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Paying homage:big deal in Zambia music industry

Music history has it that when an upcoming musician releases a hit song featuring a renowned artist, the former often get overshadowed by the fact that people will pay homage to the established musician and give less attention to the owner or main composer of the song.

While some emerging musicians have continued to live in shadows for years, majority have used the opportunity to secure seats in the industry.

The dynamics of recognition, respect, and the struggle for prominence shape the narrative of many artists, both emerging and established.

Take, for instance, the case of the Zambian renowned Melody maestro, Yo Maps, whose breakthrough hit ‘finally’ with Macky 2 initially saw him overshadowed as most people thought Macky 2 was the real owner of the song.

Despite this, Macky 2 paid homage to the main composer of the banger and endorsed him to the public which saw the latter’s triumphant entry into music stardom.

Yo Maps’ subsequent songs showcased his undeniable talent, earning him awards and the recognition he deserved especially among his fellow musicians.

Notably, Yo Maps acknowledged Macky 2 for paving way for him in the industry.

Acknowledging those who paved the way is crucial, DJ Shawn Kaystar emphasizes.

DJ Shawn Kaystar who is Macky 2’s music manager recently bemoaned the growing habit of not honoring music pioneers like Dandy Crazy, the godfather of Copperbelt music alias Kopala music.

Kaystar said “Most of the music by Y celeb, Chanda na Kay duo is an inspiration from Dandy Krazy.”

Kaystar’s plea transcends success stories, underscoring the need to pay homage to the architects of specific music genres.

He said despite Dandy Krazy having political affiliations like anybody else “still the [junior] artists and people in general should respect him for paving way and being one of the first artists to be commercialised.”

While many artists tirelessly strive for acknowledgment in the present, it is a poignant reality that some truly inspiring musical figures find their well-deserved reverence posthumously.

Apparently respect and recognition in the industry demands resilience, discpline and respect for the fans of which some have lost it due to diverging for selfish motives.

Artists treading the political terrain risk losing not only fans but also the very essence of their musical identity.

An example of this dance unfolded with Zambian renowned hip pop artist Slapdee, whose foray into politics left him entangled in a web of rejection and reflection.

In a notable incident some year back, Slapdee lent his voice to a campaign song for a certain political party, unwittingly becoming a pawn on the political chessboard. However, the repercussions were swift and severe.

The artist found himself facing a backlash from his own people, who viewed his political indulgence as a betrayal.

To compound matters, the same year brought recognition on a continental scale with a nomination at the All Africa Music Awards(AFRIMMA).

Yet, the majority of Zambians met this acknowledgment with disdain, opting to redirect their votes away from the artist they perceived as a political turncoat.

Caught in this tumultuous tide of public sentiment, Slapdee faced a dilemma: persevere in the face of rejection or yield to the will of his disillusioned fan base.

Ultimately, the artist chose the latter, withdrawing from the nomination and offering a public apology for his role in the political melody.

The Incident serves as a stark reminder of the delicate balance artists must strike between their artistic expression and the potential consequences of aligning with political agendas.

The rejection Slapdee experienced underscored the notion that, for many music enthusiasts, the harmony of art is disrupted when it harmonizes too closely with the dissonance of politics.

In an era where musicians are increasingly scrutinized for their political affiliations, Slapdee’s journey stands as a cautionary tale.

It prompts reflection on the symbiotic relationship between musicians and their audience, emphasizing the importance of preserving the integrity of the musical narrative against the discordant backdrop of political maneuvering.

As artists navigate the ever-shifting landscapes of both art and politics, the challenge lies in finding a harmonious balance that resonates with the soul of the music and the spirit of the people it seeks to enchant.

Tommy D a seasoned Hip-hop artist also values the act of paying homage to big artists as he mentioned in one of his song ‘Keep forgetting’ some time back.

Despite Tommy D experiencing slow progress in his music career and being in the industry for a long time,he has demonstrated mutual respect towards big artists in the industry.

With his ‘godfather’ album getting over a million streams on boom play in less than a week,the industry is optimistic that Tommy D is back for good.

While some claims in the industry may be perceived as playing to the gallery, the underlying desire for validation and acknowledgment is undeniable.

Fans, which are the Zambian people and beyond are stakeholders in the music industry hence there should be a deliberate effort to contribute to the development of the industry.

Paying homage is one way that fans would greatly contribute to the growth of the local artists as no man is an island.

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