Last week’s throwback edition of Industry Loop had me in my feels because it demonstrated a few things. Firstly it demonstrated that this publication, the New Era newspaper continues to support the arts and entertainment industry by availing space to critical thinkers and analysts like myself who do not necessarily chase clout which I believe is important for the industry. Industry Loop has been running for five years straight. For five years straight, we’ve been analysing, congratulating, criticising, projecting and advising custodians of this industry.
With that said, the news of Faizel MC making a comeback had me thinking about comebacks all week. Subsequently at a time when Jericho is in the midst of a successful comeback.
The question that kept ringing in my head all week was, is there a need for artists from yesteryear to come back? Is there something that is missing from the current crop of artists in the country, that artists from yesteryear believe can fill that void? Basically, is there a market to exploit?
Let’s look at the Snazzy case study. Snazzy’s situation will help me contextualise what I am trying to bring to you. Snazzy’s story is simple...Snazzy was big then, she disappeared and tried to make a comeback and failed horribly.
We loved Snazzy back then...would we equally love her now? We had the youthful exuberance back then to follow her everywhere...do we have the time and the patience for that now? And if it’s not us who used to follow her back then...will today’s youth duplicate the same energy for her as we did for her back then?
Clearly not. That’s the question Snazzy failed to answer with her comeback attempt that she’s been plotting since 2015. Dude...it’s 2020 and Snazzy is still “coming back”. So for artists from yesteryear that are planning a comeback, a Facebook post, a newspaper article here and there will NEVER be enough. Artists from yesteryear will need two things...an incredible product (music) and aggressive marketing. These two things should be a direct result of R&D (research and development). If you did not invest in R&D...your product (music) and marketing will be futile.
There was a certain sound back then that was celebrated. The sound has changed. Back then Namibians actually supported Namibians. Today? Namibians couldn’t care less honestly. Back then it was passion complimented by a genuine quality that drove the narrative. Now? Now it’s money, likes and whom you connected to.
So, with Faizel MC planning a comeback...was there a genuine outcry from Namibians and southern Africa to have him back? I mentioned Jericho earlier...one could see that everyone wanted Jericho to get his act together and come back with good music. Who is everyone? The people and the media. A few friends telling you to come back does not count. So, I’m a little perplexed with Faizel MC planning a comeback because I have not seen any demand for him to come back. Will Faizel MC hit us with the same old sound or did he change the sound to a 2020 narrative? Does Faizel MC understand that today’s space is robust, you can get crucified regardless of whoever you think you are...as opposed to back then when he, and other musicians were untouchables?
It all comes down to one thing anyways...the music. If Faizel MC and other artists from yesteryear hit us with music that is incredible and hard to ignore, we will take note. But if it’s not, you will be another Snazzy-like case study.
Until the next Loop, we say #GMTM