So I say to a friend, while looking at the flyer: ‘you know, I have not a single line that I can quote from any of these, or let me say most of these artists billed to be at this Kast event.’ What is even worse, I am sure I have worked with them. I mean I used to dance for Kast when he still used to perform with a guy called Click. We would rehearse and then at some show at the stadium my dance partner and I chickened out. I then learnt or found a new level of respect of these back-up dancers of any act. Anyway, not to digress too much – my point is then I was so confused because I never really take the time to listen to local music like that – and yet here I am, a so-called advocate for the development of the arts. Here is the thing though – and noo, I am not making up excuses for my ignorance – I know these dudes and recognise them as great artists in their own right. The main question then is how come I do not collect their music or follow their shows – I could use the whole hyperlinks, download-this, facebook-is-banned from work excuse but really I mean Mafia Soul and Ko-Setlhareng.com di teng – so what is the real issue behind me not purchasing these products? My friend said ‘Go raya gore you are not a fan.’
Weird – yes. Ironic – perhaps. True – debatable. I am a fan of Norah Jones, Simphiwe Dana and Erykah Badu and I can name albums, singles – even sing lyrics from different songs. Heck! Am I then worthy of denouncement as a patriotic arts advocate/rebel for local development? Not really, though it should make you wonder gore how many are we out there that are in the same position. Further into the discussion with this friend of mine, he says that at majority of Scar’s performances, there is a young lady who sings all the words to one of his songs titled ‘Metlholo’. Like wow, right? Now he even notices her and gets her to rap the song along with him. So are there different degrees of fandom and do we really understand fan culture, especially in genres of urban music. I know for a fact that Culture Spears and Vee fans do know their favourite artists lyrics and go to their shows religiously – but what of the urban music culture. How are the albums sales going for both house and hip-hop artists? I will find out, take a walk to Mafia Soul and ask Molf about local album sales at their stores.
A fan is sometimes referred to as a supporter who supports with a liking and enthusiasm for something, such as a band or entertainer. Fans of a particular thing or person represent a fanbase, they show enthusiasm by being members of clubs, holding conventions, creating fanzinesm, writing fan mail or by promoting the object of their interest. As we have seen in the past few decades, impersonators represent their idols – think Michael Jackson, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Elvis Presley and our very own ATI (Motswafere) – okay, just kidding about my last one, but it might as well be because they look sooo alike, isn’t it.
So take the time out and think about how perhaps that is what is dragging or making our industry slow – we are not true fans to our artists. I mean they are there, working hard with shows, performance, appearances on TV and radio. What is the degree of support required for one to be classified as a fan.
Is it because I am not a rapper but a vocalist that I do not feel the need to buy their material? If that is the reason, then : “Sies Maya, Shem!” (iSibonyonyo’s Gogo voice). Let us make a deal from now on – we are to be fan and go in through the whole nine yards and not half-step when we talk about support our artists. As for all those like that young lady that raps to a full Scar song and not just the chorus – big up yourselves and on behalf of artists, thank you. Light – Progression – Awakening – Gratitude – FANDOM!!!