Zimdancehall Artists Must Balance Internet Fame And The Streets Plug

Jah Master Van Choga

The digitalisation of the music mainly through the internet and various social media platforms of pushing and marketing music has been of greater significance to the artists, record labels and music distributors. With the aid of internet, artists who have been struggling to get to the limelight have become overnight celebrities after their art trended well on social media.

By Argus Mepo

Some of these artists in the Zimbabwes’ context includes the man of the moment Van Choga and the energetic Jah Master. Social media greatly contributed to their forceful rise to fame after the snippets of their works trended well and went viral. These two artists were also key beneficiaries of Seh Calaz’s social media following as he has a combined following of 300 000 followers on Facebook and Instagram, he relentlessly endorsed their works on internet.

Van Choga pic _ Bezaleel Mhako
Van Choga pic _ Bezaleel Mhako

These artists have turned out to be the internet celebreties and their art has been congesting the streets of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, not mentioning WhatsApp music groups.

Jah Master
Jah Master

However, internet fame sometimes is misleading and overrated especially when making reference to Zimdancehall. The major fan base of Zimdancehall lies within the streets of the ghettos. Most of the internet fame is provided for by the diaspora fanbase, especially those Zimbabweans who are residing in South Africa, UK, China, USA and Australia, to mention just a few.

As a result of this, artists in most instances end up confusing diaspora support with streets support and they will end up being disappointed in the end.

Zimdancehall is a genre that was build by strong pillars, part of these pillars are Passa Passas, the sacred dancehall venues City Sports Centre and Stodart Complex (Mbare), Kombis and Barbershop are also alternative media airplay.

Zimdancehall artist _ Mutare _ pic _ Plot Mhako
Zimdancehall artist _ Mutare _ pic _ Plot Mhako

You might have million views on YouTube, million followers on social media if you haven’t perfomed at Stodart Complex, City Sports Centre, you are not played in Kombis and Barbershops and you have not yet performed at Passa Passas, your Dancehall credentials are questionable and you must put in more work.

Zimdancehall artists must therefore balance, internet fame and streets fame by networking and interacting with the ghetto plugs very well. Seh Calaz is one of the artists who has mastered this craft well, he has many street hits and knows how to connect well with the ghetto plugs and that has sustained his career.