it hard to bounce back from the economic slump it is currently facing. 
In an interview with Confidente newspaper recently, Djokic said he is finding other ways to keep afloat during the pandemic as CD sales have dropped tremendously. 
“This is the time for us to explore other ways of making money because the arts industry has obviously been affected. Musicians are struggling to get back in the studio which means that producers are currently not having an income at all,” he said. 
Djokic further emphasised the importance of selling music online saying that it is indeed the only method that could help musicians earn a little income during this time. 
“I have invested in a USB duplicate machine that will enable musicians to have their tracks on a memory stick rather than selling CDs because bars are closed and there are artists that make a lot of money through jukeboxes.” 
He went on to say that he is working tirelessly around the clock to make sure that musicians somehow continue to make some income despite the current circumstances. 
Although he mentioned that he has invested in a USB duplicator, he could not give much information on the process saying that consultations are still being done while meetings with the Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM) have been scheduled. 
Djokic lamented that the arts industry, especially the music sector has been treated like a stepchild for many years and it is time it was also prioritised as it creates employment for many young people. 
According to Djokic most big shows that were supposed to create indirect employment have also been cancelled, while many artists are getting discouraged to continue producing and releasing music. 
“People will eventually get tired of the old music and stop buying and we don’t want that. Musicians should continue producing songs and explore other means of selling their art,” he said. 
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) recently availed a relief fund of R150 million for artists, athletes and technical personnel. 
According to research, DSAC will fund institutions whose productions were cancelled between March and June 2020 including paying artists and practitioners that were already booked.