top of page

The “woes” of being an upcoming artist in Makhanda

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

By Tshepiso Tshabalala

Picture of a recording studio from Unsplash

Surviving university consists of many things—time management, sleep, a speck of procrastination and the cherry on top, music. Days would be extra long without hearing a beat from your favourite song or an adlib from your famous artist. However, what struggles do these talented individuals have to go through to be able to give us masterpieces that we consume regularly?

People have this narrative: being a recording artist will be their scapegoat for catalysed success if all else fails. This stereotypical view of the career disregards the challenges artists face and removes the element of humanity each occupation possesses. Any established artist can testify that getting to the top is a process that requires patience and love for the craft. From the moment they put that pen on paper to when deciding on what picture to use for promotion, upcoming artists deserve the desired recognition they are trying to obtain. Music, the form of art that it is, brings people together and reminds us to find the pleasures in the little things.

According to an article published by News24, many upcoming artists experience similar troubles when entering the music industry, from inadequate startup capital, piracy and getting legitimate recording companies. “They do not tell people about getting their music registered, for the acquisition of royalties, and having everything administered in documentation by a state music publishing company like SAMRO,” said Loux Bvnks, a recording artist who knows all about the challenges of being an upcoming artist. Many artists make the mistake of getting into the music scene and diving headfirst without being fully educated on what is required to stay relevant in the industry. They face much turmoil at the beginning of their careers and often share knowledge to assist the next person.

Picture of a microphone from Unsplash

Small towns equals fewer people. Many questions transpire around whether Makhanda is the best place to be when trying to make a name for oneself in the music industry. However, music’s impact on an individual has nothing to do with geographical origin. If we can relate to Summer Walker telling us that “Girls Need Love’’ or Burna Boy telling us that it is the “Last Last” time he would accept weird behaviour from his ex, we would surely relate to our homegrown talents sharing parts of themselves with us. “I love the art of creating, the sound of music and expressing myself through the music,” said Loux Bvnks when asked what keeps him going despite the challenges. This statement shows us the passion and love that goes through the production of these melodies that we are presented with. Music is not only about the technical aspect but also the feeling.

The music industry does a lot for the entertainment sector. Everyone can attest that going to any social gathering is bound to be serenaded by some form of music. It eases people into the space and creates an atmosphere suitable for the occasion. Music is the primary driver of club culture and helps people say things they have always wanted to. It does not restrict creativity and acknowledges that we are all diverse individuals who view art differently. Music builds where there is no foundation and reminds us how important it is to add colour to your life.

Social media can also be seen as the driver of trends. Platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, etc., can help artists keep up with the trends, get in touch with their fans and gain tips on improving their craft. “I should have released my first single on major streaming platforms, but I was afraid,” said Bvnks. As the audience, we can see how influential socials can be when trying to get their career off the ground.

Life may get us down occasionally, but music always gets us “down”! We need to credit all the creatives for taking the time to generate this lovely piece of art. They are healing us in ways they are unaware of, and I think it is only fair for us to be more accepting of upcoming artists who work tirelessly to share a piece of their world with us through their craft. “This music thing can take a toll on your self-confidence, making you feel like you are not good enough,” said Bvnks. Let us be kinder and more accepting of our upcoming artists and give them the support they need.

168 views0 comments


bottom of page