Musicians urged to release more music

By Rosalia David

POPULAR record label owner, Dragan Djokic has urged Namibian musicians to release more music during the pandemic and do things differently so as to sustain themselves.

Djokic who goes by the name Antonio and is also the owner of Windhoek’s album distributor shop ‘Antonio’s Arts’, in a interview with Confidente said, as shows continue to be postponed or cancelled, it is important that musicians get out of their comfort zones and work on full albums that can be sold and generate an income.

“Over the years, we have been preaching about how musicians should stop releasing albums one after another without giving enough time for people to enjoy the music, but now, it is different because the only income that musicians can get now is from selling albums,” he said.

He went on to make an example of Kwaito singer, Exit who released a collaboration album with Samuel Ngodji titled ‘Die hele Box’. “Exit released one just a month after releasing another album which means sales are doubled now since he is selling two new albums. What else can be done? People will obviously get tired of new music but there is no other way.”

He added that Covid-19 had created unemployment amongst the Namibian youth who are in the entertainment industry from dancers, instrumentalists to performing artists as most of them depend on live shows.

Since early last year, shows and live performances have been hugely disrupted by Covid-19 rules and regulations enforced worldwide.

Djokic who has been in the CD distributing business for more than two decades further stated that he had also seen a drop in the album sales compared to other years.

“The people who buy the CDs are mostly jukebox owners and a few individuals but business has gone down … Piracy has been one thing that we have been fighting all these years, it is going to get worse,” he added.

Although the CD sales have dropped tremendously, Djokic said this however is not the time to give up but rather push further until things get better.

“I have a lot of boxes with CDs from artists they released a long time ago which shows that they are not selling anymore, so rather give them (the public) new albums,” he stressed.

Concerned about the state of the music industry in Namibia, Djokic predicts that things are going to get tougher for musicians this year especially since the country’s biggest awards showcase, the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAS) will no longer be taking place.

“At least the NAMAS used to bail a few out after winning, which allowed some to start businesses or push their musical careers further, now there is nothing,” he said.