Online service by artistes is the new normal in lockdown

By Andrew. I Kazibwe

Though deeply eating into their space of making both ends meet, the ongoing lockdown which has lasted weeks due to the Covid 19 pandemic has not only paved way for more online innovation amongst Rwandan Artistry, but a space to ponder on its sustainability. Just like globally, where Artists are better accustomed to the use of Digital media for virtual online, concerts Rwandan Artists have in the past weeks lately gradually embraced online media to further reach out to their audiences.


Throughout social media platforms like mainly Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, various Artists including Deejays Eric Soul, Pius, Marnuad, Selector K’Ru, Africano, Princess Flor, Toxxyk among others, Musicians like Adriane Misigaro, Bruce Melodie, Tom Close, Deo Salvatore, Miss Shannel, Dany Beats, and visual Artists, alongside comedians like the Comedy Knights, have since March, organized solo and Joint performances for their audiences.

Eric Soul & Miss Channel on IG live

This has further been a sole gateway, and hopeful channel to keep relevance in the eye of the public, then further exploring the online digital venture. Even though sole channels blocked their earning bit, some artists view things differently, “I definitely miss the live performances, but thankful for the internet,” explains Stella Tushabe, a Saxophonist, “Personally, I’ve got to know what kind of content followers enjoy, through the analytics that social media provides, which is a bit different from live performances,” she adds. “This breaks all the barriers involved accessing an Artists; from booking flights, hotels, venues, organization has been eased,” explains Eric Kirenga, a Deejay and administrator of AfroGroov, an events management company. Having so far brought together over 35 Artists from countries Rwanda, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Canada, Sweden, Belgium, through several live online sessions, he states how it is a worthwhile experience, “It allow one to easily create rich experiences that would otherwise have been different to attain in a normal setting,” Kirenga explains. “We are trying exploring different ways of reaching the audiences online,” explains Clement Ishimwe, a Music Producer and Manager of the Kina Music Artists’ label. To Daniel Izere alias Dany Beats, a music producer the lockdown has rather diverted him off the usual busy work schedules to further availing him time for research and studies. With it gradually making a buzz throughout the once partially active digitally Artistic circles, one is drawn into curiosity of whether Artists are earning from this lately adopted venture.

Mr. Ishimwe cites how this might not be easier in execution as it is for developed countries, where digital media is more adopted. With Artists setting up spaces, organizing and produce live sessions, there is real input, but no guaranteed earning from it so far. “With people are watching at the comfort of their homes, Artists don’t earn from their sessions,” Ishimwe explains, “Though it might not be as huge as that of the usual organization normal venue concerts, but there is a financial input and a cost into organization of the sessions,” Mr. Ishimwe adds. Venturing into online performance is a culture which is gradually being embraced, and a risk free option. According to Martin Kasirye alias MC. Tino, a musician and events Emcee cites how these lockdown times have been overshadowed by the fact that local companies haven’t yet fully developed a culture of investing in Artists, “The public would be enjoying sessions sponsored by companies, but that isn’t so,” he explains. Lessons learnt “Every entertainer is facing a big financial problem especially in Rwanda, where by the artists are not paid anything from the use of their work if not on stage,” explains Mani Martin, an Afro pop and traditional Artist. “The fact is how Rwandan Artist have been badly hit by the lockdown,” explains Alain Mukurarinda, a long time experienced musician and entrepreneur. “As Artists, we need to jointly work on advocating of proper establishment of proper channels to closely collect our royalties,” he urges. Mani Martin urges the public not to ignore the fact that the consumption of this Art should also be paid for in support of its owners. Tushabe further cites how attaining of quality sound in homes is extremely challenging, which affects the quality of our content.

Eric Soul also acknowledges how this is experience is to further push Artists into paving a way towards production of quality content for their audiences.

This Article was first published here:

Published by Andy's Sight

A learner... Experiencing the ups and downs in all life's corners...With a passion for Media;specifically writing and Broadcasting...Still emerging... Life is the main inspiration behind these writings; through the rich experience as a teacher, and my current sojourns in Journalism; I find life, look at it through a different sight, which I share.

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