Artists this is for you!

Facebook owns Whatsapp, practically the most important app on anyones phone. However as important as it is it's ability to run is at the mercy of the Operating System.
 
Mac O/S or Android can decide to make it incompatible. This is why Facebook has for long thought of making their own device. 
 
Who owns the platform makes the rules.
 
If you happen to make money from Google Ads you are at the mercy of what Google considers best practices.
 
Now lets integrate this to the creative economy.
 
As artists we often are naively at the mercy of mediums or rather platforms we do not control. That is why we tend to grasp the shorter end of the stick.
 
We make others make money.
 
There has been very little effort on our part to actually make first steps  to create mediums we can control. Of course we can hardly ever control at 100% (Even Netflix is at the mercy of a browser after all) but as it is our control is negligible.
 
A yoghurt scoop of artists even have their own websites besides it being ridiculously cheap. No effort to build mailing lists or collect data from people who visit their mediums.
 
On the other hand the mediums hosting them are collecting that data. Meaning to say Soundcloud knows more about the person who favourites your song on it's platform than you do.
 
Technically your song is being used by Soundcloud and audiomack as bait to collect big data just as s crumb on a spider web can be used to catch a fly. All the spider did was build a system of "passive hunting".
 
Of course you have the option to buy that Soundcloud data by being a premium user then do your analysis to see how to re-target.
 
The more we invest in making mediums by us for us the less we have to rant about exclusion or "control" by mediums whose primary beneficiary is not us.
 
Very easy to theorize. Very hard to implement but not impossible. Most valuable ideas are hard to execute.
 
What I am talking about requires ability to unite & specialize. For example Plot Mhako has data on which artistes are more read about on Ear Ground than others.
 
That data if it is big can allow a smart person with entry level knowledge on statistics to recognize a trend, demographic or some commonality which can be useful in creating better content.
 
So by platforms I do not mean streaming services or download sites. I am looking even into the data curators have. The exploration of media is so broad it encompasses venues, events, devices and anything that facilitates awareness, consumption or distribution of the art.
 
Curators do play a big role in what is consumed and how it is perceived. They save time for the prospecting consumer.
 
At a bigger level what comes out at the homepage of Youtube is curated too... except it is done by robots and as long as you use Youtube you are at the mercy of how its algorithm curates. Just as you are at the mercy of what Plot Mhako, Dodger, Zimoyo or Mcpotar think is worth a read if you depend on them to disseminate your material.
 
But what if you used all these guys to drive attention to your own mailing list so that you would no longer need them "that much" in your marketing?
 
What if you gave Plot a link to something people can only access upon subscribing to you?
 
Overtime you would be able to communicate to those people no matter how few without being at the mercy of bloggers or algorithms favouring it or not.
 
So here is a format which you can refine for your needs.
 
1. Conform to the algorithm
 
For your foundational years conform to what the media wants so that they allow they audience to know you. 
 
2. Use the Attention to Build A Database
 
As you conform leverage on the awareness to simultaneously get a database of people who like what you do.
 
All curators including myself are somewhat content prostitutes. One year they are team Tocky Vibes, tomorrow it is Killa T and next it is Enzo Ishall.
 
Don't wait to realize this when they dump you.
 
3. Give Incentives For People to Join Your List
 
As your list grows enjoy control by having exclusive material that cannot be on mediums you don't run. In fact use it as bait.
 
Seth Macfarlane sometimes airs deleted Scenes that are not allowed on Fox on his own mediums or events.
 
4. Continue to Work With Other Media (Unless you get more mileage in rebellion)
 
Never totally disregard corporate sponsored media. Continue to manipulate it & allow it to use you for your benefit unless your niche gets more credit by doing so.
 
For instance David Icke is more trusted for not being on Fox as much. On the other hand people who like David Icke may see Tyson De Grasse as a NASA pawn because there is clearly no effort by the mainstream to mute him.
 
That said. This advice is flawed but not entirely. It has its take aways. It can be best perfected by implementation and counter argument.
 
But not just counter-argument for the sake of it. Counter argument with alternative solutions.
 
Let's hear it.

Sister Has Got Flames

 
 
Warm Greetings,
 
Its been a minute since I wrote something. So here goes. Check out this profile of proud black strong sister who is making waves.   
 
 
Fortunate Matenga aka Sista Flame is a singer/song-writer with exceptional, exciting and breathtaking writing skills. She is noted for her distinctive deep soulful, emotional and captivating vocals. Which make her melodies beautiful and touching.
Born and grew in kwaBulawayo "the City of Kings & Queens"where she did her junior and high school. During her teens she started modeling, dance, drama and music with a community group called B.U.W.A.C. 
Her love for music grew and she formed a group with friends called Afrobase the journey began.
Sista Flame was discovered by Albert Nyathi and later that year she joined him and became part of the group Imbongi. She worked for 6 months as a backing vocalist.
Later that same year 1999 she joined Andy Brown, Chiwoniso Maraire and was part of the band Storm, as a backing vocalist.
Sista Flame did her 1st recording career with the group More fire Crew working with Kieth Ferguson, Andy Brown, Issac Chirwa among others.
She later joined Ruvhuvhuto Sisters working with Plaxedis Wenyika, Ivy Kombo and the late Jackie Madondo as Tourism Ambassadors. They recorded 2 singles Malaika and Come to Victoria Falls which was a success.
In 2004 she embarked on her solo career recording her 1st album The Road with 10 tracks, which had hit tracks The One and Muzukuru affectionately known by her fans as " wona ngoro ". In 2010 she recorded her 2nd album The Flame of House with 6 tracks. With the hit single Ngubani and she shot a video too for this amazing house track. 
In 2016 she recorded her reggae mixtape called Love Sweat Fears which is to be released in 2020.
Currently she just finished her 4th studio album called Moto with 5 tracks. Sista Flame released the 1st  Gospel single called Ngiyabonga ft Jdot and Dj Tamuka.She also debuted the video on Zbc TV on Woza Friday and the video has been performing. The video is also on TBN Play and TBN Africa too channel 343 on dstv. The lyric video to Ngiyabonga is out too and is an effort by Sista Flame and her team to initiate The Deaf campaign. Sista Flame is celebrating her 21 years in the male dominated industry with the theme #Forever21in Music. On that note Sista Flame has been perfecting her production skills and produced Warren Haitch's 1st single from Kodak Moments III droping this year. These Nights (Are Cold) is the title of the trap soul/Rnb record. These Nights also has a lyric video to also help engage the deaf community as they are always left out. The 2nd single off The album MoTO is dropping on the 19 of April on Sista Flames birthday.  Got this feeling is the title. Music for both artists can be found on Oyos Music Store. #Forever21InMusic
.....
 
Links:
 
Sista Flame - Ngiyabonga ft Jdot & Dj Tamuka
 
 
 
Warren Haitch - These Nights produced by Sista Flame
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Single Review – ‘Too Lit (Emtee) – Vinnie King’

Dancer and professional choreographer-turned-trapster, Vinnie King’s new Single Too Lit (emtee) produced by Amillionbeats is a laid back Trap-hop song, with heavy undertones reminiscent of SA hip hop. Though his message is almost a mirror version of most ‘trapsters’ idea of the grand hustle out there nowadays, he speaks uniquely of his rise from the streets of Mzilikazi to where he is today and reminds his audience that he is on his, ‘emtee’ and he is going to stay true to his ‘emtee’ and that is why he is Too Lit. The instrumental is heavy and mellow and true to trap, giving the song an almost international feel and vibe. Vinnie King delivers a resounding message as to why and how he is Too Lit, reminding ‘haters’ why they hate him, for grinding his way out of the ‘ghetto’ where he grew up and making great strides in amassing a ‘following’ and ladies why they love him. The song is laced with a soulful hook that will have u singing along in no time. It is another great trap song that will have u wanting to get your hustle on and keep on your ‘emtee’. Overall, a great instrumental with a great title and Vinnie King is definitely a trapster to look out for. 

Review Score: 6/10

Single Review – ‘Mwenje – Savage’


Savage delivers a Shona/English love song, ‘Mwenje’. In the song, Savage speaks of his love for his girl, displaying his versatility by fusing Shona and English to a mellow instrumental and sample that will pull at you heart strings. Arguably one of the top emcees in the country at the moment, Savage’s lyrical content and versatility displays his development and maturity as a rapper. ‘Mwenje’ is one of those songs that will have you slow dancing with the love of your life. A great piece that showcases the growth of Zim hip hop, good enough for the international stage too. A must have love song. 
Score 7/10

Single Review – ‘100 Bars – M.U.S.E.


Metro Urban Sophisticated Entertainer aka M.U.S.E’s latest offering ‘100 Bars’ is a scintillating tapestry of true Rap/hip hop at its best. Backed by a hard-core instrumental reminiscent of Wu-tang Clan and a dynamic similar to Emcees that brought underground rap to the fore such as Nas and Q-Tip, M.U.S.E delivers a mind-blowing song that will have any die hard rap/hip hop fan bouncing and nodding their heads. ‘100 Bars’ takes you on a lyrical journey back to the 90s when rap ruled and lyrics mattered. When music was about the message and not the image, when it was relevant to the average man on the street. He speaks of the hip hop industry in his beloved town Bulawayo, how disappointing it is that most ‘Hip hoppers’ nowadays seem to just conform and follow one style (trap), their lack of imagination, creativity and originality makes them mere puppets in the game. He speaks of the fake images they portray, their weak ambitions of acquiring ‘groupies’ and how their music is simply irrelevant to our setting. He definitely sets his mark as one of the best Emcees to hail from the City of Kings and arguably Zimbabwe. The lyrical content, tone, dynamic and instrumental all come together like a chart breaking song from the Bronx, New York. This is definitely one for those true to ‘real’ rap/hip hop. M.U.S.E is set to release his second album this year and one can only hold their breath in anticipation. 

Review Score: 8/10