Music Business Is All Or Nothing

As is the norm, I was today tagged to a post where Zedaz poured out his point of view about about what is killing the economics of music as a whole in Zimbabwe. Perhaps from the perspective of a Zim Hip-hop artiste.

I would like to thank my brother for bringing in the discussion point though I disagree with some of what he said. My article is based on where I disagree. Do not worry, when you see where I disagree you will automatically see where I agree if you are of sound mind.

The following is Zedaz’ post, I have made an attempt to bridge parts written in Shona for the benefit of non Shona speakers.

“Zim music haina kana order amd before we fix some things hatife takabudirira (Zim music is disorderly and if we don’t fix things will never succeed). Firstly singers don’t pay producers saying ndikutokuitisa mbiri (I am making you famous) so I cant pay you. Producers don’t even bother to make the project a masterpiece coz if free. I send people beats i made in 15 min coz why should i give you my best beat iwe usiri kubhadhara.
After that, singers aren’t paid by promoters, saying tikutokuitisawo mbiri (we are making you famous) so either peform mahara (either perform for free or don’t) or don’t. Zvadaro (after that) radios also don’t pay royalties coz hanzi tikutokuitisa mbiri (Radio doesn’t pay royalties whilst purporting to make the artistes famous). The fans wont bother to pay for your songs coz why should i buy a half-baked song. So everything is just based on ‘ndikukuitisa mbiri’ chete not to make music a business. Zvadaro (after that) we complain sei music yedu isingarire pa channel o etc kana tisina order pachezvedu how do you expect other countries to take us seriously? (We then wonder why our music is unable to meet Channel O standards).”

Business is all or nothing!

My brother Zedaz argues that when artistes ask for free beats from him, he will give them half baked beats which he created for 15 minutes because he is not motivated by working for free. I fully get this view-point, but ultimately whose brand is hurt?

Whose brand is hurt?

If the artiste goes all out with his best lyrics on a half baked beat. That’s when you get remarks from neutral fans, “Dope bars but the beat was wack.”

Essentially the listeners are therefore acknowledging the prowess of the artiste and frowning upon the beatmaker.

Unfortunately Fans Can’t Guess Why It’s Half Baked


By the time fans hear music they don’t know if the beat is paid for or not. They just rank the producer as either good or bad.

So if you are going to do it free or paid, give it your best. Make it be above good.

If you realize that you are not motivated by doing it free then its better not to do it at all and kindly not accept the arrangement. There is no bad publicity that can come from not doing a track.

A Potential Paying Client May Come Across It

In the world of dentistry, these days dentists are expected to give painless extractions. It is a standard that can compel clients to choose or drop a dentist.

Now imagine if a tooth extraction is $40 in a local surgery and a broke guy comes in and pleads for his tooth to be taken out for free. The Dentist agrees, but deep inside he didn’t want to do it.

So he does not give it his all, he gives the free patient an uncomfortable process full of agonizing pain. Now just because this guy is broke doesn’t mean he doesn’t have more well up relatives who can even pay $80, but they hate pain.

When the broke guy tells family and friends how painful it was, they will not ask whether it was free or not. They will simply conclude that he is a bad dentist.

When you curtain raise for an A.K.A show and you give poor performance simply because it’s free. Just remember it’s only you who knows that it’s free, according to fans, you got paid and you suck.

All or nothing

In all instances it is better for the service provider to give his best shot or nothing.

The artiste, promoter or beatmaker must state his terms of service. Should he violate his own terms of service he must consider that giving a half baked product is self destructive PR.

I would have usually given you my suggestions on value and such but the post would be terribly long and go off topic. The information would also be half baked because I am tired.

You can check out some of DJ Zedaz work via this link as well.


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