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Artists fail to target an audience as they work on their projects, which leads to bad reviews

The internet age of today has come with numerous advantages which cannot be listed in single article, but it still has a few major lapses which affects music production and consumption.

In the Cameroon context, the aspect of “support” is playing a major role to kill the efforts of the artists as they work to produce music for our consumption. Take note, the artists too are at fault because they too are simply ignorant about all this.

When an artist releases an album or new music, not everybody has to like it. Not every music lover must enjoy and share your music with a positive review. Not every music lover is a reggae fan, not every music lover likes Afro pop or rap etc.

Every music genre has an audience, it’s difficult to understand why a rapper with the cold rap genre should be performing in snacks where people go to dance and enjoy themselves. Not that people cannot dance or enjoy rap, but just like in the olden days American movies, there are different types of enjoyment joints for different kinds of music. Even in this Douala, there are corners in Bali and Bonapriso where you won’t hear Nigerian or Cameroonian urban music, but they listen to some form or genre of music and still has young people of the urban age group visiting.

Back in the days, before an artist releases an album, he or she will send copies of the album to media houses or to journalists with a particular “genre following” who will review the album and present to their fans/followers in anticipation to the release. This cannot be effective nowadays because nearly every Facebook timeline is a media house, every Whats app group is a media house and so we find it difficult picking out fans of our genre from the public and it affects our album or song reach and the amount of time it will stay relevant on the media.

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve listened to a newly released song and it sounds bad in my ears the first time and I see myself liking it after a few weeks. I’m not too good in Biology but I know for sure that the brain gets to love what it is used to. You cannot listen to Locko’s album, love it and next day, you pick up Young Holiday’s album and expect to have the same level of satisfaction. These are two different artists, with two different genres and so listening to their music back to back, you may consider one to be bad and the other too good.

However, if music targeted the right audience, you will see the right reviews from the right audience and so other music lovers who are not fans of that music will get to feel the flow or understand the music from the reviews and then engage into liking it et al. 

I will quickly cite a label like Strange Kings who have in the past created music and targeted the right audience for their artists, most of which may not be Cameroonian. Benzil‘s songs may sell more in the Caribbean than in Cameroon and the label does well to marketing his music in that part of the world. I think same applies to Wazih who was recently nominated as best male artist Central Africa AFRIMA 2018.

From the direction of fans, we’ve seen how much love fans of Jovi have shown towards him recently despite his absence in the media in the recent past and also his refusal to be relevant in the international stage. This is an example of a situation where the fans respect the artist, know what his music is about and are ready to side with him in whatever decision he makes.

This is a very global topic and so you can have a different view of how I see things. I’m always open to a discussion on this and more, so long as it impacts our industry positively. This article was inspired by Motolani Alake, editor at Pulse.ng and his article on “How judging and rating music struggles with the internet, extremes and superlatives”.  You can visit the article HERE.

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