Has Namibian music evolved?


The Namibian music industry has come a long way since its inception, with various factors contributing to its growth and development over the years.

From traditional folk music to modern genres such as hip-hop and house, the local music industry has seen a surge in creativity and innovation, resulting in the emergence of numerous talented artists who have made their mark on the local and international stage.

One of the most significant factors contributing to the evolution of the Namibian music industry is the rise of technology. With the advent of digital recording and distribution platforms, it has become easier for artists to produce and share their music with a wider audience. This has opened new opportunities for Namibian artists to reach a global audience and build a following beyond their local fan base.

unwrap.online spoke to Fresh FM radio personality NSK, who says local music had started to sound monotonous to him over the past three or four years, until he recently heard musicians like Mabuzza and Exit doing something different.

“I started digging again and found an incredible amount of Namibian music that was released in the last 12 months. I feel the focus shifted from the actual art to ‘influencing’, with every artist chasing clout. Which I guess is the typical ‘now’ thing to do. It’s normalised. But for someone like me who genuinely loves and respects what music has done for my soul, it can never be just about vibes,” he says.

NSK says he is currently blown away by local music and the collaborative efforts of the new kids on the block.

“When it comes to my picks, there’s music that I really believe deserves massive hype, which includes the Collective Singers and Karishma, who deserves way much more than she is getting. The woman has a vibe that will speak to any young Namibian on these streets. She’s got the raps, the vibe, and the swag to match,” he says.

Namibians are requesting radio play from artists like Mega, Oteya, Lioness, DJ Vuyo, Kalux, Yeezir, DJ Siya, Waters, Top Cheri, DJ Spuzza and ChesterHousePrince, he says.

“Rightfully so, because these acts have been churning out sing alongs and bangers.”

Moreover, as the industry has evolved, it has also had a significant impact on artists themselves. Many talented musicians have emerged, showcasing their creativity and skill on the local and international stage. The industry has provided a platform for artists to express themselves and connect with fans, enabling them to grow their fan base and make a name for themselves.

Radio personality and music analyst Dazzle from Radio Energy says the music industry is growing alongside Western and popular African sounds, and he’s loving it.

“Musicians are putting in the hard work, from producing quality sounds, music videos, to stage set up, dress code and performances. Although only few artists perform live, I would appreciate seeing more of them doing so, because it gives a different flair from the original song,” Dazzle says.

His top 2023 picks include Azaria, Ixa, Waters, Yeezir, Azmo, Karishma and Adora, while artists that are getting airplay include DJ Spuzza and the Slaughterhouse Gang, Azmo, Yeezir, Adora, Ethnix, DJ Castro, Nally, Zikii, Lioness, ChesterHousePrince and the Musketeers.

Despite the growth and success of the Namibian music industry, there are still challenges that need to be addressed. These include issues such as piracy, lack of adequate funding, and limited access to international markets. Nevertheless, the industry continues to grow and evolve, with Namibian artists contributing their creativity and talent to the global music scene. – unwrap.online

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